LONDON: A group of Malaysian students is starting a #sayafemynist movement, aimed at gender equality for women in the country.
The event, which kicked off on March 24 with Femi-Night 2018 at the Museum of Comedy, London, was attended by some 55 participants.
Among them were Dr Lyana Khairuddin, a virologist who started the #bringbackthekebaya movement and pursuing her further studies at the University of Oxford under the Chevening-Khazanah scholarship, as well as Niki Cheong.
Dr Lyana is also a columnist with The Star while Cheong used to pen the “The Bangsar Boy” columns for the newspaper.
“The #sayafemynist is more than a hashtag. It is the name of a new feminism movement localised in Malaysia. We target women in Malaysia, because it is women who suffer from institutionalised misogyny. The number of women who are terminated from work as soon as they get pregnant is very high.
“These problems make it difficult for women to climb the corporate ladder. We believe the (Gender Equality) Bill will help alleviate the effects of the injustices that are happening now,” said Femi-Night organiser Unis Amin in an e-mail.
Unis manages the Feminism Portfolio (malaysian_femynist) under the Malaysian Progressives United Kingdom.
She hoped that the hashtag would lead to conversations about the status of women in Malaysia.
“I believe conversations will stir actions. I want Malaysians to treat women better. Feminism is more often misconstrued than it is an underrated topic. I want to bring the movement to Malaysia but also speak of it from a Malaysian’s perspective.
“I want Malaysians not to turn a blind eye to issues that need our attention,” she added.