New voice for women execs


PETALING JAYA: Women at the management and professional level welcomed the newly-established Malaysian Association of Working Women (MAWW), scheduled to be launched on March 1, saying it will provide them with an avenue to be heard. 

UEM-Renong group corporate communications general manager Mariam Bevi Batcha said the MAWW was timely because it would provide a voice for women at the management level to highlight work-related issues they face. 

“Currently, there isn’t any channel for women from the management level to voice out their grievances or problems,” she said. 

She said the association could also function as a platform for all its members to contribute towards personal development programmes and projects geared at improving the skills of the nation’s women workers. 

Obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Fatima Najla concurred and said that the problems of working women “were the same regardless of what their jobs were or how much they earned.'' 

“There is a need to look into issues such as childcare facilities because it is the biggest problem faced by working mothers as men generally tend to be unsupportive in this area.  

“Currently, professional women have no voice pertaining to issues like this and most of the time suffer in silence,” she said, adding that MAWW could create a platform for women to give moral support to address work-related issues. 

Freelance journalist Firoza Buranudeen said advocacy of issues faced by working women was certainly needed here, but cautioned MAWW founders not to duplicate the work of other women’s organisations. 

Meanwhile, Women’s Aid Organisation executive secretary Ivy Josiah said it was exciting that such an organisation had been formed and hoped that MAWW would join the women’s movement, as it did not have a strong presence of women workers at the moment. 

Josiah said issues affecting women workers had to be highlighted through gender-specific organisations because, most gender-neutral establishments were headed by men who were not ‘ready’ to put women’s issues “on the table.”  

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