PETALING JAYA: The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) is urging the Government to put in place gender equality legislation in order to improve and promote equality for both men and women.
In a statement on Tuesday to mark the 2016 International Women’s Day, its chairman Tan Sri Hasmy Agam said that although Malaysia has made significant progress towards gender equality in recent years, particularly in areas such as education, gender stereotyping and roles are still common and well integrated into the society.
“Accordingly, the Commission recommends that the Government put in place gender equality legislation that aims to improve and promote equality for both women and men,” he said.
Hasmy stressed that while there have been landmark cases in court that contribute positively in terms of the enjoyment of women rights in Malaysia, employment equality remains a fairly dominant issue at the workplace.
He also said that child marriages are still an issue of concern in spite of the country’s good education system and low poverty rate.
“The Commission is equally concerned with the practice of marrying young girls who are victims of rape to their rapist in an attempt to salvage their honour, regardless of their feelings about the marriage.
“The Commission takes the view that gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable nation; and can only be achieved when all human beings are able to access and enjoy the same rewards, resources and opportunities regardless of their gender,” said Hasmy.