Grasping true gender equality

Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri (centre) at the launch of International Women's Day theme and logo for March 8.

PUTRAJAYA: In its quest to create an inclusive environment for women to thrive in, the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry will focus on reinforcing gender equality.

“Equality does not mean men and women competing or having equal rights and needs only; it is also respecting and helping one another,” said its minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri.

This year’s theme for Malaysia’s celebration of International Women’s Day, “Wanita Dijulang, Negara Gemilang” (Women Elevated, Nation Excels), is aimed at broadening society’s views of gender equality, she said at the launch of the theme and logo at the ministry’s headquarters here yesterday.

“Women play a crucial role as mothers, heads of families, community leaders, professional community activists and global leaders. The significant contribution of women has made Malaysia a globally recognised country,” she added.

The theme, said Nancy, is also to underscore the creation of an inclusive environment for women in the country to thrive in.

“The ministry is dedicated to increasing women’s participation at decision-making levels and in the workforce, and improving environments for women’s wellbeing and zero tolerance for violence against women.

“However, women’s empowerment is not just the role of the ministry; everyone should play their part too,” she said.

Nancy encouraged all to join in the celebration on March 8 and wear purple in tandem with the theme.

Speaking to reporters later, the minister said the Tribunal for Anti-Sexual Harassment has been set up with Klang Sessions Court judge Syafeera Mohd Said being appointed its president.

Nancy added that she is awaiting confirmation for representatives from Sabah and Sarawak for the panel.

Recently, she had said Syafeera will be assisted in the panel by two senior officials of the Attorney General’s Chambers: Mohd Nasruddin Mohamad, who will be the deputy president, and Nurul Elida Baharudin, the secretary.

The tribunal will be housed at the ministry here.

“It has been in the works for a long time and this year, the tribunal will be up and running,” said Nancy.

The tribunal provides an alternative platform for victims of sexual harassment instead of them taking the matter to the courts and instituting criminal proceedings.

Nancy previously said it would provide cheaper and quicker redress for sexual harassment complaints.

The tribunal is part of the Anti-Sexual Harassment Act passed in Parliament in August 2022.

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