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					                  Rapporteur Report

                            High Level Meeting On
“Achieving The Targets Of Malaysia‟s National Policy On Women”

                                 May 31, 2011

                      Renaissance Hotel Kuala Lumpur

                                 Organized By:
        Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development
         NAM Institute for the Empowerment of Women (NIEW)
                                 Supported By:
            UN Women and the United Nations Country Team

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                          National Policy on Women”
                      Group 1 Dialogue Session on
  “Expanding Women‟s Voice, Leadership & Participation”

Chairperson :
Emeritus Professor Datuk Dr. Osman Bakar, Deputy CEO, IAIS:

Moderator :
Yang Berbahagia Tan Sri Datuk Dr. Rafiah Salim, Director of NIEW

Resource Person:
Ms Kim Luisa Henderson, Gender Practice Leader, UNDP Asia Pacific
Regional Centre

Tan Sri Datuk Dr Rafiah Salim started by suggesting that everyone should
nominate who to chair the Dialogue Session and she nominated Emeritus
Professor Datuk Dr. Osman Bakar, Deputy CEO, IAIS. Everybody agreed. Tan
Sri also suggested that Emeritus Prof. Datuk Dr Osman Bakar to nominate
someone else to be the Drafter and Prof. Datuk Dr Osman suggested for Puan
Zarina Nalla from IAIS to be the Drafter and all agreed.

Emeritus Professor Datuk Dr. Osman Bakar, Deputy CEO, IAIS:
Salam and good morning everyone. First of all thank you for inviting me to
this Programme today and I am not sure that I am attending this to serve as
Chairman of the Meeting. I thought it would be better if the person is in full
control of what‟s going on in order to moderate but it‟s OK; I accept and hope
to do a good job at it. First of all, from the briefing made by Tan Sri Datuk
Rafiah earlier, we wouldn‟t want to spend too much time discussing or talking
about failures or shortcomings, but what we should talk from now until about
lunch time are about the changes and more importantly to come up with a

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                             National Policy on Women”
concrete proposal, suggestion and recommendation on how we can overcome
the shortcomings that we have. By having this Dialogue Session, we should
be able to get some insights on how to deal with some problems that still
persist. We can talk about failures, shortcomings and the achievements, and
from there we can have a “balance sheet” of where we are and also it is
important for us to set our priorities.

Yang Berbahagia Tan Sri Datuk Dr. Rafiah Salim, Director of NIEW:
Mr Chairman, if I may have 5 minutes to do my representation from the
Ministry and to share what the Ministry has achieved and what we have not
yet achieved. I would like to talk about the topic on “Expanding Women‟s
Voice, Leadership and Participation”; so the first one is Political. In terms of
participation, YES! In terms of rights to vote, our freedom to be members of
any political party and all that; so participation of Malaysian women is
absolutely good. However, Leadership is very-very low. Cabinet Ministers for
example, 2 out of a total of 28, Deputy Ministers 7 out of a total of 40, I think
at the State level it is even worse, no need to go into the statistics as it is
even worse. Therefore, in terms of this lack of leadership, there is a huge gap
in our voice as we don‟t have the women then there is an issue of lack of
voice and this is critical. I have a concern about this and it‟s highly sensitive in
Malaysia and because we need to go to the Cabinet, we need to get the
support by the male-Parliamentarian for a whole lot of other things, I think if
we isolate one particular statement of our dissatisfaction without pushing the
issue but instead pushing all the other issues that we want; if we push this
issue all the critical leadership, we may not get any that we want. Because so
far, like the 3-months maternity leave we got that, but these are the sort of
things we are going to the Cabinet; Parliament with a few more things with 3-
4 things now already; in terms of corporate sector I think the Minister already
said that just now corporate sector with brilliant women they seem to be very
good up to second level and is very difficult to get beyond second level. The

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glass ceiling in Malaysia is very thick. On the board of companies for
example, even the GLC, which is within the government control board
members are only between 11 to 13 percent. The corporate sector, the non-
GLC is 7 percent and the most embarrassing, finance industry headed by a
woman but 5 percent board members are women. And the CEOs, of course,
we can count on one palm the number of CEOs. In fact when we talk about
corporate leadership in Malaysia we all sound like broken record over and
over and it is a disgrace.

Education we all know among women; Malaysia‟s record shows that educated
women is highly successful. We got more than 30 percent headmistresses
even at the Ministry itself, and the Ministry of Education. The leadership in the
Ministry itself are men; we don‟t have women KSUs both at the Ministry of
Education and Higher Education and even at the Vice Chancellor level we
have 20 universities and there are 2 women Vice Chancellors. So, in terms of
women‟s voice, leadership, and participation, a lot has to be done and a lot
can be done.

Emeritus Professor Datuk Dr. Osman Bakar, Deputy CEO, IAIS:
Thank you for the overview. We see women best in education but not in the
corporate sector; in fact, we also see some decline in some aspect.

Presentation by:
Ms Kim Luisa Henderson, Gender Practice Leader, UNDP Asia Pacific
Regional Centre
I‟m Kim Henderson from Asia pacific regional centre based in Bangkok. I‟m
going to share with you on”Expanding Women‟s Voice, Leadership and
Participation: Experiences from Asia-Pacific and beyond”. (Showing
her slide presentation)

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                             National Policy on Women”
My first slide is on:-
   • Women‟s political representation and leadership,
           –             Women in Parliament
           –             Gender and Elections
   • Women in Management: ideas for diversity,
           –             Unlocking Women‟s Full Potential in the public and
                         corporate sectors

This is the situation we are looking at now, global and regional, and what can
we do?

Let‟s look at women in decision making and what are the targets. In 1990,
ECOSOC Resolution No. 15 recommended a target for women in leadership of
30% by 1995 and 50% by 2000. The 1995 Fourth World conference reported
little progress in 30% target. Platform for Action stipulates the aim of „gender
balance‟ and having the same proportion of both sexes in public positions, i.e.
50 – 50. In 2000 Millennium Development Goals set target of at least 30%
women by 2015. No region in the world in on track to meet this target.

In terms of women in parliament in the Asia-Pacific region, Asian Pacific is
second from the bottom regarding women‟s political participation with women
only holding 18.2% of legislative seats in Asia and 15.2% in the Pacific. The
Asia-Pacific region contains the second-lowest percentages of women
parliamentarians in the world. The Pacific sub-region alone has four of the six
countries in the world with no women legislators. However, the low numbers
are seen across the region‟s diverse political systems and ideologies. In 2010
elections in Sri Lanka (5.3%), Philippines (21.4%), Solomon Islands (0%),
Afghanistan (27.7%), Cook Islands (4.5%) and Tonga (0%).

In terms of women in Parliament in the Asia Pacific region, High IPU rankings
are Nepal, Timor Leste, and Pakistan. Both Singapore and the Republic of

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Korea (ROK) have good HDI ranks but while Singapore belongs to the 1st
Quartile in terms of women in Parliament, ROK belongs to the 2nd Quartile
(Table 18). More striking is the fact that Nepal, with 33% women in its
Constituent Assembly and Timor-Leste, with 29% women in Parliament, are
among the countries classified as enjoying only “medium human
development.” And Rwanda, ranked „1‟ on gender parity, is classified among
those countries with “low human development” (UNDP 2007/2008).

Even Asian countries with much higher levels of development like Japan
(lower house) and the Republic of Korea have just 10 per cent and 14 per
cent women in their national legislatures. Hence, there is no clear association
that emerges between the level of development and quality of gender equity
in Asia-Pacific nations. Factors imbricate with gender biases and stereotypes
intervene to diminish the gains of other indices of human development (Norris
& Inglehart 2000).

As for the women in Parliament, the numbers are still so low, why is
this so? That is because the Social, Political, Economic and legal
barriers still hinder participation. Gender stereotypes and norms, for
various reasons; serve as a hindrance to gender-responsive governance –
leadership seen as men‟s role. Discrimination limits women‟s access to
education, healthcare, wealth, mobility. Men set the political norms, within
political parties, eg competition, violence. In India, for example, male
Panchayat members spread rumours about sexual promiscuity. Male
dominated political systems don‟t recognize women‟s unpaid care work.

Lack of access to campaign financing – lack of laws which constrain this.
Impunity for violence and corruption. Most constitutions in the region are
vague in defining sex discrimination and gender equality and have customary
practices which contravene this and in some cases are protected by law.
Electoral processes have also made a difference and budgets are treated as

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economic rather than political process.

As for the women in Parliament in the Asia Pacific regional experiences, for
example in Afghanistan and Nepal, their success with gender quota‟s are:

Afghanistan and Nepal : Success with Gender Quotas

   • In the 2005 elections, women occupied 68 out of 249 seats in the
       Wolesi Jirga, or 27.3%, complying completely with the gender quota

   • In the Meshrano Jirga, 23 of 102 seats (22.5%) were held by women,
       exceeding the gender quota regulation of 17% women for this

   • In Nepal women gained 33% of seats in the 2008 Constituent
       Assembly elections through a 50% quota for the PR segment of the

The Afghan Constitution of 2004 stipulates a quota provision for each of the
two main chambers of its national parliament. The lower house, the Wolesi
Jirga, consists of 220-250 parliamentarians, which is proportional to the
population of each of the nation‟s 34 provinces. The quota provision states
that, from each of the 34 provinces, an average of at least two female
candidates should become a member of the Wolesi Jirga. This guarantees
the inclusion of at least 27% women in the assembly, occupying 68 seats.
The seats for women in the Wolesi Jirga are reserved seats. In case there are
not enough women on the list of candidates to fill the seat(s) allocated to
women in a particular constituency, the seat(s) in question remain vacant
until the next intended Wolesi Jirga election.

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For the House of Elders, the Meshrano Jirga, a mixed electoral system is
used. The President appoints 1/3 of the members, and the gender quota
regulation stipulates that 50% of these should be women. As a consequence,
at least 17% percent of the seats of the Meshrano Jirga must be occupied by

As for women in Parliament in the French territories, they are leading the Asia
Pacific region. For example,
   •   New Caledonia: Legislature 44.4% female
   •   French Polynesia: 42.1%

And in Timor-Leste,
   •   Women activists put pressure on the constitutional drafting committee
       to guarantee women‟s political participation and they captured 29.2%
       of the vote.

Subject to the French Law on Parity 2000: All political parties must include
women as 50% of their candidates. Incentives were offered to nominate
female candidates such as more media time more media time. However, the
2nd largest party fielded no female candidates.

Timor – Leste has just passed an amendment to their Electoral Law,
which says that for every 3 candidates one should be a woman which could
result in approximately 40% women members in Parliament. The average
number and percentage of elected women through types of quota in Asia
Pacific region are as follows:-

      In the political party quota for electoral candidates, the percentage of
       women elected is 13.74 percent; the average number of women
       elected is 47; and the average number of seats in parliament is 342.

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       For the election law quota regulation, in national parliaments the
        percentage of women elected is 21.4 percent; the average number of
        women collected is 159; and the average number of seats in
        parliament is 743.

       As for the constitutional quota for national parliamnets, the percentage
        of women elected is 24.67 percent; average number of women elected
        is 94; and the average number of seats in parliament is 381.

These are data collected from IDEA-Global Database of Quotas for Women in

Quotas have had the biggest impact in the region in increasing the
number of women in Parliament. Almost twice as many women are
represented in electoral systems with gender quotas than in those where such
regulations do not exist.

Biggest percentages of women are elected through constitutional quota
regulations, then through legislated electoral quotas. Political party quota
regulations have been least associated with getting women into parliament.
Globally what are the quotas in practice? Out of the 187 countries which we
have data for, 85 countries use some form of a quota for women in
parliament. That is 45% of countries with special measures.

During 2009, elections were held in around 45 countries. Those countries
where quotas are used elected an average proportion of 27% women.
And for those with no quotas? The percentage nearly halved to 13.8%. So
there is a clear difference in the representation of women in countries with
and without quotas. This finding is supported by research we did on
parliamentary renewals or elections that took place in close on 50 countries in
2008. In those counties with gender quotas women took 24 percent of seats

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as opposed to 17 percent for countries without.

So what have we learned in the past 10 years? We found that;
   • 30 parliamentary chambers reach parity zone in women‟s
       representation (40 to 60%)
   • Knowledge on strategies to increase women‟s participation, including
       working with political parties
   • Investment by international community in supporting women
       candidates: capacity building/training workshops and support to CSOs
   • Despite this, obstacles persist. Women have still not reached global

Therefore in the Pacific in particular a large investment has been made in
candidate training with negligible results. So this means that quotas work!

So the question is what are the strategies that can be used to increase
women‟s participation? These are the strategies suggested to be adopted in
order to increase women‟s participation;

      Institutional mechanisms to free women from domestic labor, including
       child care facilities, pre-schools, affordable food facilities and adequate
       health services for family members.
      Improved policies for women to complete their education and to join
       the work force, as opportunities which serve to broaden their
       understanding of women‟s potential contribution to decision-making
       and governance.
      Gender sensitization of families, especially male members, to transform
       unequal gender relations to more equitable ones.
      Gender sensitization of families, the community and the public on
       gender identities and the disadvantaged position of gender minorities.

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      Institution of legal and policy reforms that recognize, respect and
       protect the rights of women and gender minorities, especially those
       that will prevent discrimination and violence against these persons.
      Respect for individual rights to freely associate with others, as a pre-
       condition for enabling women and minorities to join organizations that
       address their practical interests and concerns, and to allow them to
       mobilize around their strategic need for gender equality.
      Mobilization of gender-sensitive support from governance structures for
       gender-friendly processes and facilities that enable women to cope
       with their practical needs as women, such as avoiding late
       parliamentary sessions, and the provision of breastfeeding and child-
       care facilities while attending to their public duties.
      Gender-sensitization of men in parliament, the cabinet and other
       government institutions on the importance of a “gender and
       development” perspective in national life and in the realm of global
       politics, and which requires the full and equal participation of women
       and gender minorities in governance.
      Gender mainstreaming in policy and legislative structures, including the
       installation of a sex-disaggregated database, institution of gender-fair
       language in debates and proceedings, gender equity in legislative
       committee work, and the infusion of gender-responsive perspectives in
       the content of policies and legislations.
      Institution of voluntary party quotas and reserved seats for women in
       the legislature, to increase the chances of women to be included in
       party slates and in proportional representation seats.
      The establishment of women‟s parties that can serve as the “vanguard”
       for women and gender concerns.

Women should work with political parties to increase the number of
women candidate. For example, to increase the pool of potential
candidates; to place them in safe seats; to place them in winnable positions

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on party lists. Make them visible in the campaign (posters, TV, media);
and to promote women to attract voters.

We should also look at capacity building and skills enhancement of
women candidates. Information campaigns such as civic and voter
education Funding networks are also important.

There is a greater focus on the participation of women as voters in elections
and gender sensitive electoral administration. Under-documented and under-
reported – no baseline data such as voter turnout statistics, registration and
identification documents, polling procedures, intimidation and violence, voter

What is needed for us in order to take action? The current levels of
support for women‟s political participation are too little or non-
existent – piecemeal and unpredictable. They are often sub-components
of other broad projects of governance reform – or when they are stand alone
projects, they are small with precarious long term funding.

In order for us to take action we should look at the significant,
predictable, and sustained investments required over time. To add to
that, a holistic long term approach that can bring together advocacy
for quotas, policy reform and other measures to enable women‟s
participation; including capacity strengthening for candidates, MPs
and party professionals, electoral administrators and others; as well
as institutional and policy reforms (media law, electoral law,
constitutional, electoral process etc.

Also needed is the rapid Access to resources for women‟s groups when
opportunity presents (i.e. Post conflict, constitutional reform). When we talk
about women in management and ideas for diversity, most companies and

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public sector organizations have been successful at recruiting women and
achieving broad gender parity. However this parity has largely been achieved
within the lower-to mid-levels of an organization and the opportunities for
women to advance into leadership positions remain limited. Women are
under-represented in leadership positions, especially at the senior
management and executive levels. Globally very few women lead large
companies or corporations, including multi-national and transnational
corporations and banks. In Japan, for example, women comprise less than
1% of the average board.

Scandinavia, on the other hand, has the highest average representation by far
as a region, with women representing 12.1% of the average board in
Denmark, 21% in Finland, 35.9% in Norway and 23% in Sweden. In 2010
women in the United State made up over 50% of the total workforce and only
constituted 7.6% of the most highly paid executives of the Fortune 500
companies. Only 2.4% of these companies CEOs were women and only
15.7% of the seats of boards of directors were held by women. In the
European Union, women make up on average 1.8% of CEO‟s of the Financial
Times Europe 500 companies and hold 9.7% of board seats. There are
significant regional differences with poor performance in the Asia-Pacific
region (although Malaysia and Philippines compare favorably).

A recent study conducted by McKinsey revealed that barriers facing women in
securing leadership positions are due to:-
      Exclusion from the informal networks
      Limited networking opportunities
      Lack of role models
      Not having a sponsor in upper management to create opportunities
      Entrenched beliefs: perception that women cannot perform role
       adequately alongside family obligations
      Work-life balance policies are introduced but not implemented

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      Limited monitoring and a lack of accountability with regard to gender

There are measures undertaken over the past 5 years to recruit, retain,
promote, and develop women in the world. Many organizations have
introduced measures to recruit, retain, promote and improve the number of
women in leadership positions such as:
      Parental leave
      Flexible work arrangements: schedule own working hours
      Introducing diversity and harassment advisors
      Flexible work practices: Telecommuting, part-time work policies, job
       sharing, job splitting
      Family emergency leave
      Flexible leave policies
      Parenting rooms for nursing mothers

It is essential that additional measures are introduced at critical points in
women‟s careers. The measures are: to focus on the middle management
levels to increase the number of women who advance through to top
management: to have an affirmative action programs for women in order to
attract, retain and promote women at all levels: to promote leadership and
development training for women: to provide mentoring opportunities for
women: to set specific recruitment targets for women including corporate
benchmarks: and to encourage governments to implement specific legislation
that apply to private sector workplaces, as in the case of Finland, Norway,

There is a specific obligation on private sector employers to draw up gender
equality plans in Sweden and Finland. In Finland, the Act on Equality between
Women and Men, as amended in 1995, introduced an obligation on all
employers (private or public sector) which regularly employ at least 30

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workers to include measures to further equality between women and men at
the workplace in their annual personnel and training plan or action
programme for 'labour protection', and draw up an equality plan at workplace

Whereas in Sweden, the Equal Opportunities Act (Jämställdhetslagen
1991:433): All employers (private or public sector) with 10 or more
employees must draw up an annual equal opportunities plan, which must
contain at least three elements: (1) a list of the active equality-promotion
measures which are necessary in order to comply with the Act, identifying
those which are to be initiated during the coming year; (2) a survey of
existing differences in pay between women and men, indicating the measures
to be taken on the basis of its findings; and (3) a follow-up assessment of the
success achieved in implementing the measures listed in both these areas in
the preceding year's plan.

Today, Norway is leading the way. In 2003, Norway made amendments to
the Public Limited Companies Act provided for a requirement for certain
minimum numbers of directors from each gender. This has led to a dramatic
increase in the number of women on boards of Norwegian companies.
Depending on the number of board members, a company may be required to
have somewhere between 33% and 50% of the board from each gender.

I have a corporate case study shown here in my slide on Wrigley‟s Australia.
The Gender Split - 37% women, 63% men. At the Senior Executive Level,
50% of employees are women; at the Senior Manager Level, 25% of
employees are women; and at the Professional Level, 40% of employees are

However, there are issues that Wrigley‟s Australia needs to address, such as:
full time jobs were required to be performed on full time basis, leading to loss

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of many skilled workers, particularly women who went on maternity leave and
did not return; and women are unaware of job vacancies and possible
opportunities for promotion.

The measures of initiatives that were taken by Wrigley‟s were:
      Undertook job analyses across key areas that showed that many of the
       job role structures did not need to be performed on full time basis.
       Lead to division of roles
      Suite of flexible working policies developed, including: working from
       home, revision of core hours allowing for greater flexibility in structure
       of working day
      Vacancies advertised internally to all staff
      Career development plans introduced for all staff

And then, as a result:
      The rate of women returning to work from a period of maternity leave
       increased by approximately 15%
      Increase in the number of women working with the organization, as
       well as an increase in the overall retention rate from 73% to 81%.

I have another case study here on Telstra whose Gender Split is 31% women,
and 69% men. At the Executive Management, 31% of employees are women;
at the Corporate, 35 % of employees are women; and at the Operation level,
30.2% of employees are women.

What are the issues in Telstra? It was found that:
      Women‟s representation had been poor, around 31%
      The proportion of senior women in 1992 was approximately 5%
      The workforce was highly gender-segmented, with virtually no female
       engineers or technicians

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The measures of initiatives that were taken by Telstra were:
      Affirmative action policies such as a year long CEO Leaders Program
       and a Leadership Continuity Program
      Created Women‟s networks
      Mentoring Program - approximately 2,000 women have taken part
       delivered via DVD and CD
      Telstra Business Women of the Year Award
      Leave and Family Care Days created
      Work and family policies introduced

And then, as a result:
      Promotions for women increased from 29% in 2006 to 41% in 2009
      During the same period, representation of women on the CEO
       Leadership Team increased from 6% to 31%
      The number of women corporate officers increased from 31% to 35%

Discussions among the Members of the High Level Meeting:
Tan Sri Datuk Dr Rafiah:
One of the problems in Malaysia is that all the political parties have inherited
a structure that led women in one wing and men in the central main body and
this main body really makes all the decision.

YB Nancy Haji Shukri (Member of Parliament):
In politics I think there is a lot to do for women in the areas of training. One
factor that contribute to the politics arena are those at the grassroot level;
majority are not literate; hence they have the time for politics, but they only
follow and they do not lead, they are not leaders. So, I am suggesting to
bring this up to the Ministry a TTT – a Training The Trainer Programme at
University level and go down to the ground to train people about legalities
and political rights that will lead to economics and other aspects. This also

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can help other level support whoever have the money and those can talk to
train women to be abreast with issues. We have a long way to go, and in
Sarawak no woman can speak for UMNO, but I can speak for Sarawak. The
men are very experienced, men has got more money to gather people to win
their votes.

Emeritus Prof. Datuk Dr Osman Bakar:
Of course women politicians are very necessary in democracy group interest.
We see a progressive trend of women participation in Parliament now.

YB Dr. Robia Kosai (Johore State Exco):
There are 1.35 million women members in UMNO now at National level, but
we only elect 25; and out of that 25 women who were elected only Dato‟ Seri
Shahrizat appointed to be in. So, we can see women fail in these areas
because we don‟t have the funding in order to become elected. The Municipal
Councils, only 3 women in the 11-member Committee and these 3 women are
not elected, but they are appointed by the Party. So, women can only be put
in the mainstream by appointment and not through election. I think No 1 is
the funding issue; and No 2 is that women are not good at lobbying things
and the men are able to control everything.

Tan Sri Datuk Rafiah:
Even in the Corporate world, networking means getting deals but women
when they network they don‟t get deals, by nature women don‟t make deals.
So, we have this Quota issue.

Prof. Dr Mohammad Hashim Kamali (CEO, IAIS):
Yes, when we talk about Quotas, for example Afghanistan, of all the
countries, Afghan culture is unfriendly towards gender, women
parliamentarian compared to 1969, after the 30 years of war, out of 249 seats
only 5 are women, but now they have 68 women, obviously as a result of

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Quotas. But in education, they are bad and women leadership, practically nil.
If there are positive measures, then women participation will increase – I will
propose for Quota.

Emeritus Prof Datuk Dr Osman Bakar:
It is certainly an important role to take in order to have a political reform. So
what‟s the place for Malaysia? Have we exhausted?

Tan Sri Datuk Rafiah:
For Malaysia, because of our existing structure most of our political parties
should voice the demands for Quota and we should start talking, start
advocating as up till today nobody has asked for Quota.

Emeritus Prof. Datuk Osman Bakar:
Have we across all Parties discussed these opportunities for women?

YB Nancy Haji Shukri (Member of Parliament):
Yes it has been discussed on paper only. Even during party convention, we
put up proposal to amend Constitution to have more representatives from
women; also to raise the 30 percent participation in decision making; we have
also voiced out that quota should be initiated at the top level; we also wrote
to Ministry to bring this matter up to the Prime Minister on women‟s
participation. Women should be taken seriously, unfortunately our male
counterpart do not take us seriously. 13 percent have voiced out but we
cannot depend on Ministry alone. In IT, we must have serious participation of
women; we don‟t want women to make up the numbers only; we want
serious commitment from all quarters to take women seriously and ensure
actions are taken up by top leadership (Prime Minister); it‟s good to note that
we are in the process but this will take time.

YB Dr. Robia Kosai (Johore State Exco):

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                             National Policy on Women”
We try to put 30 percent women candidates but depend on how well they do
during the Election.

Tan Sri Datuk Rafiah:
Maybe we identify seats to be allocated for women, if that Party cannot come
up with the women candidates, too bad.

YB Dr. Robia Kosai (Johore State Exco):
We cannot put the women candidates although certain ADUN‟s seats are for
Datin Teh Ija Mohd. Jalil (Securities Commissions)
As for the quota, we are not sure where this 30 percent comes from. We are
quite comfortable with 30 percent. We should figure out how to achieve that
30 percent. Election missionaries best practices from other jurisdictions that
will not give problems to ruling power now. We want to achieve 30 percent in
political seats but other areas are not appropriate.

Tan Sri Datuk Rafiah:
As a country, we are bonded by that 30 percent. First, we try to achieve 10
percent and then gradually achieve the 30 percent. Kim, how‟s the case in

Ms Kim Luisa Henderson, Gender Practice Leader, UNDP Asia Pacific
Regional Centre:
Quota was brought in the first place by UN and the Americans put pressure
but not the people of Afghanistan themselves. After that, voice on quota says
it‟s against Islam; why we force if they don‟t qualify for candidacy? Another
point is that maybe to look into Malaysia: (i) we say that, middle level number
up to CEO is low, however we have wider participation in the corporate sector
so we should focus in how to promote this to the top; easier approach rather
than from the grass root level; (ii) education- this is generic kind of scenario

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we can identify and inculcate that approach.

Nora Abdul Manaf, Senior Executive Vice President, Maybank:
I agree with this holistic approach. However, when we create quota, we don‟t
have good quality women; compliment that with other factors how are we
going to achieve that 30 percent. We have to set milestone targets execution.

Tan Sri Datuk Rafiah:
The problem with the whole political party, they are not talking about this
corporate leadership. Which Ministry have been working with the Regulators.
We should start by saying at least some form of quota. Of course we have to
get our women prepared.

YB Nancy Haji Shukri (Member of Parliament):
Not only referring to politics but we are consider promotions to improve
positions. I give you an example of two candidates, one male and one female.
This female has been acting senior for more than 6 months than the male. In
terms of performance, the female has done so much of this work. The female
is more qualified than the male but when it comes to promotion, the male
gets the promotion. So the issue here is that women don‟t support women.
We want men to complement and support women so that‟s why we need
women to support women not just in politics but in corporate sector as well.

Emeritus Prof. Datuk Osman Bakar:
The success of education is going to spread but slow. The question is how to
benefit from this success? For example, in the universities in terms of
percentage of women, they are more than men but still at the top it is not
happening. From the ground it‟s too obvious to ignore the bigger number of
women in universities.

Tan Sri Datuk Rafiah:

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                             National Policy on Women”
We may want to identify, however these are some of the things that the
Ministry is not playing their roles with regards to gender.

Datin Teh Ija Mohd. Jalil (Securities Commissions)
Quota is the end game but more importantly is how to get there. Corporate
sector they have a disclosure to government on their benchmark. Not just on
gender but also race; to get the companies to disclose how they govern their
companies- name and shape and what they do for the environment for
example like Khazanah, Bursa, and KLSE to play their part.

Tan Sri Datuk Rafiah:
Agree. This quota does not apply to all. We‟re leaving the implementation
totally to the Regulators. In 2015, we will review the legislature but let‟s try to
achieve 10 percent first and we go via persuasion. As for politics, it‟s a long
way to go; let‟s just advocate first, say 30 percent quota.

Prof. Dr Mohammad Hashim Kamali (CEO, IAIS):
Lets get the GLC‟ s quota of 30 percent as well.

Tan Sri Datuk Rafiah:
For companies, yes 30 percent we are going for that. Lets go by way of
persuasion; first BNM; and then get the Regulators; and then the Ministry to
go up to Cabinet to get that and 3 years down the road we will revisit to see
how successful they are and if not we legislate and regulate.

Nora Abdul Manaf, Senior Executive Vice President, Maybank:
History of persuasion has been there a long time; persuasion technique
doesn‟t work.

Tan Sri Datuk Rafiah:
Some has worked. For examples we have more dentists and lawyers now.

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                             National Policy on Women”
GLC is governed by PCB and the top 20 are audited. We have the
commitment now for Regulators as we now have the Regulators on board and
I‟m pretty comfortable with it. One of the areas that upset me is the Islamic
administration. They should at least articulate this. So shall we say; (i) politics
we are going to articulate for 30 percent; issue (ii) Islamic administration.
JAWI and JAKIM are all controlled by men.

Prof. Dr Mohammad Hashim Kamali (CEO, IAIS):
In Mushtahid theory there is no bias of gender. One Qur‟an commentator and
author of Tafsiran, he said the ruling that put in place that men must be
judged is made by Head of State. Men and women are equally qualified to be
judged or mufti.

Tan Sri Datuk Rafiah:
We should propose this.

Nora Abdul Manaf, Senior Executive Vice President, Maybank:
Mufti‟s job is working closely with the Sultans to advice on religious matters
and because of more on the cultural issues, our Sultans are not comfortable
to work with women muftis; also it reduces the chances of men being muftis.

Prof. Dr Mohammad Hashim Kamali (CEO, IAIS):
If you can persuade the Sultans to appoint women muftis then it would be
very good for the women.

Tan Sri Datuk Rafiah:
Then we should propose this: (i) politics, (ii) corporate sector, (iii) leadership-
Islam administration and (iv) judicial and legislative.

Datin Teh Ija Mohd. Jalil (Securities Commissions)
Women are shy in terms of coaching and mentoring; if we can make women

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                             National Policy on Women”
to be successful like for example Datuk Maznah, Tan Sri Zetti, and Tan Sri
Zarinah; we should suggest to get successful women to become Mentors and
have a Mentor-Mentee Program then we track them, for example we set 30
women as Mentors and they coach Mentees.

Suzana Akmam Amir (Secretariat of Women Parliamentarian
The reason why we achieved the 30% is because we have more than 10
KSUs whose achievements are through merits as JPA does not look at gender.
For Election for example, first we must have proper candidates across the
board; we have potential candidates but they have “terms” (tempoh), and the
professionals who want to join in must have a very strong merit in order to
survive. Judges, we have long achieved that. Shariah – now we are going for
more Syariah women judges. Actually it‟s more of culture. And the success of
women in civil service we want to bring it to the private sector.

Tan Sri Datuk Rafiah:
There is also a great failure in „gender focal point‟, now the Deputy PM
himself signs the letter of appointment to them in December with KSN
onboard. We should study the reasons why it failed. Now we are designing
syllabus for this.

Emeritus Prof. Datuk Osman Bakar:
When we talk about cultural dimension and factors, it‟s a long-term goal.
There has been some progress recorded from top-down as seen from Kim‟s
power point presentation. To what extent is the role of civil society in bringing
about the success? It is quota of mindset, not just legislative, even if provide
quota there must be changes on ground.

Ms Kim Luisa Henderson, Gender Practice Leader, UNDP Asia Pacific
Regional Centre:

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                             National Policy on Women”
We need to raise this issue of quota.

Emeritus Prof. Datuk Osman Bakar:
Yes, it is better to have quota than not to have.

Datin Teh Ija Mohd. Jalil (Securities Commissions)
We want to know what women want; some women want to become
competent parent. But we should have in Malaysia other opportunities for
women who want to get there. And the infrastructure is already there.

Prof. Dr Mohammad Hashim Kamali (CEO, IAIS):
Yes, we can provide them with the opportunities, however we cannot force
them. In Afghanistan for example, women MPs are brought to Parliament and
some are just there for a short time, mostly are school teachers who are
brought to Parliament and some cannot perform.

Tan Sri Datuk Rafiah:
If we look at Malaysian history, the MPs in the old days were all teachers and
they did wonderful, at least they worked and they were not corrupted.

Ms Kim Luisa Henderson, Gender Practice Leader, UNDP Asia Pacific
Regional Centre:
There is no one size fits all; there is no one Rule. As in the case of Japan and
Malaysia, there is equality of opportunities, and equality of choices. US isn‟t a
model but it is an indicator that if women participation increases, it will
increase your GDP.

Emeritus Prof. Datuk Osman Bakar:
We have concluded on this Leadership issue: (i) Politics; (ii) Corporate Sector;
(iii) Religious Leadership. So, we have also identified the areas where
progress has been made and the areas where not much has been achieved.

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Hence, we are suggesting to have a quota of 30% on politics and leadership,
but before that the women should have competencies and abilities. Our
Senate has nearly 30% women but that‟s because they‟re appointed and not
elected. And every Municipal Council as well as State Municipal must have 3
women as a Committee Members; one for each Race.

The Chairman adjourned the High Level Meeting at 1.20pm.

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                             National Policy on Women”
                      Group 2 Dialogue Session on
                   “Ending Violence Against Women

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor, Consultant

Moderator :
Madam Amarsanaa Darisuren, Human Rights Specialist, UN Women
East and Southeast Regional Office

Resource Person:
Ms Zuraidah Amiruddin, Ministry of Women, Family and Community
Development (Policy)

Madam Amarsanaa Darisuren:
I just would like to say hello, good morning to everyone, and I would like to
introduce myself. I came from Bangkok, and I am based in UN Women
Bangkok office. My name is Amarsanaa Darisuren, and I am Human Rights
Specialist for East and Southeast Asian program; based in Bangkok.
Unfortunately, you heard this morning, UN Women is not in Malaysia, so we
are not programming in Malaysia specifically, although we are involved with
many NGOs, and through some government agencies here in Malaysia.
So I think we need to elect someone to chairperson and rapporteur? And for
me, I will give you a very brief input from regional and maybe some global
perspective; but because we have little time, we need to be really – I will be
very brief. So that is my idea, and maybe you suggest how to since you know
each other? And how is better to run, elect a chairperson? Moderate,
facilitate, chair and the rapporteur.

Dr Noraida Endut:

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Can I suggest Dr Anjil Doshi as the Pengerusi?
A member said:
I would suggest anyone from the Ministry to do it, more practical.

Majority said:
Tengku? Ok Tengku. As Chair.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
What is my role then?

Madam Amarsanaa Darisuren:
If you could come up with the recommendation?

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Right. Should we start immediately? Or is Ms. Amarsanaa going to present

Madam Amarsanaa Darisuren:
I am prepared, but, as I said, I was asked to present on regional and global

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:

Madam Amarsanaa Darisuren:
So maybe, because of time limitation, very briefly, I could show you

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Right. If , allow me since, ada whiteboard marker tak? Can I have whiteboard
marker? Blue or black please somebody?

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Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Oh ya. I think before we proceed, let‟s, we have until one o‟clock. Its 11:30.
11:30 to – you need about 15 minutes Ms. Amarsanaa? 10 minutes. 11:40.
Then from 11:40, we will be discussing about the, I think we should come up
with at least three areas of, three proposal, working proposal, and maybe we
can discuss a bit on, sorry to say, I was not really aware of what was the
report all about, when Dato‟ Sri Minister was talking about, Mr. Kamal‟s
report, you know, which gave a big shock on PKN, can somebody highlight to
me? I do not have that. I am not aware of that. Because I think of what Dato‟
Rafiah was saying, we need to know a bit, and from there we kick off to come
up with three of four working proposals. Then the rapporteur will be doing
the work with the people from the Ministry to come up with statements ya?
So maybe without further ado, maybe 11:40 we will start until say around
12:30 – our discussion? Three working proposals? Or more. Three or more.
Ya? Then 12:30 to 1:00 we conclude. Can we agree on this? Ya? We give Ms.
Amarsanaa about 10 – 15 minutes? Then we start.

Madam Zuraidah Amiruddin:
I need about 10 minutes for my presentation.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Alright. Say around 11:45 to 11:50 – the two of you. Maybe we can start with
Ms. Amarsanaa?

Madam Amarsanaa Darisuren:
Thank you so much. Basically, I just want to give you a prevalence of global
trends, and what are the latest trends in the legal and policy frameworks, and
how we should look at existing legislations, and also the major challenges,
response as we see from global point of view. Well basically, violence against
women is widespread everywhere, and all in various forms, and most
common is physical violence, I don‟t know exactly what research is being

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done in Malaysia - violence against women, frankly, I look at the, a lot of
research I did, you know, web search, and ah, there are many data available
at the UN, database and various international agencies – pull together these
information. However, there is no information about Malaysia in the global
database. Maybe there is some lack of data on this. And then, review at the
global level, the women at age 15- 45 are more at risk of rape and domestic
violence than from cancer, motor accidents, war, and malaria (according to
World Bank). And then, in cases of homicide, 50% of women; are killed by
their current or former husbands, or by their partners. So statistic is different
from country to country. In some countries is 40%, in some countries is up to
70%. But I think there is also, shows some trends, and also, it might be also,
depends on how data is gathered. In some countries don‟t report, or don‟t do
analysis. So that‟s why we have the variation of – various statistics. And then
there is – one out of five women in their lifetime experience rape. And of
course, violence against women (VAW) during or after conflict, even crisis
situations, natural or manmade disasters. So, and of course we have,
evolution on how international communities responded on violence against
women, starting from the early 20th century, and now it has been a lot of,
more response, gradually, and in recently, we already heard this morning,
ICPD, and UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, there have
been declarations, international documents, such as cedo, etc. And then,
Beijing Platform for Action. So I‟ve provided here some chronological major
events, so I wanted to draw your attention that regionally that there is also
growing commitment to address violence against women, for instance,
American Conventional (Willem Depar) is a legally binding instrument which
sets the norms and standards for Americas. And also, Africa has the protocol
to the African Charter, on the rights of women in Africa with addresses
specifically the cultural form; which are unique to this, and I think it shows a
good commitment to regional organizations. And saying specifically because
Malaysia is part of Asian and Asian is going to draft the Asian human rights
accreditation, Asian with its own regional rights for women. So there is also a

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lot of things happening here, in this part of the world, where the traditions
and cultures, and also the social practices, also show to us that violence is
quite much in our region. So in the recent years, there has been a global
unite complaint by the secretary general, I don‟t know whether its wrote out
in your country, but in the Asia Pacific; we have this big campaign which
looks at the sentiment and legal frameworks, but also into the primary
prevention, complaints, public education, and looking at various sectors of not
private companies, media, children – in the education sector, and also talking
about the commitments of the government and highest levels. So maybe it‟s
also for you to consider to be part of this global campaign. And then, again
going back to region, the latest achievement was the Council of Europe, came
out with a conventional preventive and combating violence against women
and domestic violence; which is also legally binding. So it is already growing
tendency in the regional mechanism to address violence closely to them
rather than going to very far to the international level. So I would also like to
use this moment to look at the how, what are the legal frameworks, contain,
because it‟s quite good framework, of approaching the issues of awareness of
violence against women. And then you may be also saying Europe is very
advance in terms of gender equality, so why they are just now coming up
with this? But you know there is also reasons for that, because, really,
violence against women very much hidden and unreported in many cases.
Especially various forms like sexual harassment, spoken about widely
domestic violence, in many countries there is - even I think I saw in Malaysia
before, from Women‟s Aid Organization saying that only 10% of rape cases
have been reported to police, because it‟s really a cultural and social norm
that it is not good to talk about these kinds of violations.

Ok, so just to say, at another level, as a struggle - violence against women is
persistent gender inequality. You can‟t look at violence against women
separately from economic disempowerment, political disempowerment; it
must be taken holistically. The culture of impunity continues. It‟s

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everywhere. The benchmark is not there. Judiciaries are not responding as
adequately as it‟s supposed: formal or informal justice systems. There have
been a lot of improvements and successes; however it‟s still a problem. So we
see it as the number one problem. And then of course the lack of funding and
budget inadequate human in technical and financial investments to
address this problem. And also weak coordination and monitoring
mechanisms. We talk about the, it‟s mainly the issues of violence against
women given to the ministries of women or national monasteries which have
placed not in strong position in the higher hierarchy. So and then the need to
coordinate the other branches of the government – it‟s not in the strong
position to strongly enforce the existing laws and policies. Then, we see the
insufficient data and research, the evidence base is not here. I already
mentioned that I couldn‟t find any data from Malaysia for instance. And,
limited attention to neglected groups, we talk about rural, indigenous, or
ethnic minority, or women with HIV status, and some other groups who are
not in the mainstream – privileged groups. So these people are receiving
really not so much of services, not so much of protection, so its ah, our focus
should be on these issues mainly. And then, we talk about the evaluations
that there is lack of evaluations and collection evidence; to guide the
program. So basically what we are doing, we are doing it blindly, in most
countries, which is based on our perceptions, and if there a good champion –
they would push for them, but really, to look into the details „who‟ and „what‟
and „what‟ are the appropriate ways. So programming is still very weak. So
we don‟t go into the core of the problem. Limited scope and coverage of
services and interventions: so basically it‟s a sometimes the services
available would only be in the capital cities, main cities, main privileged
centres, doesn‟t really go to those people who are mostly in need and who
are at most disadvantage. And low demand for services, so most women
don‟t know that services are available, or they don‟t have means to go, to
travel to get to those services. And then, fragmentation of efforts to
prevent and respond to violence: each of our agency is working

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separately, and there is no holistic approach to the problem, and again about
the weak coordination and weak mechanism. So these are the Main
Challenges that I got from the UN - study by Secretary General, and its

So now I just wanted to quickly give you about the challenges we have in
Asian countries. So we say that in this region Malaysia is the forefront – it was
one of the pioneers to adopt the law against domestic violence, and, but,
there is a lot of varieties among and within the country as you know in terms
of economic, social, and cultural development, but also in terms of
enforcement and legislating to combat violence against women. The root
causes is everywhere; they are not the same, but basically to say they are
deeply entrenched in our social norms, in traditions, in customary laws and
practices, but also in some formal laws are also not addressing; the legislation
still have discriminatory things and loopholes. So this needs to take hand in
different approach – we say in ASEAN. Problems such as forced marriages,
child marriage – which seen as a formal violence against women. In some
countries there is some preference; sex-selective abortions, trafficking, and
impunities everywhere. So the issue of marital rape is prevalent in Southeast
Asia. But its rarely talk about. Although in some countries like Thailand; they
did some amendments to the penal court, „marital rape is a crime‟.

So I wanted to also bring to your attention in our region there is an increasing
HIV amongst the women who before perceived as a low risk women. These
are married women, and women in long term relationships. And these
nowadays we did a rapid assessment with UN aid together, and the report
shows that there has been an increasing infection of HIV among the women
and you see in your country there has been an increase of 6% ya?
[GRAPH]. Just between four years. And research shows that mainly these
cases are coming from intimate partner violence. And these are partners,
husbands - who are infected in their own risky behaviors. So this is something

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which we need to know, and there is a linkage between domestic violence
and marital rape, and how married women are getting infections from
through their husbands. So maybe this needs to be put more attention to this
problem, and to do more research, and linkages, cross-linkages between how
the roots of the infections.

And then, sometimes, we also high maternal mortality in the region, and
in Malaysia also, in some regions, in some states, in some is higher, and we
also link this with violence against women. Many communities especially in
the rural and in indigenous communities, women are not empowered to even
to say that she wants to go to the clinic, and often many don‟t have money to
go to the hospital. Then I already mentioned this.

Ok for „Legislation on Violence Against Women‟……

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
What was the fifth one excuse me? (Referring to the „Challenge 5:
Excluded Groups of Women‟)

Madam Amarsanaa Darisuren:
Oh this one is the excluded groups of women; I mentioned earlier. There is
lack of data. (This info is taken out). So, there is lack of data on those.
Sometimes we don‟t even have sex-disaggregated data in general, we‟re
looking at by groups, ethnic minorities or indigenous women.

Ok, and then, ok, this is Legislation on Violence Against Women.
Actually UN has a model for legislation. So basically, a lot of trend is now, is
90 states, member-states, some sort of legislation on domestic violence.
Maybe in different forms, but of course, each country deals with their -
according to their legal frameworks in different ways. And we notice about
104 countries have provisions on marital rape, and 90 on sexual harassment.

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                             National Policy on Women”
In ASEAN there are six countries with specific laws on Violence Against
Women and Domestic Violence. Whereas others address in penal code, or
family code, etc. So but the trend now is to adopt a comprehensive laws,
which address this issues not only on violence as a punitive or criminal law
perspective, but also addressing the other ways is why women are
violated. Why it‟s continuing despite all this advancements in gender
equality. So one example is Spain and Venezuela they put together all the
criminal administrative civil court, and they pay attention to preventive
measures, kind of prevention, protection, and the limitation. So at the same
time, many countries moving ahead with those comprehensive laws, but there
are also specific laws which are aimed to their specific city of countries,
depended on the need, so for instance there are laws to assist victims, and
there are also amendments of penal codes in last ten years, tremendous
changes in the legal systems – legal frameworks in those countries. And there
are many laws now in sexual harassment, in work place, working
corporations and with those legal agencies, in education institutes, and they
also would like to look at stalking, which is often overlooked, and also
violence against women is also included into the generic gender equality laws,
or prohibitions of discriminations, violence, etc.
Ok, I don‟t have time huh?

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
You can proceed.

Madam Amarsanaa Darisuren:
And also there are, well here I present what resources of regional and
international law standards, of which there are all available. So I will not talk
about this.
Virtual Knowledge Centre: End Violence Against Women

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                             National Policy on Women”
Well basically, the model legislation on violence against women I mentioned
before, you can find the information on the handbook on legislating on
violence against women which was produced by the UN (Handbook for
Legislation on Violence Against Women, UN, DAW/ DESA, 2010) –
which looked at the overall, what are the human rights based approaches.
The emphasis was given to the implementation and monitoring that
implementation. It was also important to give proper definition which are
based on human rights, and also include the proper measures for prevention,
protection support, and assistants to complainants, the rights for group are
often not look at: rights of women and women of asylum seekers, refugees,
and I think it might be also in support in your country since being in recent
developments – sign with other countries. So this group is going to be
overlook; if you‟re going to address comprehensive issues of violence against
women. So of course the legislation should look into the investigations, legal
procedures and evidence, protection orders, sentences, civil lawsuits, and
other laws, like family law, and asylum law – which should also harmonize
with the main law.

Ok, this are, I just talk about, content of the laws. So what is the
recommendation of various experts on violence against women, is a strong
push for addressing the specific needs of women to all women (like I said,
excluding groups). With other court finding and universal access, so it‟s a
latest development I think, and in many countries have already implementing
the services to women in violence, we are now trying to look at how the
excluding groups, where are they accessing it, are they reachable to those
women. So it‟s important to now to devote the standards – minimum
standards for universal access especially in emergency services. And so,
second is thing is we need to do again, to visit the law and to see whether
the law is working, and whether there is a need to amend those laws, to
remove discriminatory, or remove – amend the laws so they would be better
addressing the problem. So that request is systematic monitoring of

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implementation of the law, so basically improve the data – the research,
evidence collection from each agency which is involve in the implementation
of the laws. And by doing this, you are better accountability to the
governments, duty to fairness.

Ok, so one of the, I wanted to highlight to you is basically attention to crime
and prevention. And we talked about the change of attitude, of various areas
both men and women. And of course your Minister talked about engaging
men and boys in this campaign – changing the attitude of the young age. And
then the comprehensive support service to survivors, minimum services I
mentioned, and crime prevention is very important; since Malaysia has
already going through some sort of gender budgeting, I think it‟s important to
bring it into this area. Monitoring, implementation as a whole government
approach - each agency has to work in a coordinated manner.

Ok, and, I think is all I wanted to say about global and regional perspective
and you can access for more information and read the guidelines on this
website where there are different countries put their national action plans and
awareness against women with practices, and a lot of information is there. So
for me it‟s not possible to talk about the whole issues and the global practices
during this short meeting, so I just encourage you to see the specifics of your
own interest – your agency. [END]
Virtual Knowledge Centre: End Violence Against Women

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Right. Thank you Ms. Amarsanaa. I think we proceed with Puan Zuraida.
Before we proceed, can I have the password, anybody with password, of the
hotel‟s, takde, you don‟t have, ok sorry.

Madam Zuraidah Amiruddin:

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What I‟m going to do is, you look at the legislations that we have, in
addressing violence against women, what programs, and challenges in
elimination violence against women. So with regards to this, we have
Penal Code: which is, this Penal Code was amended in July 2006 to provide
greater deterrence for sexual related offences. And the amendments took into
consideration a wider definition of the term „rape‟ and provision of stiffer
penalties. And the amendment also introduced a new category of offence for
rape in Section 375, whereby a person who uses his position of authority to
have sex with a woman can be liable to rape. These are all the initiatives to
provide more protection to women. With regards to Domestic Violence: the
Domestic Violence Act was in acted in 1994 and came into force in 1996, and
currently this act is under review, and some of the proposed amendments
include the expansion of the definition of Domestic Violence; to include the
psychological, emotional categories. And also to extend the duration of
interim protection order, from, now they provide the interim protection order
to the victims, until the completion of the investigation. Now it has extended
until the case is brought to court.

              Domestic Violence Act 1994
            The proposed amendments include:
                  - Expansion of the definition of domestic violence,
                  - Extension of the duration of interim protection order from
                  the time the investigations are completed until the time the
                  case is brought to court.

And also, the amendments seek to provide prohibition - to prohibit and
restrain the perpetrator from entering certain premises; where the victim is
sheltered. And also this prohibition was proposed to allow the victim the right
to compensation. In addressing sexual harassment: the Ministry of Human
Resources, in 1999, introduced a code of practice to prevent sexual
harassment in the workplace. And as of April – this is not mandatory; as of

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April 2011, 1,766 companies have adopted the guideline to handle sexual
harassment in work place. In the public sector, in 2005, the government has
established a guideline on handling sexual harassment at the workplace in the
public sector (to eradicate sexual harassment among the worker in public
sector). This is also to address the issue of sexual harassment in the public

With regards to Trafficking in Persons: Anti Trafficking in Persons Act was
in acted in 2007, and amended in 2010, and now the act was been renamed
to: Anti-Trafficking In Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act.
Under this act, the victims, or the traffic persons, off ways at the shelter,
under the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development – this is
for women and children. And counselling services provided to victims. And
also various activities carried out with the cooperation of NGOs. And to date,
we have four (4) shelters: three (3) are for women and children under the
Ministry of Women, and one (1) under the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
This Act is under which Ministry?

Madam Zuraidah Amiruddin:
Home Affairs.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Bukan kita? Never? Since the Internal Affairs?

Madam Zuraidah Amiruddin:
Last time yes, Ministry of Internal Security. And when they merged; Ministry
of Home Affairs.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:

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So if the woman is being smuggled, so only the Women Ministry will come in?
When the victims are women? Ke macam mana?

Madam Zuraidah Amiruddin:
Kalau the victims are women or children, they will be put under here.

Mr. Khairul Azreem Mamat - Ministry‟s Legal Advisor:
The protection is under our Ministry. But the enforcement is under the
Criminal Act.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Dia tu Majlis kan?

Mr. Khairul Azreem Mamat

Madam Zuraidah Amiruddin:
There are four (4), in fact five (5) enforcement agencies: which is this,
immigration, custom, maritime, and now recently the human resource. So
apart from this, we do implement programs: under the department of
women development, so this is the example of the campaign:

    “Say NO – Unite to End Violence Against Women” Campaign
   •   Launched on 27 November 2010 in conjunction with the International
       Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

And last year, the Department of Women Development also established The
Youth Orbit Club or YO-Club:
    The Youth Orbit Club – Circle of Influence

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   •   Established with the purpose to mobilise youth activists to fight against
       VAW through peer support group. Support from the young people to
       fight violence against women.

And also, program:
           Selamatkan Diri Anda (Save Yourself). Self Defense for
              women. And counselling services also provided to victims of
              violence. Before I go to the some of the challenges, I would like
              to highlight also, under the PDRM, under the police, a Special
              Unit, (Unit Sexual). Apart from that, one stop crisis centre
              also was established, and now all the hospitals also we have
              centres for emergency. These are some of the challenges as
              mentioned by Ms. Amarsanaa. Most of the women, this is in
              relation to the under the reported cases, because, sometimes,
              when they go to the – the enforcement officer would – but we
              were informed by the AGP last time, in fact the Domestic
              Violence Act is already integrated into the Police personnel. And
              also, as mentioned by Ms. Amarsanaa, economic empowerment
              is important too – to be addressed, because some of the
              women; they are very dependent to their spouses, so it‟s very
              difficult for them to go to the police and make the report. And
              also of course the involvement and participation of men in
              violence against women.

           Social stigma/myths discourage women to report cases to the
           Domestic violence is regarded as family affairs
             Economic empowerment of women
           Lack of involvement of men in anti-violence against women

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I think that‟s about all Mr. Chairman.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Ok. Thank you very much Ms. Zuraidah. Allow me members of the forum; I
think we need to decide on which angle, which area we would want to focus
on. Actually looking at both presenters‟ presentation; we can come out with
some points actually; to be focused on ending violence against women in our
context. I can see, this is my perception, that there are about three or four
areas that we need to focus on. I do not know because I – should we look
into the legal frameworks or the regulatory prospects?

Mr. Khairul Azreem Mamat:
Mr. Chairman, about the legislation part, we have done everything on the
mandatory on domestic violence, now the question is not about the legislation
side, it‟s about ending violence, because there is this issue; when violence
happens, how to stop this continuing violence, to discuss today is about „how
to end violence‟. Maybe about prevention part. If we really need the police,
we have to ask what kind of assistance that they give, do they need more
man power, or more budget, or do they need other agencies‟ help – to help
them. Because we cannot leave domestic violence totally to the police,
because they also handle other criminal cases.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
So what you are suggesting is - Mr. Khairul Azreem is the legal advisor to the
Ministry. He was saying that it is not an issue of legislation, but we should be
focusing more on how to end the violence.

Mr. Khairul Azreem Mamat:
Yes. Because we have to stop the violence before it happens. When violence
happens, we have to stop continuing violence. Legislation comes with case.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
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Alright, so what you were saying, yes?

Madam Loh Cheng Kooi - Executive Director, Women‟s Centre for
Just to add on, actually, there are four different aspects, I would like the
group to discuss, actually taken out from what Ms. Amarsanaa. Ok, she has
identified, there were so many things she had said, four things has come up
is – one: at this stage, has Malaysia look at, so ok, four different things, one
is the criminal aspect, one is the preventive aspect, one is the protection
aspect, and one is the implementation aspect. So looking at all the different
issues that she has identified, and taking on what Puan Zuraidah has said,
that basically covers the whole different areas, if you want to start from
looking at violence against women and girls as a crime, looking all the way to
how do we implement to protect the victims – the survivors ya. So if there are
four different aspects, maybe we can then decide looking at how violence
against women; what are the different issues that we want to talk about. And
what is the state, the current state of – whether we‟re looking at it from the
criminal aspect, then; we can go on to the prevention, and protection, and
implementation. Then we know where we are, so we really make the
recommendation later at 12:30pm; we are clear in each of this aspect where
we stand on say DV (Domestic Violence), or sexual harassment, on rape, etc.
So then that can help us looking at the countries ending VAW (Violence
Against Women) in this country.

Dr Noraida Endut - Director, KANITA:
And I think it is also very important for us to actually enumerate what the
forms all about, more pressing, more relevant to us. And it is good that we
talk about VAW in general; I mean violence against humans, any forms of
violence against women should have all these approaches. But also within
each form of Violence Against Women; there would be very specific
approaches that can be used, so the point about data is highly relevant I

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think, and it is actually, not too that we don‟t have, that the data is totally
absent because up to 2009, we have data from the police. But since last year,
I‟m not sure what happened, it is forthcoming from the police in terms of

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Because time is of an essence, I would suggest that of course when we come
up with a proposal, of course it will be based on certain statistical references
and what not.

Dr Noraida Endut:
I mean yes and no, because statistics basically, if you have one person being
raped in Malaysia, you still need some kind of preventive measure. Doesn‟t
mean that if you have 40 thousand rape cases; then we do something about
it. Statistics is evidence based approach is important in order to keep track of
what‟s going on.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
What we are doing now, I am proposing, no, I‟m trying to search for the
framework on a kind of proposal that we want to put forward. Madam Loh
was suggesting on these four aspects.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Ok. So can we agree that we should be focusing on these four aspects? As far
as our Dato‟?

Dato‟ Malek Harun - Deputy, CID, Royal Malaysian Police:
Ok, well I have one more view, ok, regarding violence against women, we can
narrow down to Domestic Violence (DV) first, because these are the
crimes that are on the rise. Amongst these six or seven offences; we can see
that domestic violence most high cases. And although is 2010 (three

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thousand ++). But then, we have all the laws, we have all the preventive
measures, all the procedures, but what I can see now is the limitation of
the law. There are various agencies involve in this implementation, the
police, the kesihatan, hospital, and of course the Kebajikan Masyarakat. And
talking about IPO, how many IPO do we have, because offences occur
everywhere in this country, not only in big cities, also in the places where it‟s
quite rural, where all these agencies don‟t have the structures, the facilities,
and even when „the law is there‟. So I think we should focus on this one. That
is our short term and proposal - we gather these issues. For example like
education, in the rural areas, we ask why we don‟t have IPO program, but
then after this, where do they go? Sometimes they have to sleep in the OCS
house, there‟s no other place. OSC is police staff room. So these are the
problems on the limitation side/part, which I think we should discuss further
on this one, and how to overcome this problem.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
I think what Dato‟ Malek was suggesting, Dato‟ with all due respect, I think it
is the criminal aspect of the kind of violence against women - the issue we‟re
focusing on here, I think it is what you pointed out, our focus actually more
cases, many cases, on Domestic Violence, and Sexual Harassment, Marital
Rape and Incest. Ok, let‟s come back with earlier; point earlier, which or what
kind of framework that we want to have now, ok? I think we should agree
with what our learned member was saying, so this is: Ending Violence
Against Women, so we come up with four (4) components: one thing is the
criminal aspect, preventive aspect, protection, and implementation.
Ok. Can we agree on this? So when we agree on this; should we come up
with at least four? Or more? Depends. I‟m just the facilitator here. I detect
your idea here. Because we need to move forward ya? Because time is an
issue now. So what we are looking at or being suggested by our learned
members just now, these are the four aspects that we want to focus on
today, for the next half and hour, and what are the areas of improvement;

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particularly working proposal that we want to come up for the Ministers to
bring forward to the Jemaah Menteri – Ministerial level. Can we agree on this?

Can you enlighten me when you talked about criminal Madam Loh? What did
you mean? The definition of for example: Domestic Violence.

Madam Loh Cheng Kooi:
Ya, if we start with Domestic Violence, I‟m very happy to learn that the
Ministry is tackling; Puan Zuraidah was talking about the various aspects. One
of the most important I mean this review, women‟s group has been pushing
for amendments to the DVA since 1999. I think it was submitted to them
even before the ministry came about. One of the most important aspects
which, the act is not seen as a separate section, so a lot of women who go to
the police station and said my husband has beaten me up; is then put as part
of the Penal Code. So women‟s group has been requesting that look – we
need to look at domestic violence differently because it‟s a family matter. So
one thing is what I‟m proposing here is actually even though you all are
tabling things on IPO, I was just trying to remember some of the issues that
Puan Zuraidah was saying.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
They are also redefining the term.

Madam Loh Cheng Kooi:
Ya, the psychology - emotion; one of the aspects the women‟s group has
been pushing. One important aspect is actually to look at DVA as a separate
kind, because I believe the police is finding it extremely difficult when you go
to the police station, you‟re treating the husband like a criminal, hitting you
on the street, it is different. So therefore, the women need shelter and all
these, very difficult for the police to be handling such cases. One is when you
look at DVA – review the laws and I think we‟ve worked with ministries for

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many years, we have submitted and worked for the ministry under the
working group on various aspects of the DVA, and I‟m pleased to learn some
of the things including the broadening the DVA – o9s very good also you all
are looking at IPO from the point of report all the way to the court. But my
question is how many IPOs are actually been made by women? Because
nobody knows about it. I mean part of women‟s group is when they come –
get service from us, we have to explain „that‟ to women. Because if you go to
the police, amongst their many other problems, DV is very low in their

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Ok, if I may request maybe Encik Khairul Azreem to just highlight. What will
the impact be upon approval of the proposed amendment. Will Domestic
Violence be perceived or be taken as a separate tank? Will the police need to
refer to the Penal Code? Reap together in order for them to proceed or not?
It‟s a concern of Madam Loh .

Mr. Khairul Azreem Mamat:
So far, the policy of the Ministry, you cannot separate, so far, for the time
being ok?

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
After the amendment also they must read together with the Penal Code kan?

Mr. Khairul Azreem Mamat:
Yes. Because we treat every Domestic Violence as a primial – because the act
of hurting, beating, is still definable. Ok, what is the concern now is that we
have to empower women, because we cannot tackle on the legislative aspect
– because right now we never ask the police what they are doing to prevent
DVA – they need man power, they need space, they need buildings, and so
forth. That one we never look into. Because whenever there is a domestic

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violence, the blame is always on the police. They have done a very good job.
But we need to empower them.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Right, but that is the second issue En. Khairul Azreem, but the first basic
issue: will domestic violence be perceived as a separate criminal action or not
– after the amendment been approved.

Mr. Khairul Azreem Mamat:
It‟s a criminal action.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Yes Dr Noraida?

Dr Noraida Endut:
The problem with domestic violence with regard to section 3 of the DVA is
that, when you say to be rap together with the Penal Code, you have to find,
provisions in the penal code that will fit into the definition of the domestic
violence. But, the penal code, legislated in 1938, developed over 1951 and so
on, do not actually capture; provisions do not actually capture the meaning of
the definition in the DVA. So, this is the problem, that criminalization all
about, because, even for legislation in other countries, the issue has always
been: do we clearly criminalize domestic violence. There is a kind, I
mean in terms of goodwill of the government; there is a kind of doubt also
because when you do not say definitely „domestic violence is a crime‟; there is
a kind of perception that you are being apologetic about domestic violence.
So if you just, if you say it is a crime, by virtue of the penal code – what is
the problem? We‟re saying: domestic violence in Malaysia is a crime. So,
anybody committing acts within the definition of section 2 of the DVA; should
be able to be prosecuted under criminal law according to the criminal
procedure code, and with no necessity to go to the penal code and look for

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specifics - normally its section 323. And I just actually completed a research
on the police in terms on the implementation of the DVA that they have done.
So many police actually reported a kind of confusion about which sections to
refer to - because the implication of the choice of section is that; if the police
now who then has to make the decision whether a certain acts or domestic
violence can be prosecuted; can be investigated immediately because of the
non-seize / seize-able kind of argument. So the police may not have enough
information about sizable, because I actually asked them about the
understanding about the penal code, what do they understand about the
section 323, what is the difference between the sections 323 & 325, etc. So
there is a little bit of problem to that. So they tended also then, I mean we
cannot blame them, because they have to go through a lot of trainings to be
able to understand. So most actually go towards section 323, which does not
solve the problem immediately, and which makes the problem of IPO. So that
is the issue.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Right, ok. I think we should not deal much on the policy aspect. Ok? What
should we do is actually to come up with proposals. So can we agree now
that we are not so happy with the whatever is stated in the DVA, and we
want it to be further redefine, and also, I don‟t know, I‟m a legal person as
well. But I‟m trying to be neutral here. But we need, yes Prof?

I‟m a non-legal person. From the discussion, I guess it is – it‟s like asking do
we really have the political way to say that you know; violence against
women, or against anybody, is a strict no-no. That is the main thing. Why, we
are having this ambivalence, kind of ambiguous attitude towards here, which
give a very strong message that you know – not everybody is actually looking
at it from the same direction, so I guess is, the number one is, non-legal
person in the group, do we have to come up with some political view – no it‟s

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not right to – it is a crime – and most probably we start out with that.
Because as a non-legal person, I would look more towards the prevention,
ok? That‟s where it‟s at.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Right, so can we agree on that? As one of the issues to come up with? But I
think it has been proposed over and over again tau. I mean do you agree
with me or not.

Dr Noraida Endut:
Not strong enough. Those people kat on the ground ni, we don‟t feel it that
way, it comes and goes.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Ok, so we agree that on this part, we would urge on further; rapporteur, on
further redefinition of the terminologies, given under the domestic violence
act, and stronger – what‟s the word doctor? Stronger political will?

Dr Noraida Endut:
If you want to be clearer, I think we should support the two proposed inform
– the extension of deterioration of IPO, as well as definition of domestic
violence to include sexual harassment, etc. But I think the most important
thing at the moment is that the fundamental issue is criminalization of
domestic violence to be made very-very clear. You can either put it under
section 3, even if you say, domestic violence should be right together with the
penal code, there should be an addition for all intent and purposes of
domestic violence should be considered as a crime.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
We don‟t have that right? In the new revision?

Mr. Khairul Azreem Mamat:
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We have to make it clearly.

Dr Noraida Endut:
It doesn‟t indicate criminality. That is the issue. Because you can‟t have those
four other acts.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:

Dato‟ Malek Harun:
I think the criminality is there. Only that, when a wife is being beaten up by
the husband, husband kicks the wife, there is no weapon, so weapon is not
visible we cannot arrest. Only section 324 prevents - use of weapon, we can
arrest. But then, under domestic violence, there are procedures.

Mr. Khairul Azreem Mamat:
Because right now, after the amendment, whenever the court gives IPO, the
court is empower to give warrant of arrest. If the court thinks that the
husband is likely to hurt again; even though it is a non-sizable offense, so the
warrant of arrest is automatic; in certain cases. So if there is a likelihood that
the husband is to hurt the wife; the court can give the warrant of arrest.

Dr Noraida Endut:
There is also another amendment about automatic arrest?

Mr. Khairul Azreem Mamat:
We cannot reveal everything, because it is still considered as classified. But
please be rest assured that whenever these amendments in parliament; it will
settle almost about 90% of issues raised.

Dr Noraida Endut:

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Except that I‟m just really-really curious, why the rejection of criminalization
of domestic violence; because we have moved so far, and the international
language which is already about criminalization, so why don‟t we – I mean it
would solve a lot of problem because if you say it is a criminal, it will clear in
everybody‟s mind that it is wrong; so even when it is between spouses. So it
would just give a mindset – at the moment: yes; but people are ambivalent.
If you say non-lawyers, non-police, reading it together with the penal code:
what does it mean? So on one level it is a conceptual issue, principle issue;
that domestic violence is wrong. If you slap your wife, I mean if your wife
slaps you; you set to both to wrongdoing. So it‟s criminal. If a stranger slaps
you; it is a crime, if a wife or husband slaps you it should also be a crime. So
as a conceptual level….

Mr. Khairul Azreem Mamat:
Under the penal code, it does not, whether you are spouse or not.

Dr Noraida Endut:
But the conceptual principle issue of criminalization.

Dato‟ Malek Harun:
Concerns we have about domestic violence, it is still a crime, the person will
still be charge after the process has been completed. But you know, we have
constraints on this one, because this is regarding „domestic‟. Today there are
reports, after two days; they reconcile. So they refuse to give statements, so
this is the problem here.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Again, I would like to come back to the root issue here. Dato‟?

Dato‟ Malek Harun:
The root issue now is the criminalization of domestic violence act.

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Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
The Criminalization of Domestic Violence Act!

Mr. Khairul Azreem Mamat:
It‟s criminal already!

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
But it‟s not clearly stated En. Khairul.

Mr. Khairul Azreem Mamat:
Yes, it‟s not stated, it‟s referred under the penal code, so whatever action by
the spouse is referred under the penal code.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
So this is the issue of perception tau. Because gender in equality, if we learn,
because basically when we come-up with gender-based violence; people
perceive that it‟s ok for the husband, or wife to slap the other spouse. So this
is what I think Dr Noraida‟s concerns. So why are we afraid? Sorry to use
that word ya? To just have it in our DVA. That: Domestic Violence is a crime.
[DVA: domestic violence act].

Mr. Khairul Azreem Mamat:
If you put that domestic violence is a crime, it‟s only a statement.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Exactly. But it brings an impact particularly to the activists, and particularly to
the people that undergoing this issue. Because when you go back to the
penal code; then the police and in fact people like the non-legal people will
have confusion you know. And the perception is what? Is that; it‟s ok for her
husband to slap or to beat their wife, or vice versa. So now, the root issue
here, because we have to come up with something ya? We have some pros

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and cons here. Should we propose that a stronger definition of domestic
violence should be reflected in the DVA?

Dr Noraida Endut:
I think the proposal should be criminalization of domestic violence. Clear

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Clear Criminalization of Domestic Violence.

Dr Noraida Endut:
That would be much, I mean, I would propose.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Because there isn‟t anywhere in the DVA, En Khairul Azreem, that states that
domestic violence is a crime. Except it must be read together with the Penal
Code; therefore it is a crime. This is what Dr Noraida‟s concern.

Dr Noraida Endut:
Because in my research with the police, even the responses of the police are
vary in terms of – so I came up with a statement: Keganasan
Rumahtangga ialah satu jenayah. So they have to tick setuju or tak
setuju. So even a few of the police are not sure whether it is a crime or not.
Basically they are sure – because when they receive people, but when you
ask them whether domestic violence is a crime? They were ambivalent about
where to tick. So we do have that perception.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Alright. Rapporteur? The writer, I think one of the proposal from this
component is: Criminalization of Domestic Violence Act. And maybe
sub-point there: a stronger, correct me ye, if I‟m wrong ye, a stronger

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wording or a stronger provision should be reflected in our Domestic Violence
Act 1994 – to reflect any kind of domestic violence is a crime. Crimes sorry.
Dr Anjil?

Dr Anjil Doshi - Deputy Director General LPPKN:
So the offense still goes to the penal code?

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
That one we cannot change lah, because basically, definitely it must be read
– as far as, of course if you were to ask me, I think if you would to ask the
other activists, we would love to have domestic violence „separate‟ ya? But
we need to be practical here since the preview said that they are undergoing
a major revision, and also amendment. And I think, a slight two to three
words or maybe a sentence would be good enough to console people out
there. I think; we‟ve learnt this since 1994 when it was passed, that we are
not so happy that domestic violence is not a crime yet until today. You agree
with me or not? You don‟t agree!

Mr. Khairul Azreem Mamat:
Domestic Violence is a crime. The only thing is that it is not referred to in the
Penal Code. That‟s it. Because domestic violence in general terms is a crime.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
But we have to admit that we do not have any clear provision in the law
saying that domestic violence is a crime. Agree or not?

Mr. Khairul Azreem Mamat:
It‟s not clear – direct.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:

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Dr Noraida Endut:
The law is divided into substance and procedure. The substance is as
important as the process. At the moment, procedurally is a criminal
procedure. Because you treat it as a – but substantially, conceptually,
principally, you need to have – because the other option is actually to put all
the other definition of section 2 of DVA into the Penal Code; then it becomes
a crime. You know? Then you would have section whatever, A, B, C,
whatever, that have all the definitions in the Domestic Violence Act. As it is,
the definitions in the Domestic Violence Act; does not really give you any kind
of effect; because there will be accessed on section 323, 325, then 5.9
whatever, so you know.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
I think many people out there, I mean I‟m trying to take off my legal hat ya,
are not happy with the current position of domestic violence; because we are
quote un-quote still afraid of announcing that „domestic violence is a
crime‟ per say. I think since we‟re in this high level – so called high level
meeting; we must re-iterate again. Dr Anjil?

Dr Anjil Doshi:
As for non-legal right, I‟d just like to say that police themselves don‟t know
whether it‟s a crime or not, maybe we‟re looking at things at in terms of
criminalize you know, education aspect, the training aspect, common
understanding of what DVA is.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
But that one can come under this part maybe?

Dr Anjil Doshi:
Ya but is it criminalizing? Because the police themselves are unsure.

A Member said:
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Because people‟s perception, so kalau perception maybe we have to look at a
different….persepsi la, of the education part.

Dr Noraida Endut:
But the clear provision can easily translate into clear education.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Exactly – exactly, rather than you know taking the effort of you know, re
what do you call this? Re-provide an awareness or the training and what not,
I don‟t know. Can we conclude on that part? Can we agree now? Its 12:30pm
my dear friends; I know it‟s a big challenge, ya its 12:30pm already, we‟re still
in point one, can we proceed with this proposal? That we propose a clearer
what was the word just now rapporteur?

June (Rapporteur):
Clearer definition of DVA criminalization.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Clearer definition of DVA and criminalization of the Domestic Violence Act;
any kind of domestic violence. Or violence – but again you know when we
talk about domestic violence; ok but we‟re talking about „Domestic Violence
Act‟ now ya, any kind of action under falls under domestic violence – if you
want to criminalize domestic violence.

Mr. Khairul Azreem Mamat:
A, B, C, D, E, now we add more we have eight definitions of domestic

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Ya with all the psychological, emotional aspect and what not lah kan?

Mr. Khairul Azreem Mamat:
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It‟s not clear enough.

Dr Noraida Endut:
But you can‟t find those things in the Penal Code.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Because I understand the activists‟ view.

Dr Noraida Endut:
I‟m not, I mean, I‟m an activist as well as an academic.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Ya because why are we afraid of announcing it as a crime?

Mr. Khairul Azreem Mamat:
It is a crime.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
It is the other way round isn‟t it so?

Dr Noraida Endut:
If you look at the Penal Code, the Penal Code will say section 375: a rape is
based; a rape is an offense under Malaysia law. So it is clearly said an
offense. But domestic violence: this law must be read together with the Penal
Code; what does it mean?

Mr. Khairul Azreem Mamat:
You cannot have one single Act for Domestic Violence. Otherwise we have to
re-create again the provision of the Penal Code – inside the DVA. It takes
time. But not this section of violence.

Dr Noraida Endut:
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I understand that but I think, so that‟s why, if you just put a word in section
3: Domestic Violence is a crime, under section 3 of the DVA, together with the
reading of the Penal Code, section 3 is this act must be read together with
the Penal Code. So just one sentence at the back, for the purpose of this act:
domestic violence is a crime - and for the purpose of reading it with the penal
code. Ya, the process will be the same.

Dato‟ Malek Harun:
The victim will still be the same. That‟s why I said earlier on, the victim of
domestic crimes; they want action towards the perpetrator, we must arrest
them. But then the penal code won‟t provide for them. Even if you mention:
it‟s a crime, it‟ll never be the same thing.

Dr Noraida Endut:
That‟s why I give the difference between substance and procedure. So,
substance give the people comfort that the government actually accepts this
as a crime, so there is already you know – when someone tell you domestic
violence is a crime; don‟t do it, so at least people will be reassured about it
rather than not so sure.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Ok. Can we proceed? So one, that was the „one‟.

June (Rapporteur):
Clearer definition of domestic violence?

Dr Noraida Endut:
Domestic Violence should be made a crime.

Mr. Khairul Azreem Mamat:
Not definition ye? Domestic Violence should be made a crime. Because

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we have that definition already.

Dr Noraida Endut:
Ya the definition is already there.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Domestic Violence should be made a crime. Clearer provision should
be reflected in the DVA in 1994.

Dr Noraida Endut:
We don‟t need those things. We just say Domestic Violence should be made a
crime. I think it‟s clear.

Mr. Khairul Azreem Mamat:
And the consequence is that, we‟re gonna tell another - maybe they‟re gonna
give another amendment which takes time. It will affect other provisions of
this act. If we act on that, we can do it, but we have to postpone the tabling
of the final session.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
If we can postpone, postpone la.

Mr. Khairul Azreem Mamat:
Then, the other emotion, psychological, will not be in. Because we have to
delay again. Because the target is here. Because this one can be postpone.
Because on one aspect tadi.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
But it‟s ok, at least we discuss and we propose in our meeting. It might be in
the immediate term, the passing of whatever being done by your unit, and
maybe the mid-term maybe another two/three years – or maybe one year

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later about this; which I think we‟ve been discussed about this since time of
memorial 1995 after the 1996. We‟re been talking about this ya? All
academicians have been debating; they have debated all this while. Why are
we afraid of making: Domestic Violence is a crime? Madam Loh.

Madam Loh Cheng Kooi:
It concerns me because every time we discuss any aspects of legislation;
we‟re back as though we‟re discussing it for the first time. We‟ve done it over
ten years with all sorts of groupings and recommendations and all that. So
can I strongly recommend, we put up a recommendation if any legislative
whether it‟s preventing, whether it‟s criminal, whether it‟s protection, can the
Ministry I mean involve the police? You know? Can we have that whole
groups be very clear, academic, all the stakeholders, these are all
recommendations, so once it is there; we know that if you can‟t do like ten
amendments; at least you can do five. Because then we‟re back on the
drawing board, arguing the same thing you know. Because it‟s really piece
meal legislation, will be very-very slow.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Ok, talking about DVA, what about Sexual Harassment then? Because
sexual harassment is yet to become a law. It is not yet a law. So talking
about criminalization of domestic violence, now the second component
whereby one third of all the time is being devoted to our work. It is also at
the rise: sexual harassment. Can we say something about sexual harassment

Mr. Khairul Azreem Mamat:
Under section 507 of the penal code.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
I know. But again, sexual harassment is not yet a law by itself.

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Dr Noraida Endut:
Can I also say that there was already a consultation by the ministry about
sexual harassment legislation last month, and I attended that one as well, Mr.
Harjit actually chair that meeting. And I think we were quite clear, and he had
already sort of had a proposal that we are going to suggest to the minister
towards a specific legislation on sexual harassment. No longer under the
Employment Act; but it‟s suppose to be a separate act. Sexual
Harassment: so that was the recommendation. I think we can support that.
Another proposal. Hopefully we can get the details of that meeting.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Ok-ok thank you Dr Noraida. Another one. Yes Puan Zuraidah.

Madam Zuraidah Amiruddin:
With regard to the sexual harassment, again, principal in the meeting, have
some difficulties to justify why we need a standalone act with regards to
sexual harassment. That‟s why we‟re trying to get more input ya?

Mr. Khairul Azreem Mamat:
We have to wait for the amendment first. Whether it is the same thing from
before or is it a new thing. So far we don‟t have any news on sexual
harassment. Because they pulled back the bill before.

Madam Loh Cheng Kooi:
It‟s surely both Ministry must work together.

Madam Zuraidah Amiruddin:
Ministry of Human Resources, they are focusing on it.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
But we must understand if it is stated already in the appointment act with the

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new amendment, if it is passed, having a separate Sexual Harassment Act
whatsoever, it might contradict, I think that is the concern of the Ministry

Dr Noraida Endut:
But that all discussed in the meeting. I think it was made clear at the end of
the meeting, I get very positive vibes from Mr. Harjit about proposing it.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Ok-ok how can we word it doctor?

Mr. Khairul Azreem Mamat:
One of the ideas is that we‟re not going to - in the Sexual Harassment Act is
that - we‟re not going to criminalize the offender. Ok? What we might suggest
is that any incident of sexual harassment; one might refer to some kind of
tribunal. One of the mechanism lah.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
You mean the draft is already out by your unit? So how can we word it?
Maybe sexual harassment as an act: we propose a separate Sexual
Harassment Act for Malaysians – catering the issue. Can we again?

June (Rapporteur):
It‟s: Separate Sexual Harassment Act for Malaysia? Is that right? So
that‟s the second proposal?

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Second proposal. Can we just proceed? Anything on the „Criminal‟ aspect? I
think rape - of course there‟s another issue about Marital Rape and what
not lah. Actually we need at least half a day or one day on this ya? Do we
want to touch on rape? Marital Rape? Again? No? Better not ya? Better not

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ya? What about Incest?

Madam Loh Cheng Kooi:
It‟s not a question of „better not‟ (laughing)…..

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
No-no what I meant was „for this forum‟.

A Member said:
Not immediately, but still it needs to be addressed.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Ya-ya ok. Can we have a word or a sentence on Marital Rape? Because
three to five failed to – again, criminalize marital rape when there is a sexual
action between husband and wife without consent. So I think, another
proposal, that we propose a further amendment on Marital Rape, or what
was the word, can we say….

Dr Noraida Endut:
It‟s just actually taking away the exception from section 375 about marital

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Can we put it in words, so that the rapporteur can write? Propose, we
propose further – the removal – this is very strong – the removal of the
exceptions provision under 375. We propose a removal of the exception that
prevents a married woman from taking action under 375. The removal of the
exception of section 375 of the penal code prohibiting the wife from taking

Mr. Khairul Azreem Mamat:
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Dr Noraida Endut:
Actually, the exception actually disable woman from – married woman from
actually benefiting from 375.

Mr. Khairul Azreem Mamat:
Why they have exception?

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
This is the issue of culture and the religious aspect actually. I think the core
issue of our E-VAW is I think, to me, that is another component that we
need to look into maybe in the implementation or the preventive aspect. But
my concern is time now. We have got twenty minutes, can we proceed? Yes?
Right, anything on criminalization on criminal aspect? We have touched on
DVA, we‟d touched on Sexual Harassment, and we‟d touched on Rape. I
think the fourth thing Dato‟ Malek was highlighting – you heard about incest
right? Incest is covered under 376.

Dr Noraida Endut:
It‟s either the Penal Code or the Child Act.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Ok, I think ok la, or should we enforce more on the incest?

Dr Noraida Endut:
Because if we change those things, the child, the children will hopefully be
protected as well. I think the Child Act…..

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
…..Covers quite, ya, ok, we are now focusing on only three: Domestic
Violence, Sexual Harassment, and Rape. Ok? We go on into which part?

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Should we go into the Protection? Yes? Implementation? Yes? Ok?
Proposals? Can we be specific to come up with proposal? Avoid any
explanation, we‟re running out of time, my dear members of the floor. Any
proposals on the implementation aspect? Be specific somebody? Police

Madam Zuraidah Amiruddin:
In sexual cases, involve, during our investigation, involve especially inter-
agencies, we need cooperation from all the agencies at the moment, various
agencies, sometimes when we send victim to the hospital, and then for us we
get the medical report, it takes a long time.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
This is from the police department point of view? Ya?

Dr Noraida Endut:
I found this also in my research actually.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
So, more effective cooperation needed from the various agencies?

Mr. Khairul Azreem Mamat:
Main agencies.

Dr Noraida Endut:
I think one issue is that the OSCC – the medical profession; they are not
actually mandated under the act, so the only two agencies that were
mentioned in DVA were the police and the JKN (Jabatan Kebajikan). So the
health professionals, because they sort of started the OSCC in 1997, so they
already have their own system of OSCC.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
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That is another issue you know. Under the Child Protection Act; they are,
they have an obligation to make certain action or preventive action to – if
they find out a child is being abused, but under domestic violence, there is no
clear-cut indication or clear-cut provision that health officer or that these
doctors should come forward you know? Am I right? Ya, there is no provision.
So do we want to come up with that proposal? Ya? That comes under
Implementation ya? Can we put it in a better – so that is the second one,
corporation between from various agencies – takpe nanti (that‟s alright) the
word we will put it together. Corporation between various agencies – medical;
the medical profession will kill us you know, medical – what‟s the word?
Medical practitioners? Healthcare Providers, ok. Healthcare providers should
be mandated, can I use that word? Ya? Should be mandated to take certain
action – should be statutorily included as service providers in domestic

Mr. Khairul Azreem Mamat:
Then what happen in tandem?

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Like Child Protection Act lah. Sama. Kalau bawah Akta Kanak-kanak kan?
Maknanya, they are doing something wrong.

Dr Noraida Endut:
I think there‟s no question about doctors doing things, is because they have
that one-stop crisis centre, it‟s just that because they don‟t have that

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Should I proceed? Ok, for example. If a lady comes forward to a doctor,
saying that „I fall down‟, and that actually the husband you know beat her,
but if the doctor has certain, (a lady said: „procedures‟), ya, feeling that she is

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being ill treated by the husband, they have no obligation to report; because
there is no clear provision under the Domestic Violence Act – unlike the
Child Protection Act.

Dr Noraida Endut:
That‟s not really true because they can ask – they will have some
responsibility to ask.

Assoc. Prof. Dr Harlina Halizah Siraj:
Input as a, not just as a medical practitioner, I‟m actually teaching my
medical students you know, because it is actually mandatory for them to
report non-accidental injuries or child abuse, then we actually teach them that
if you suspect; then you have to actually report. And this is like medical
certification of diseases. But this has never entered into that list. I can
actually teach them – must be always aware of the signs of domestic violence
but what‟s next? Ya, but it‟s up to the victim most probably to sort of – ya I
think I need to bring this forward or keep it under the table. Most of us will
keep it under the table.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
I guess you have a lot of things to do. But again, it is an imposing provision
to the medical practitioner, but this is for the betterment of the society.

A Member said:
I don‟t look at it that way, but it is part of our moral obligation and

Dr Noraida Endut:
From the feedback that I got from my medical students from USM, they said
that it is not an imposition; it‟s just that they feel that they cannot act
because there is no law that will protect them, you know things like that. So

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they feel that if they clear.

Madam Amarsanaa Darisuren:
In some countries already doing that minimum standards, so police,
prosecutors, legal aid providers, social services, healthcare providers; all of
them have to have their own standard in appraise – the performance
appraisal standards, otherwise it‟ll be just like everyone letting go – who
knows how we are performing, so this is also needs to be mandatory and the
law should have a – ideally it would be good to have a provision – connecting
to all the agencies – monitoring should be mandatory, otherwise.. and the
agency should be you know decimated, which agency monitors what, who,
that would be good – for continuity.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Is that the suggestion Ms. Amarsanaa?

Madam Amarsanaa Darisuren:
No, I‟m just looking at how other countries have ways to do this.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Puan Zuraida.

Madam Zuraidah Amiruddin:
I think rather we put in the law – I mean the Act whatever, I think we can
develop a human standard.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Can we put it there? Ministry to come up with a circular – no, a policy – on
the SOPs for domestic violence victim?

Madam Loh Cheng Kooi:

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I don‟t think we should limit ourselves to DV victims, for the simple fact that
the one-stop crisis centre in hospitals at the moment, is seriously facing our
problems, because USM had this huge three-year research, and from what
the findings are the OSCC in main hospitals are not being looked at, are not
being resourced at all, so all poor the – emergency and trauma sections/units
now have to deal with sexual assault. So I think the owners back to MOH;
Ministry of Health since public health – I mean domestic violence is a health
issue, to actually, I think one recommendation I would do is to separate up
the OSCC – not part of the department, is now ENT, rather than ANE, is
Emergency and Trauma (ENT), and then the other thing, just hearing from
the police to actually have inter-agency meeting, I mean like just to give you
a very good example in Penang in the last three years; we‟re started a rape
support network through the hospitals, and now we‟re reinitiating inter-
agency meeting, and the hospitals themselves are being initiation meaning
JKM; the Kebajikan, the police, hospital, and other different sections.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Ok, can we, we propose, but we don‟t call it OSCC anymore right? I thought
they‟ve changed it to centre for change? Ok-ok, the OSCC should be
separated from the – should be- what‟s the word?

Madam Loh Cheng Kooi:
One would say that the propose is to actually, I mean if you recognize VAW,
it‟s such a big issue, then you have to recognize it as a separate unit of the
hospital, so that the police brings clients, I mean brings the victims and all

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
OSCC as a separate unit from the hospital.

Madam Loh Cheng Kooi:

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Ya and also to all the states must have an inter-agency to work together.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Operations from various agencies and meetings and what not lah ya? Any
other points on that implementation aspect? Yes Dato‟.

Dato‟ Malek Harun:
One more very important, after the hospital, from the Women Crisis
Centre, they cannot go back to the house. The police can escort them to go
to the house whatever, then where do they go? So this is very important. So
far the police are in the helping hand of providing shelter, friend‟s house,
inside the police station, big problem. To identify who‟s responsible, and then
get the premises in every district; maybe hostels? I think this will solve lots of
problem whereby the women will appreciate.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
But under the Jabatan JKM; they have.

Madam Zuraidah Amiruddin:
In institutions, under the Social Welfare Department, ada stated under the
Domestic Violence Act.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
So you are proposing? What are you proposing, Dato‟?

Dato‟ Malek Harun:
I‟m proposing that this centre be made available.

Dr Noraida Endut:
At every district.

Madam Loh Cheng Kooi:
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To set-up women shelter in each state. That includes trafficked women, that
includes domestic violence.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
To set-up women shelter in each State. Sebab sekarang State pun takde
Dato‟. Reports are usually after office hours.

Dato‟ Malek Harun:
This should be under 24-hour service.

Madam Amarsanaa Darisuren:
This brings to the issue of financing, budget, implementation, is it enough? I
mean is government allocating enough funds to have in every state and in
every sub-district and provide this assistance? This is one of the major issues.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Budget. Are we at the level to propose budget? Yes? A separate or a proper
budget should be allocated? What is the word?

Dr Noraida Endut:
I think the language should be under the gender responsive budgeting.
Issues like violence against women should be highlighted in terms of the
proportion of budget to be allocated. Because the government has the policy
of gender responsive budgeting, so under that consideration; should include
budget for issues of violence against women – which include shelters, which
includes setting up centres.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Issues of violence against women should be…

Dr Noraida Endut:
Considered as a major part in gender responsive budget.
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Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Should be considered as a major part in gender responsive budget, of the
nation, of the Ministry?

Dr Noraida Endut:
The gender responsive budgeting is actually taken up – EPU as well as, even
the finance ministry actually has a secular GRP.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Can you read again that proposal?

June (Rapporteur):
Gender responsive budget should include or in other words….

Dr Noraida Endut:
Gender Responsive Budgeting.

June (Rapporteur):
Gender responsive budgeting should include domestic violence, shelters…

Dr Noraida Endut:
Should include specific consideration for…

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Specific consideration. They include. But maybe we want to stress here on
the specific consideration.

Dr Noraida Endut:
The technicalities will be…

Madam Loh Cheng Kooi:
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Will be taken from the fourth group. Because they are doing it.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:

June (Rapporteur):
Gender responsive budgeting should include specific considerations
on VAW issues (Violence Against Women) issue.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Inclusive of shelter, inclusive of protection, prevention and what not.

Dr Noraida Endut:
This should also be referred to the other group because the other group is
doing gender responsive budgeting. The Group 4. Can you just make a
reference to coordinate with Group 4.

Madam Loh Cheng Kooi:
And then a separate – saying – setting up shelter. Can I just add a very
important point. Setting up shelter for women in facing violence of any form –
irrespective of race and religion. Because what saddens me in the last three
years; a Muslim shelter was set up, and another Muslim shelter was set up in
another state, it cannot be, it must be comprehensive and inclusive.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Can you read on the shelter home proposal just now?

June (Rapporteur):
Well the first one: OSCC as a separate unit in hospitals.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:

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No, that is another one, no, that‟s separate, no-no, shelter home is separate.

June (Rapporteur):
To set-up women shelter in each state.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Irrespective of race and religion. It‟s one o‟clock, can we take another
ten to fifteen minutes? Can I seek your cooperation on this? Please? Ten to
fifteen minutes? Let‟s finish this. Any part of the intervention aspect? Can
you touch a bit on - oh that‟s under preventive ya? Because Dr. Anjili was
highlighting about education, training, and what not. Can we jump into the
preventive aspect? Touching on the social stigma; as highlighted by Puan
Zuraida, preventive aspect; we need to do lots of efforts on more practical
aspect on reducing the social stigma. Ya? So how can we put it there?

Assoc. Prof. Dr Harlina Halizah Siraj:
I think it‟s really not just a social stigma, I mean we‟re talking about the legal
system, but I guess there are four other systems that govern human behavior
which is actually: culture, tradition, etiquette and norms, moral, religious and
spiritual system. And once all these failed that‟s why we are actually looking
into this aspect. But I guess all the other four are mainly in ways of initiatives
where the people take their responsibility to make sure that we end this
violence. As opposed to putting it onto the policy makers.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
But if you see, you got a point there, many of our proposals here is basically
policy maker tau. We should be looking at the family level, community level
as well.

Assoc. Prof. Dr Harlina Halizah Siraj:
Talking about what Dato‟ was saying kan, there are people who are actually

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file report today but tomorrow tarik balik. Because they might not go to the
police immediately. They want something in between. The support system
can actually look into this, we‟ve been talking about the women who‟s been
the victims, but the men also actually – you know, we haven‟t sort of given
enough emphasis on the men. Sometimes we discuss about this, there might
be some you know, unhappiness about this because you know, the men is
actually the perpetrator. But I guess this is actually a call for help for men to
actually become aggressor you know, and they are actually giving some
points as well, they are actually shouting for help. But they are not actually
helping them through the legal system. I would like to emphasize that every,
you know, component of society, for instance: the religious group you know,
the community, it is not an acceptable thing to happen as in a housing area.
There is such thing which is happening, before that couple actually, before
the wife go to the police station, the whole community has to be activated, to
help, and I can you know, the most, looking at how the Prophet (s.a.w.)
actually deal with this ok ? He actually take out this man who‟s known to
actually abuse the wife, and actually, ask him there and then and said, are
you not ashamed of beating your wife in the morning, and at night you want
to sleep with her. So these are the kind of things where you need to actually
tell men who are doing this, what‟s your problem? Ok? Because for all family
that has gone into violence, there is actually a cascade of event, and we can
stop it there, or end it there.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Right, so what is the proposal?

Assoc. Prof. Dr Harlina Halizah Siraj:
Ok, I think community base initiatives should be more empowered ok? And in
all agency. And now let the community talk about it; rather than just the
government top down. It is actually a bottom up initiative.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
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Community base, what was the word?

Assoc. Prof. Dr Harlina Halizah Siraj:
Initiatives…I don‟t know, help me with that.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Community based initiatives or organization?

Madam Loh Cheng Kooi:
Can I, to support….

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor: be more empowered..

Madam Loh Cheng Kooi: support, because groups like us, groups like Yayasan Chow Kit, we‟re
doing so much work with the community, and yet, there is no support
financial and otherwise, we would love, I mean we started men‟s program,
we‟ve gone to schools, we‟ve gone to youth programs, and we do
tremendous of this. And yet we‟re not being recognized for this.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
So can we use the word „empowered‟ to cover that?

Madam Loh Cheng Kooi:
No, I would say: to support community base groups …

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
To support community base groups slash (/) initiatives.

Madam Loh Cheng Kooi:

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Ya, so it‟s basically to overcome violence against women, and family level,
and community level, and, well, family – community….

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:

Madam Loh Cheng Kooi:
State is, so I think you‟re taking your ending VAW back to the community.
So how do we work with the Ministry to actually do this, I mean it‟s
important, crucially important.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Right, we put it there: to support and empower, I like the word, community
base initiatives organization in….

Madam Loh Cheng Kooi:
Empowering the community to end VAW. So you‟re not empowering us.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Ok: To support community base initiatives in empowering the
community to end VAW. Did you get it? To support community base
initiatives in empowering community to end VAW. Dr Anjil yes?

Dr Anjil Doshi:
Even before we go to the community base, do we want to look at ending
violence? Then we should go back to the family system itself. Of course to
educate even the small kid is growing up , mother, father, and they see the
practice, the respect of each other, so I think we have to go to that step, very

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:

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Wording? Wording please? We are already out of time, propose?

Dr Noraida Endut:
Can we put that one? Empowering individuals, family and community to end

Dr Anjil Doshi:
And probably education as well.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
And empowering, and educating, to educate and empower individuals,
family, and community to end VAW. Can we say through something?

Voices from the Members said:
The school system.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Ya-ya, I think another proposal: to inculcate gender sensitization or programs
into our education system, and parenting courses. Did you get it?

Dr Anjil Doshi:
For example, we have you know, initiatives, some healthy living skill programs
within the National Service.

A Member said:
Which talks about family perspectives, family responsibilities, and talks about
gender equality, and talks about living without violence. And talking about
100 over thousand National Service participants. So that‟s one way we start.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Ya-ya, because I am very much involve in that you know. Peranan laki-laki

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dan wanita is reintroduced as the integration component of PLKN. PLKN is our
Malaysian National Service. But again it is not well covered. Because PLKN –
not every single one of our student SPM leavers undergone you know. (Voice:
But it‟s a start). I think rather than starting with the National Service, we
should start at the school level. Did you get it? Can you read it out loud

June (Rapporteur):
Second one: inculcate gender sensitization programs into our education

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Not only education system, what is the word Dr Anjili?

Dr Anjil Doshi:
Gender awareness and gender sensitization, program, responsibility, values
you know; it‟s very important respecting each other, and….

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Gender awareness and gender sensitization, program……………ya, into the
education system as well as family system, through various training and
school syllabus and what not lah. But that one we can put it later.

Dr Noraida Endut:
Also add to include…more gender equal norms and perspectives in formal

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Put that word: curriculum; the Malaysian education system particularly the

Dr Noraida Endut:
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But the thing to include is gender equal norms and perspectives.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Alright, I would like to propose, this is my experience dealing with Mahkamah
Sya‟riah Court, I think we need to, if not educate, or at least, no, I‟m talking
about the religious leaders. Religious leaders need to be, to undergo
certain gender sensitization kind of program. I mean, to be frank, I think one
of the major root causes of the issue in Malaysia; is the not so clear
perception of what Islamic values on gender equality is all about. So how can
we word it? I think that is one of, I think religious leaders need to be, how
can we put it?

A Member said:
Gender sensitization program for religious leaders.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Maybe propose: Gender sensitization program for religious leaders in
Malaysia. Because they play big role in providing the perception and maybe
redefining the views, and the perception of how men should treat women;
which I think I face a lot of difficulties when we talk about – you know when
they always refer to certain versus in the holy Quran, and what not ya, (a
lady: for Muslims), for the non-Muslims as well. Judges? Religious leaders and
judges; of the Sya‟riah Court - of the Civil and Islamic judicial system. Why
not? Ya ok maybe that is another proposal. Religious leader is one. Then
another same proposal to provide gender sensitization program to all justice

A Member said:
Justice agencies; because it includes the administration of the Islamic

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
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Ok can we put it in word so that she can get it? To provide, or to provide
gender sensitization programs to the justice agencies personnel – both civil /
sya‟riah. Yes, Dr Harlina.

Assoc. Prof. Dr Harlina Halizah Siraj:
Can I add, I think community leaders are very important, I was involved in
educating the Penghulu you know on all these violence, very deceptive, and
they now, this is in Selangor because the OSCC was currently being activated,
so I was involved with this program of talking about violence from the
medical perspective to the Penghulu, and the report was that they are the
(Tengku Naufal said: they are the first hand, first encounter), the victims, and
the women.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Agree-agree, can we put religious leaders and community leaders? The
community leaders point just now – you just put AND. The religious leaders
AND community leaders. Alright. Any point on preventive aspect? My dear

Dr Anjil Doshi:
Maybe it‟s already mentioned but I think the support system is also very
important, because usually reports the wife, the whole family system is
affected so we need to have that continuous support. Victims as well rather
than offender.

Dr Noraida Endut:
Empower community base just now.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Right, anything? On preventive aspect?

Mr. Khairul Azreem:
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Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Budget, discussed here already you know.

Dr Noraida Endut:
Preventive should all connect together, should not separate.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Can we go to protection? I think Protection is covered also, shelter,
criminalization, etc. Anything else to add? I was looking at economic
empowerment. We never mention anything about economic empowerment.
Should we? Because the gender equality in Malaysia – male is being perceive
as the bread winner, women caretaker. And so do we want to add on?
Because that is one of the root cause of violence against women, because
men perceive women as you know; without „me‟ – „you‟ are nobody you

Assoc. Prof. Dr Harlina Halizah Siraj:
Ok, I actually facing a different group of victims, women are the bread winner
of the family; they are the ones defend the family, the husband is not, ok the
husband is a drug addict; but that man actually abuse her. Again, well
basically this is of course of communication and everything, last time we used
to have women who are so quiet and so submissive, and then there she goes,
but now we have women who are very outspoken, and sometimes get so
angry, you know all the abusive words coming out, and then the husband just
slap, and she ended up with all the injuries. I guess err I do not know about
this economic empowerment whether it really applies in Malaysia as such that
women are being dependent on men. But it‟s actually more towards that
structure of you know, scare and mutual understanding.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
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I beg to differ Dr Harlina, because I still believe that women in Malaysia
particularly after they are married, there are a lot of women being asked to
stop working by the husbands. Why? Because they say that again; in religious
perception, again I‟m coming back to religion, that women must be the
caretaker and better off being the caretaker rather than being a bread

Assoc. Prof. Dr Harlina Halizah Siraj:
Ok, agree, that part is still be a problem, but then we are actually handling
the other end of it, now we as women; we cannot choose to – most probably
you know, stop working because we want to stop working. The husband: „you
have to go to work‟. And that is actually on the other side of it ya.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
But majority I do not know, you look at it as a majority issue, I mean as the
third if the percentage. I would say that many more women is being forced to
stop working rather than to ask to work.

Dr Noraida Endut:
I think we need evidence base there. This is where we need data to solve this
area. But I think what is clear is that violence in the form of domestic violence
is actually caused the feminization of poverty. Caused women to be poor,
even when they are working they cannot invest in property because their
properties are always being taken by their husbands, things like that. So, it
does, violence itself has an impact on women‟s economic empowerment.
They cannot work because of their health issues and things like that.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Ok, coming back to my point, would we want to come up with economic
empowerment? Or should we not?

Member said:
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Actually Economic Empowerment is being covered by Group 3

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Ah right, ok-ok.

Dr Noraida Endut:
So that‟s what I was going to suggest, but I was actually going to suggest
that we need to highlight it for that group to discuss.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
If that‟s the position, we skip lah doctor. Ok? What about engaging men in
ending violence? Can we put it under preventive? I think particularly sorry to
say ya, I‟ve been dealing with a lot of (JPW) kind of activity, balik-balik
perempuan and because the perception Jabatan Undang-Undang Wanita,
Women‟s Development Department, so it is for women. While the basic issue,
the root cause of violence against women is the men. Should we propose a
change of name? Kementerian Pembangunan Gender – rather than
Kementerian Pembangunan Wanita? I do not know, because there was a
proposal given by a government officer in Sabah, when I was doing a Gender
Awareness Training Program; he was suggesting that we should – because
perception plays a bigger role. Because he was saying that for me to come to
this kind of program; because it is Kementerian Pembangunan Wanita –
because it is the Ministry for Women, I have this fear you know, should I
come and attend or not, while the issues are being discussed are basically for
them kan? For us, for me. For the men. I‟m thinking of another point here,
Preventive aspect: What should we do to engage more men? To come
forward, to this noble initiative of us here. Macam mane nak cakap tu? How
do we put it?

Assoc. Prof. Dr Harlina Halizah Siraj:
We always have, I don‟t know, an ambassador for products kan? Why can‟t

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we not have an ambassador for this? Among the men?

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Khiarul Azreem. Ok, can we put it in productive aspect? Ministry to initiate….?

Dr Noraida Endut:
To continue, not initiate, because to continue more…..

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
To enhance ye, to enhance gender awareness training program targeting
men. (En. Khairul said: involving), Involving men.

Dr Noraida Endut:
Involving men as a major stakeholder.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Involving men. Did you get the point? Again-again, what was the language –
the word?

Dr Noraida Endut:
Involving men as a main stakeholder.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Involving and engaging men.

Dr Noraida Endut:
We can put identifying male champions.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Ya-ya, that one can come under that one lah ye, identifying icons, male
champion. Legal regulatory framework, economic being done, gender and

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equality, ok lah. I thought we wanted to come up with three/four, we came
up with many now right? Ok, anything to add? We need to stop now.
Anything to add? The wording will be beautified by me and her. Ya? Maybe
one or two of you will be shown afterwards to further beautifying it; before
we pass it to your people lah. You are the representative ah?

June (Rapporteur):
We will transfer the data to power point, then somebody needs to present
them at 4:00pm, sorry 3:30pm today.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Today? Then maybe Dr Noraida will present lah.

Dr Noraida Endut:
I think Tengku you just go ahead.

Tengku Naufal Tengku Mansor:
Ok. Anything else to add? Actually we touched much on the regulatory and
legal framework, but we did not ignore the other components, and I think
we‟ve covered quite well. Let‟s hope this is something not just mere
discussion. We pray that whatever being proposed here will be properly
implemented, I know it‟s a big work for your unit, but I think the major
concern as we can see here is the legal framework. Well I have read the
African Legal Charter; you were talking about the African Legal Charter
on Women, Gender Equality and what not, they have a very interesting
wording there that maybe we can emulate here and there if you are serious
about it, I have some documents here, because I was certified by the LAGOS
Gender; what do you call this? Human Rights Institute on (GBV) Gender
Base Violence Preview; and they‟ve provided me with very good-
interesting world documents for us to refer. We hope that particularly PUU;
the legal advisor to the ministry, can play particularly bigger role in

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formulating the policy and the policy maker and what not yea. Can we end up
the session here? We thank you, I thank you very much, and we‟ll see you at
2pm, alright? We‟ll have a short lunch and prayer time. Assalamualaikum,
thank you. If you have anything to add, we are still here, you can always
propose here.

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                      Group 3 Dialogue Session on
        “Enhancing Women‟s Economic Empowerment”

Chairperson & Moderator :
Puan Wan Hasmah Wan Mohd, Director General, Department of
Women‟s Development

Resource Person:
Ms Deepa Bharati, Regional Programme Manager, UN Women East
and Southeast Asia Regional Office

Power Point Presentation by :
Puan Wan Hasmah Wan Mohd, Director General, Department of
Women‟s Development:
Economic empowerment is the bulk of the responsibility is being carried out in
many Ministries, such as of course, we talk about economic empowerment in
terms of getting women to be involved in the economic activities where we
have women in FMM, the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers, and of
course Dato‟ Habsah is leading SME Corp, which is an agency under the
Ministry of International Trade and Industry and Dato‟ Habsah would probably
like to tell you herself what are the programs she has specifically. But in the
Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development we have programs
that are targeting to the very low income households; women in the rural
areas; as well as urban areas who are in the low income households.

So what we do is actually we try to do two pronged sort of programs where
we talk about where we look at ok this is female labor force (Referring to
power point), we‟ll skip this for now; that‟s the low income household under
which is part of the government‟s national key results area; we talk about the
hardcore poor female form 48% of the total hardcore poor and again the

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poor group this the figure that is the latest on the 31st of May, 2011 when we
started the national key results areas; we talked about the poor and the
hardcore poor under the e-kasih database which is numbered at 44,643
households. Altogether I don‟t have the figure of how many percent of that
is actually women but for this latest that the 2nd basket which we are
supposed to tackle from this year until the 31st of May 2011, this is the
number and if you look at the 3 categories of poor, the “vulnerable”,
is 53% female, the “poor” 31% female and the “hardcore poor”
48% female headed household.

Our Strategy is to “Formulate”, “Implement”, and “Monitor” and this is under
our Capacity building programmes that is congruent with the National Policy
on Women and CEDAW, Beijing Platform for Action, MDG. When we do our
program we have started our programs in terms of economic
empowerment as well as capacity building we based on is open
registration where people volunteer to come in and actually register in our
department in various States. And they actually volunteer by word of mouth
and by the news we send out; they come in and we give them skills
training as well as a bit of we insulate some form of encouragement for
them to actually generate their own income. When these women are from low
income we have the programs that are supposed to actually engineer them to
the vision is that they become co-partners in developing Malaysia. So
the economic empowerment program that enhancing participation in business
and entrepreneurial activities actually talks about “skills training” which
must be “income generating” to “reduce the incidences of poverty”.

We have Socio-Economic Empowerment Programmes that are implemented
by DWD such as: (i) Intensive Skills Training for Single Mothers (I-Kit); (ii)
Skills Training Programme (Jejari Bestari); (iii) Skills & Entrepreneurship
Programme (I-KEUNITA); and (iv) Home Managers. So these are groups of
women who come together in our program and the vision of course is to

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reduce the incidence of poverty and what we do is we have various of
these are programs that we go into we concentrate on single mothers we
also concentrate on women who are under the financial help under the
welfare department so these are really the people that we concentrate on
especially on a small group of women that we start with.

So, under the integrated program where we go into areas of skills where they
that are actually income generating such as sowing, preparing food and
selling them but the problem is that we do not provide the grants so when we
have attained more than a few thousand people we have since 2008. So
these are the 4 flagship programs (Refer to slide presentation) that we
have and we have actually created 300 people, women who are whether
they are heads of households or just women who do not generate their own
income who would like to have actually be part of the income generating part
of the country what we do is realize that they do not have the fund to start
the business no matter how the fund to start the business no matter how
small they still need income sort of standing grant or some sort of funding so
we actually match with Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia (AIM) who is a microcredit
body and we have some of our people who are actually trained and are quite
good; they have their own business that are registered and some of them
they go directly to Dato Habsah‟s organization and they get trained there;
they get business advice there and all that from Dato‟ Habsah‟s organization.

I‟m aware that even big companies have got areas of where they train
women to be entrepreneurs but we feel that I think there is a general feeling
that we have to consolidate all this training and skills training as well
as we perceive that everybody seems to be doing but not in a really
Malaysian 1 flag level of thing; so that there is no overlap; there is a
concentrative effort in various sectors that make us really high income as the
new economic model recommends. But it is up to us to be the 1st to getting
there to actually narrow the gap and actually get women to really be involved

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in generating their own income. In 2008 we have trained a number of people
and we are also actually working with NGOs and the private sector and we
are also going into entrepreneurship, to create awareness about it and it is
also part of our education system; some of the co-curricular activities in
schools are talking about entrepreneurship. So when we go into some of our
programs that actually address the women and the girls who are going out to
be entrepreneurs instead of just waiting for jobs but definitely we would like
to achieve the vision; of course the 55% women in the work force, or women
who actually generate income. So I think this mainly would set us in the
mood into what we are doing at the Ministry.

Power Point Presentation by:
Ms Deepa Bharati, Regional Programme Manager, UN Women East
and Southeast Asia Regional Office

The data which I was reading in an AGB report which says that the Asia
Pacific region is losing 42 billion US dollars annually because women‟s limited
access to employment and another 16-30 billion US dollars annually as a
result of the gaps in education. When I started reading this article, I said
“wow”: that when we say women is not enough in the labor force; this is the
economic terms of what that means; its not a small amount 42 billion dollars;
so I think we need to put into perspective the reason why this is so and it‟s
clear to us even more so now. Now just looking very quickly at the GDP
growth rate, it has been significant; again going into the high development
indices that has reached high and the poverty although when we‟re talking
with Malaysia being 57 of the 169 in the development index expansion of the
economy; had rebound actually in 2010 there are challenges in women‟s
poverty; jobs being lost and when moving into an informal economy while we
have a rosy picture of the economy rebounding the women is what we have
to talk about; this is very much about Malaysia. I haven‟t put any other

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figures when I come here because let‟s concentrate on the job at hand and
these figures are not based on the NGB report which are from the
government statistics looking at sectors with the greatest poverty.

Agriculture, fisheries, wholesale, retails - where there are a lot of women;
hence we talk about the feminization of poverty and incidences of female
headed households and the report talks about the urban-rural divisions in
terms of the poor female headed households in the rural areas being the
lowest income distribution and as said this morning by the resident
coordinator female labor force participation has and that is what we are here
to talk about and what was said this morning about education. There is
priority in education levels in secondary and primary to tertiary
levels and that‟s definitely an achievement. When one looks again at the
labor force participation at higher levels of the job sector, women are going
towards more gender stereotyped roles or occupation sectors for
women something which the department has recognized and is already
addressing what comes through is that households with lower education of all
female headed households are in greater poverty and what does it do to our
general indicators is when women headed households are in greater poverty
this has impact on the women but also to the household, on the education
attainment of children, and putting the burden of women.

While there are a lot of achievements there are challenges in terms of
feminization of poverty in certain sectors, particularly in the urban
rural divide. These are just a few to mention and what was said this
morning that the government has sanctions, commitments and policies in
placed internationally such as the ratification of CEDAW, CRC, Convention
2010, nationally there are policies, sectorial policies and priorities in education
levels and political participation to a certain extent. This is something that I
wanted to share from women‟s economic role through successful strategies is
that there are better jobs that are legally protected and part of the formal

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economy. A large number of the workforce is the unpaid, un-proper economy
and home-based work there is a lot of income which is lost. Attracting better
jobs which are better jobs which are protected, minimum wages and other
benefits. Supporting environments to work including breastfeeding facilities
and childcare services.

One of the challenges is the retention of women after marriage. This is a
challenge in many developed and developing countries how do we avoid
women who leave the workforce after marriage; there must be a supportive
environment. Matching job market and labor sector demands are very
often not addressed right from the education level and this goes on to the
next part which is access to skills training and has called for career
development this is something short term. Our experiences around the region
have shown that when empowerment on economic enlightening generation
they do not match the market demand and there is an over supply then it
fades after a point. There are very short term measures, our experiences
show that unless there is at the education level skills training and
entrepreneurship which caters to the job market demand there will be many
qualified people who are not part of the work force. If we look at the point I
made earlier about rural women is about the movement of women out of the
cultural force and to the other manufacturing industries and into other job
sectors there must be access to credit and loan and a market which is
conducive to entrepreneurship development in women.

I was wondering whether we should identify of what we mean by
economic empowerment, I think there are two and we will find the
background details very useful maybe we could be very clear of what we
mean. I think one is going across the different sectors for poor and middle
income would be two types: employment and self entrepreneurship. The
way we look at it through the economic model we‟ve been looking at we see
these two things; (i) capacity building, which is getting women into better

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paid jobs and that will also mean formal to informal and also within the
formal setting. Not having enough skills to further your position, how do we
improve your status? And the other aspect; (ii) is through the
entrepreneurship, which is what the Ministry has been working on through
capital and some skills involved for them to become entrepreneurs. So to
avoid us from falling through the cracks, we could have the three main ways
that we could empower women.

Before that we should talk about having supportive environments that
are legally protected; it‟s not just the role of the Ministry of Women to give
skills training, Ministry of Human Resources should be here. Can I suggest
that if we look at this then we‟ll see the other way of looking at it; (i) what
are the barriers of women getting into entrepreneurship, (ii)
employment, and then your point will come through. For us Malaysia we
look at the region, and one of the things I wanted to talk about next is an
issue of migration management because when we‟re talking about labor
there is research that we‟ve done in Jordan which shows enhancement in
women‟s economic empowerment through migrant workers, and Malaysia has
a lot of migrant workers so it has to be an issue as well. And one more issue
that I find relevant is looking at social security and safety to all women
which responds to different section of identities of women.

I just have two more slides and this is how I want to frame it by saying
attracting women into the labor force, and entrepreneurship
development for women. Investing in women entering new jobs including
traditionally male dominated jobs which would go into the point of having
more women in corporate coats but looking at whether women are entering
non-traditional jobs and sectors and how does one create an enabling
environment for that. I did want to talk about the social and cultural
needs for this in the long term. To look at perceptions of women‟s roles both
for paid work and unpaid work and looking at the larger policy

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measures which are needed maybe for short term temporary special
measures are needed. And again looking at migration management but, of
course, it has to be a change in the social cultural perception. So to put this
on board the point Shantee made earlier about better labor protection
and better labor rights which I have been talking about having laws that
address sexual harassment and better wages and why are these job sectors
not attractive for women. What are the challenges of having
opportunities to credit and as you put women‟s economic empowerment is
a multi sectional issue how do different Ministries come together, are they
making policies because if you‟re making policies you have to make concrete
suggestions so there must be targeted programs at policies. So these are
a few points. And I can share with you on anything else.

It looks like what Prof said about looking at it into entrepreneurs, labor and is
actually the last part of your presentation. We‟re doing a lot in helping the
women entrepreneurs in the lower level but we must also help the middle or
even the larger group because there are hardly any women getting big
companies. Even if they are, they inherit it but it‟s not themselves becoming
entrepreneurs and heading these companies. But the issue is also in the
sense that our companies 99.2% of business entities are SMEs and they are
largely micro and small. But I think equally important is the economy, the
labor. Two male graduates to three women graduates, but yet women are not
getting into the workforce. Even if they enter, they leave the labor force after
a while because of the environment is not conducive for them to be in the

I would just like to share some statistics, as mentioned 99.2% of business are
SMEs of which 80% are micro. In 2005, when we first did the concensus,
about 16% of women owned businesses. In 2009, it showed that women in

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business is now standing at 20-25% of the total businesses and that‟s
something we could shout about and there is greater awareness of women
that is business is considered an option a preferred choice, and not just go
out and look for jobs after graduation. This is something that we worked with
the universities as well, as in getting the graduates to consider businesses
and entrepreneurship as an option for them. As you can see, most of the
businesses that women embark on is for survival. But today we see these
days women go into business to create more revenue for their family, so it‟s
no more about survival, but more of a choice. While Jabatan Wanita, Keluarga
dan Komuniti dealt with the microprobe and they worked together and they
come up with a diagram for us and SMECorp we work with those who are
powered deep and integrate a group of smaller women. Since we started our
special team of women entrepreneurs, we have already disbursed up to 150
million ringgit to women entrepreneurs and over 5000 of them have benefited
from it. We have also trained from a pool of 50,000 employees that have
been trained, easily 15,000 to 16,000 are now women entrepreneurs that we
have trained and just before we come into this room, we are now working
into providing special training program for women who are sitting in the
Board of Directors who wants to get the company listed and we can better
prepare them in this corporate world. So that is something that is a work-in-
progress but nevertheless, as I want to repeat the statistics, my guess that in
Malaysia women in the Ministry compared to the Asia Pacific statistics which is
about 12% and we can put in more programs such as the training programs
that we are doing now to get more women sitting on the boards. Some of the
women entrepreneurs, owners of their own companies yet their companies
listed, that is what we are doing.

About 2 – 3 years ago, we were involved in huge studies with the Ministry of
Rural Development on rural entrepreneurs. Most of them are not registered
really micro, micro entrepreneurs and they require a different set of

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approaches. Secondly, when we talk about the formal and informal sector, we
talk about it as being separate sectors but many of the poor are describable
in both sectors and sometimes they don‟t get protection in either of the
sectors because depending on what level their contract is on and we have to
take that into account and having merged from a business study in Sarawak,
everything that everybody is saying here has not been heard of. The women
are poor, they are old, they have a lot of problem in logistics and they suffer
high depletion of nutrition level and live a lot to be desired. So when we talk
about economic empowerment of women, when I think about these women I
recently worked on, I try to ask myself what can we do for them and the
pattern is that these group of women, they‟re stuck in their houses with very
young children to care for. The middle aged group of women have migrated
out of the area. If they‟re lucky, they‟ll send the money back, if they‟re not
lucky, they won‟t send the money back. So I think we have to actually
prioritize this discussion. When we talk about economic empowerment, I think
we have to about why women are not in the labour force. These women who
are not in the labour force will be involved in agriculture but will not be
captured by some kind of activity and we really have to take into account
what is happening at the micro level. And the studies we did on 3000 rural
entrepreneurs around the country, many of them are not even in your
statistics. The government spent about a million of that project. I think this is
where I take up your point about that so many people have done so much
but there‟s no congregated effort. The Ministry of Women go do different
service but there are already a few databases with an action plan which is
just sitting on the shelves of the Ministry of Rural Development. We
recommended that we have a central database to the government but it has
not been moved and we have detailed better on 3000 rural entrepreneurs and
we did categorize them into medium, micro and large entrepreneurs. The
study was 3 years ago.


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Actually I‟m so glad you brought that up because economic empowerment
means different things to different sections, which identity of women they are
talking about and one of the challenges I found out is bringing action to the
most marginalized into the ministry. In terms of addressing realities, in terms
of bringing them from the lowest poor, just the thing about the database, if
there is a coordinated effort.

We have to increase our labour force participation from 46% to 55%. Which
of the groups we should be targeting? We have 4 million women outside the
labour force. Out of these we are training 15,000 to 33,000. So the 55% will
be very hard to achieve. So to achieve the 55%, we should be targeting those
school leavers and after SPM. Those will be the bulk of our labour force. We
have to talk about minimum wage which will encourage women to participate.
If a woman has to leave her children for a job that pays so little, so we have
to look at the holistic method. We have to look at minimum wage, we have to
look at the supportive environment, we have to legally protect the lower
group income of women. They will only participate in the labour force if we
support and they are the bulk.

When they are in school, they should have the mindset that ultimately,
economically independent. That must be the mind of every woman no matter
at what level. You must be economically independent because along the way
anything can happen. When they are in the lower run, we should help
increase the value chain as they are at a certain level we should help them to
move and I would like to also touch the fact that we are quite stereotype. We
only see entrepreneurs in certain sectors, not many women make shoes, not
many women are electricians, not many women in jewelry. So we have to
enhance the scope of coverage of what women can do; who can do anything
if they were given the vocational training along the way. So I would like to

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move on the structure involvement of women in the economic sector. In
companies there is always this diversity issue and last I would like to touch on
is online communication and master that and once you are very good in that,
once your know about IT, there‟s a lot of opportunity, a lot of business is
available online. And that is one of the areas I like to touch.

We said that a bulk of women are secondary school educated. I‟m not sure
that‟s true. We‟ve been talking a lot about what sounds to me very long term.
We‟ve had conversation with the Ministry of Women before, we applaud all of
the things they did but one of the disconnect is that here we are trying to find
people working for us which is so difficult and we end up employing
foreigners because they are more reliable. Local workers more often they
won‟t come and they will use their emergency leave, their medical leave, their
mother passed away, their father passed away, so many people passed away,
and they are never ever reliable. Having said that, the pay we give the local
workers and foreign workers are the same. In the end, in the total package
we have to pay more for the foreign workers. We prefer local, less hassle for
us but we have to tolerate that. One of the things that we realize is when we
do training it does not jive with the skills that we want and we find that if you
have all this training done, who has the database of these people because
once you will leave them out to the wild so to say. Nobody follows through
and we want to approach them, and we approach some of these single
mothers. However, nobody has an idea how to reach out to them. So the
database again will follow through so we are even contemplating on how we
can use all our resources and we can solve our workers‟ problem. Honestly
we have problems in recruiting because it‟s very expensive. We rather have
someone there than to lose them. When we talk about entrepreneurship
some of my members are saying training in the classroom is different in the
actual world, so we say we don‟t even mind mentoring them. I think this is
really one place which is missing in Malaysia, mentoring whether it is

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entrepreneurship or people coming up or whatever you call it is really
something in grave. Even in education I found out that when my daughter did
her MBA she chose a university where the lecturers are actual practitioners.
Only about a quarter of the lecturers are full-time lecturers because with that
they can be challenged with whatever hypothesis or theory and get life
experience, and this will become the mentor. I would love to be able to
impart whatever I have learnt outside but you can‟t because you don‟t have a
Masters degree, you don‟t have a PhD and when I studied I was a science
student but I‟m doing communication, I‟m doing marketing now which I learnt
through the hard way. I wish somebody was able to impart this kind of real
life hands-on thing when I was a student. I want to impart on my knowledge
but the education system says that I am not qualified. So when you talk
about entrepreneurship, it‟s not about education, it‟s really about hands-on
and your company is willing to pay you, to train you up.

I think mentoring is important and the other one is networking. To support
that we should meet women and begin networking. In terms of networking,
there is also a group of entrepreneurs that is going a great job and I think
they are funded by USMC and they have what they call „sembang-sembang‟.
I‟ve attended a few of it. This idea really ladies who just came out from the
universities and wants to start up their own business or whatsoever. So this is
a forum for them to get together and meet up with each other under the
radar because they are not supported by any other government agencies. I
find that government agencies have a lot of fund but there is a lot of
wastages because it‟s very good at policy but not so strong in following

I want to comment on that as I am from a government agency. I want to pick
up on the „sembang-sembang‟ and the mentor as that is a very popular

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program. We did it every last Friday of the month with successful women
entrepreneurs. We call it „Sembang Petang Bersama Usahawan‟. We do
it not only in Kuala Lumpur, we even do it in Sabah, Sarawak, Kelantan, Jeli,
Besut, what I‟m trying to say is it‟s very popular because you‟ll listen to the
successful women in the nuts and bolts of doing business and that is very
important, it‟s something you cannot get from university curriculum and I was
surprised I did not see any President of Women Association in this forum that
we are doing today. We‟ve got 12 industry women entrepreneurs
associations; and there are presidents of many, many associations. And yet
they‟re not here today but they should be the ones giving feedbacks on how
we empower women entrepreneurship. They take turns for example to host
the „Sembang Petang Bersama Usahawan‟. When we do it, we have all the
members and listen to all these kinds of talk. For example when it is oil and
gas, we bring all the members of oil and gas so it‟s not one sided and that is
very important for us to understand how we want to engage women in
entrepreneurship and that mention of the utilization of ICT, we work very
much into it and we believe it, we work closer with Microsoft in fact, and we
work closer with eBay, Google and KimPal and through this program, we got
people from the depths of Sabah and Sarawak and they made all those lovely
beads. I remembered 2 years ago, I brought all our laptops to Sarikei,
Kampit, we bring Microsoft with us and tried to teach them how to use it. It‟s
very interesting to have networking with all these successful women and I
only wish that the Presidents of the 12 Associations are here because they are
the ones who provide all the inputs and the feedback on how do we empower
women especially in the bottom 40%. And we have also one more that is
work-in-progress, the Training of the Trainers of all the associations, the
presidents so they can train more women to start up business because to
start up a business which can be quite difficult for some especially in the rural
areas, so we work with all these associations to actually work through with
their members, how do you start business, how do you register, how much
does it cost, you need to have company security since Malaysia is taking the

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leadership of training of the trainers for women to start business, and that is
where we going to bring your people from the micro, bring them all and
legalize them and formalize them for as long as we got legalize them and
formalize them they cannot get incentives from the government.

Because you mentioned so many interesting programs but for a country
which is so widespread and diverse, how does the most remote person get
information about these programs? You mentioned to some extent where you
used computers and information technology but how do they learn the
presence of these services so they can access these programs to build them
into the urban home given the fact that there is difference of course in rural,
urban and the other divisions. Number 2, I just want to highlight that this
data is sex disaggregated because data is not the problem, it is the
segregated data which is the problem and again the point of documentation
good practices of what fits because one size doesn‟t fit all. In this context, are
there experiences of documentation for example, tomorrow Malaysia invites
one country to share, would there be any documentation? And one of the
things that I agree is that there is a very clear difference in women despite
level of education who do not see themselves as a need to be financially
independent or primary bread earner. Even the survival of bread earners is to
be independent and choose sectors which they see perhaps as temporary and
not go back to the workforce after a while and the retention back of all those
skills for bringing those entrepreneurship are just one challenge those
different levels how does the woman in the father‟s corner know about these
things to somebody who is already a full graduate?

The reason why it‟s burning with enthusiasm is the same areas you
mentioned, Kapit, Kerawit in these areas there‟s no telephone coverage and
even our interviewers they have to climb up a lamp post to contact us once in

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a while, the boats go whenever they feel like doing so, so these are the
realities and I don‟t know where your internet actually reach, because these
are the areas we worked, there‟s no internet, no phone coverage, no nothing.
So these areas have got nothing and then the worst areas like these that we
were not in the worst of the worst. We‟ve got Pulau Guit, there‟s no water,
there‟s no communication, there‟s no nothing and they got diseases caused
by worms which is night blindness or I‟m not sure of the medical term
because there‟s no sanitation, they go to the river for sanitation, and the
worms get into their feet, and all they have to do is wear boots that people in
the market wear, they‟re not even doing that, because they‟re blind. Once
they captured the disease, they‟re blind for life. So this is the Malaysia we‟re
talking about, on the ground, so I‟m really impressed with SME Corp, with the
kind of training they‟re giving but I don‟t know what area they go into
because the area we went to (the people of SME Corp went to Kapit) but you
see we went to Kapit and there was no telephone coverage. So how to have
internet and things like that? One success story in Sarawak is DiBario, but the
thing is to replicate DiBario is really expensive, we have actually made the
recommendation to try and replicate DiBario. Our final report of going to
Sarawak was last week.

I hope you don‟t mind but I want to touch on what Prof said to us. What we
do one thing is we have to do, we really have to go to the field and conduct
the survey. We have to do a full survey to determine the poverty level.
Actually if I may, the NKRA what it does is under our low income household
that‟s why you look at the poverty line and you give financial support first to
get them to reach the additional level and then you bring them to the next
level, to the next level, and we also have under the NKRA as well as separate
programs that not only talk about empowerment in terms of making them
entrepreneurs but just giving them information that these things are
available, that the children must go to school, that all of this information are

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improving really because we‟re talking about Pulau Guit Program, we‟re
talking about programs to the really maternalised women and also even in
Peninsular Malaysia. We go back to the coordination that, this integrated data
because I think they are on the right track except that we are not actually
formalizing the data and some of these things we are doing, we are just
going about and not actually documenting it or when we have documents we
are not really an integrated approach.

Can I just have a really quick intervention, just now we started with our
concensus and capture the number of businesses owned by women so that is
going to be the concensus and it is going to be completed by middle of 2012.
And this is the work together with the government and the states. So by
which time we will get full report.
I want to respond to what Datin Seri said. One thing about ours is the so
called securities. Actually most of them are no more poor in our program but
for us to list them into the next level that is for them extra balancing from
commercial banks. One thing there‟s no one to really handle them because
handholding is very important, because they have a different set of rules and
they can‟t afford to do the monitoring because it‟s expensive.

I‟m sorry Dato‟ Habsah, thank you for telling us all what SME Corp is doing
but I don‟t think it‟s working. I‟m sorry, that‟s my view. If it‟s working all this
while, then we will not have women participation in only 45 – 46%. And
whatever you are doing, if it‟s starting from 2008 or something, you cannot
monitor what is the impact. You see, it‟s not really helping because what we
now is probably something else other than SME is doing. Maybe what we
need is to introduce new jobs because in economic theory, you have this
employment multiplier effect. If you introduce something new for example, if

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somebody is selling fried bananas, you‟re actually encouraging people who is
selling the wok, the oil and all those other things that are related to that
particular area. So that it‟s something that we are already doing right, now it
is not something that is obviously giving the results we want now, we‟re
talking about short term so maybe we need to think of something or some
other new areas instead of what are the skills you are teaching there. Maybe
right now we are having this problem about maids, so maybe if it‟s true your
statistics or Puan Fatimah seems to contradict that the SPM holders are those
in the biggest category of people we have now. Maybe those are the people
you have to target from school level, because I‟m sure that this has been said
before not everybody is going to be doctors or lawyers and all that, so there
are this group of people from school you need to also introduce them to all
this other sort of careers in fact in other countries you have prostitution is
legal, you have advertisements. I‟m not going that extreme into Malaysia but
when we‟re talking about guarantee of a job is important. If you said that
being a maid is a legal job prospect then you have all this benefit that goes
with being a maid which can ensure that their career is something that they
can be proud.

I think what is important here is clarity of roles because that‟s where I think
all of us are confused at the moment. Where does Jabatan Pembangunan
Wanita punya role starts? Where does SME Corp punya role start? Where
does AIM punya role start and then as mentioned by Puan Hasmah, there is
actually a letter that post from one to the next. So I get your point that
probably what we did was wrong all this years. We have actually showed
statistics, I am not trying to be defensive, from 2005, 16% of women in the
businesses now we see 25% from 2008 but we‟re still going up although we
haven‟t reach the 40% target.


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We need to help women stay at work whether it‟s day care or for the elderly.
And that‟s why as I said our studies in Jordan showed that the role of migrant
domestic workers who did the care work at home taking care of children and
hence, increases the participation of educated women in higher level
professional fields in Jordan. And there is a very clear supply and demand

I think that is another way of supporting women but I think a more structured
way is to see that as a group of employees as a center of employees or
business. So for instance, a lot of emphasis is given to taking care of young
children, babies but those of 6,7,8,9 years old, you cannot leave them at
home because they also need the care.

Because in Malaysia we have this law that children below 12 years old cannot
be left unattended.

What we want to present this afternoon in terms of short term, long term. In
terms of recommendation we have to put in the 3 areas that we want to go in
and then the enabling environment and then the poor as one part I think, I‟m
open to your suggestions but we have to have a sort of structure because we
are going all over the place.

I think I would like to refer to the newest report that they have, these 2
ladies who are working online that children can call, so these 2 Indian ladies
reported that they got calls from 12 year-olds who got to take care of their 6
year-olds, the 6 year-olds have to take care of the 3 year-olds with nobody at
home. So these 2 ladies take initiative to establish the government agency

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that is voluntary. So she‟s been getting calls from as far as Terengganu,
Kelantan and Sabah and all that calling and I think that was the outcome of
the someone leaving children behind.

Sorry, can I just say that she also mentioned a private sector benefits
because in the government we get the same advantages. When we talk about
60 days leave or 90 days leave people in the private sector are talking about
we cannot afford that but sometimes it starts off at the basic level by saying
you have to have childcare facilities if you want to retain or attract women to
certain sectors. Can I have one suggestion for a very short term? I was
thinking media campaign, it doesn‟t happen in terms of taking the voice of
what you‟re saying which are all the facilities which are there in different
forms to the farther corners of Malaysia. It could be different forms, radio,
television, internet but maybe something which says okay, these are your
benefits. The power of media and the digital world exist otherwise it will only
be known to a small group of people.

One of the points that was raised is that one of the provisions of law that the
parents should not leave their children at home unattended and some people
ended up that one of the downsides is that poor women would not be able to
work. But you see we have not worked or made suggestions that we should
harness the community, and women in the community who are not going to
work to provide some kind of a centre where kids after school could go and
be supervised, to do all kind of activities, their homework or whatever. We
have been making those kind of suggestions but nobody has been taking it


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Because I thought our LPPKN has got it in some of their programs but I am
not sure how far it is implemented because in the city is where you need it
too. I think that there is the Taska 1Malaysia where the fee is lowered.

But taska is for kindergarten, we‟re talking about pre-teens where kids are left
home and be exposed to danger because there are no adults at home. So I
think that should be a service procedure, it should be implemented because it
will help poor people to go to work because it is not a taska, it is a childcare
centre. We need community level childcare in the short term, we need the
budget, we need the money so that we can get the poorer 40% of women to
go out to work. Perhaps another form for urban areas.

I see that there are not many women directors. The way directors are
appointed, you appoint them and then only you give mandatory courses or
the additional. I told Bursa Malaysia and SC we should make women really to
prove what are the courses required for you to qualify, for you to become

Actually at the Ministry, we were a part of that discussion with SC, with Tan
Sri Zarinah, that we would like to have this leadership program where we
actually identify women to just leapfrog into where we are now.

May I just point out something we talked about the peak, the group, I think
we also have to look at the classification of our society, the rich, the middle
class and the poor. There need to be a reclassification in terms of
qualification, because then from there you can see what are the things that
qualify this group of people and where it should be. So if there are tertiary

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qualifications, quickly they need to be at a certain level and if they are higher
postgraduate qualifications, they need to be at a higher than that level and
the lower level people will be doing a different kind of job. So from there
actually my understanding of what empowerment is all about your economic
security, that means we look at wages, what is the income of this various
levels of people. So this various group of people it doesn‟t matter if you‟re in
the lower group or higher group, but if you are to be empowered or to be
secured then you should have the necessary amount of things that is
necessary. It‟s not about the name of the position because if you are
empowered, you are secured then it doesn‟t matter because to be secured or
to be empowered, you already have the qualifications and if Datin Paduka is
saying this lady doesn‟t have the knowledge for example, they need to go for
training. Actually the higher you go in the tertiary level, you have probably
have more knowledge, not necessarily the exact knowledge of fiduciary and
all that, it depends right, but at least they will learn a bit from when you were
in college or even in school, so the reclassification of various group of society
needs to be looked at. I suppose I don‟t expect the Ministry of Women to
introduce that national economic council but to me that is important because
when you talk about empowerment and economic security but actually if your
income and your voice in the society and if you had that no matter your title
is you would be secure and you‟d be empowered.

That sounds like if it falls into one of your folds of the new economic model
you know relooking at which band you belong to and whether you need to go
from one band to the next.

It‟s too generic to label rich, middle income and poor okay because when you
are at the poor level, it‟s probably because you don‟t have a job, that‟s why
you don‟t have income and you‟re poor. But that doesn‟t mean that you are

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not qualified that you don‟t have tertiary education or whatever. You do but
you can‟t find a job and take care of your kids so automatically you fall in that
category because you don‟t have income but on the other hand if you do and
you go to the next step and probably become middle income but it‟s very fluid
this movement.

Actually I agree with her totally because when you talk about labor force
participation, if you talk about the poor, they are actually working, but they
may not be captured in the statistics or they may be working but not earning
income to pull them out of poverty. So to say that they are not in the labor
force is not necessarily correct, but I agree totally that we should look at
where do we need to increase labor force participation at what level, whether
you‟re going to use socioeconomic status or educational status or job
employment classification, I‟m not sure at this stage. But I think we really
need to know because one of the things that keeps coming up is that
women‟s participation in certain areas is not very high, and then you‟re
talking about the board room, or the other level is also not high but when you
look across the border, when you‟re talking about economic empowerment, I
think we really need to know what are you talking about, which is what does
economic empowerment mean. Does it mean we move up and have more
women at the corporate level or does it mean women in the labor force have
got jobs but they are not economically empowered because they do not earn
enough and I think that marketable women and if I remember from your
economic model without disaggregating the data by gender one of the
reasons why we are trapped in this middle income kind of thing is that the
bulk of the people who are in the labor force have only got SPM qualifications.
I think that is what you will see but we don‟t know what the gender
breakdown is but it‟s a matter of getting the data and disaggregating it by
gender but again we have to see which sectors they're employed in because
one of the things we have done work on is on urban poor. Okay, we take the

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poverty line but we will call it at 2% below the urban poverty line but when
we look at expenditures, because we take two proxies, income and
expenditure, and no one really tells the truth for income anyway, but when
we look at expenditure, we find that people are spending 3 times more than
the income. Hello, where is this money coming from I would like to know so
you see it‟s not about income. Okay, when we ask questions on income,
which is your main source on income. Okay, do you take it in terms of formal
and informal if they got security so somebody may have a government job
but in the urban areas for the lower income people to survive on average,
they're tackling 3 jobs because you cannot afford to live in the urban areas.
Two jobs is very common but three is about average. So what are we talking
about, what is the major income source we don‟t know whether it‟s the
informal sector, or if it‟s the semi formal sector, or if it‟s the formal sector 9-
5? Whoever it is, works in the government office, 4 something they disappear
and work in a store or something. Then at night, they may drive a taxi. They
need that type of income and even that so income levels are not that low
because they‟ve got all these different sources of income. But expenditures
are so high and you're wondering is there some sort of black market we don‟t
know about, because we don‟t know where they get the money, how can
they afford to live and have so much money, when your incomes are so low.

For this particular study, we could disaggregate it by gender; not a problem
because whenever we do a study we look at them and put into six tapes, so
not just women, but it‟s also about the poor.

Would you also consider MLM as a source of income?


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We didn‟t capture too much of the MLM because people don‟t tend to tell you
if they have MLM. 3 jobs, it could be MLM, it could be driving a taxi, it could
be having a stall, or whatever.

Basically our statistics obtaining departments are having a problem because
our informal sector is never captured. I think we have to push them to
capture the informal sector and Jabatan Perangkaan should buck up and do
that because other countries round the world are doing that.

My point here is, okay, we want to increase 46% to 55% but is our economy
able to create jobs in both the rural area and in the urban area? Where is our
statistics looking at urban area labor force participation is increasing but
slowly but rural labor force participation is declining. So we need to create
jobs and create job where? In the rural area? Because there are a lot of
women in the rural area the employment rate is declining. The employment
rate in the urban areas is increasing, that is why you are having trouble
getting people to work. So those are the things we need to look at. Those
days in the „70s, we will move from rural to urban to work, but now there are
women in the rural area who are unemployed, we also need to look at that
and we need to look at job creation. Is our economy able to create jobs? In
which sectors I‟m going back to what she said. We need to create jobs and
for me if we create more jobs we will see the statistics move. And in which
sectors we are creating jobs.

Can I make a couple of points, one of them is I just like to say in terms of
economic security and economic empowerment really are two different things
because just with security does not empower women. There needs to be a
whole range of other reasons so I really don‟t want to use those terms. The

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other thing I wanted to bring into this forum is by 2015 ASEAN talking about
free labor mobility, so this question of why the foreign workers are here,
now that is going to be higher level skills and this is the discussion now, but
that‟s something that‟s four years from now looking at free labor mobility
around the ASEAN region for workers, so there are going to be Malaysian
workers going outside and also workers coming into Malaysia from the ASEAN
region. So then this issue about labor force participation of Malaysian women
takes a new phase and challenge looking at it. Ashanti, this point about
women‟s participation. According to what I have read from the data of the
NGB report women are moving from agriculture but they‟re going into non-
agricultural service sector which is a very interesting trend as well because
then it goes back to our issue of what are the working conditions. They might
be part of the labor force, but what is the working and living conditions of
women and how does that impact and these are really questions important to
the Ministry of Women because you‟re looking at the welfare of all women in
the country. So how do you move from economic security to economic
empowerment of all women and job creation and decent work? I think that is
important because there could be loads of jobs created in the informal
economy and that is one thing that we should scout out prospects though
various people saying that these are decent jobs with enough protection with
enabling environments. So recognized different roles women play as care
givers in the family and nobody has mentioned the role of men in care giving
and I think this is also very important to look at because for example we were
looking at violence against women where men are partners in preventing
violence against women and begin advocates for gender equality and moving
from UNICEF to UN women one of the things which has very strongly come
as a topic is not just women empowerment but also gender equality and
having men and boys as participants, so what is the role of the men and


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We‟ve got this information that under the Child Act 2001, there is a regulation
that says that children under 12 are not to be left alone.

I agree with Datin Paduka of role of employer, because if retain the women in
the labor force their employer must also provide a conducive environment, if
the mothers want to go home and pick up the children or attend to sick
children they should be allowed to do that without being penalized for it. Can
we tell employers about that, can we tell the Ministry of Human Resources to
enforce it. Not really enforce, but really persuade or encourage. There is a
law, but if you talk about employers to recognize women who are absent.
There‟s a lot to be said actually about employers empowering the women of
an organization. There need to be a bit of sensitization for the employers to
see how that if they give a supportive environment for women, it actually
benefits the organization. It‟s the same as CSR, if you have CSR, and the
organization has CSR, no matter CSR outside or inside the organization, the
employees are encouraged to participate in the CSR activities, in the long run,
the organization actually benefits. It‟s basically about the carrot versus the
stick. So I think in the private sector the “stick” doesn‟t work so well, maybe
the “carrot” works better. We say that the international organizations are the
best employers as they take into account the family. The 9-5 principal has to
be more creative so that the women will participate. Your output versus the
hours you work. And can numeration be based on output rather than the
hours you work. Because not all women would like to spend 8 hours at work,
they would only like to work for 2-3 hours. But I think if you were to give that
flexibility they will produce the same results. I think the public sector has
done some tinier kind of project in terms of pilot project of home-based which
means these women don‟t go to office as they lose a lot of time and they can
actually have lunch with their children. I think JKR has done that, but we
must expand that and propose that to the private sector and say look at the
JKR model, which I think productivity went up. I think the Human Resources

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Ministry or Women can came up with good guidance for employers, its not
legislated, but guidance for private sector, like a “good practices” model.

On behalf of NIEW I would like to thank the Ministry and everybody very
much for very passionate discussion and also all the points that have been

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                      Group 4 Dialogue Session on

   “Making Gender Equality Priorities Central to National,
    Local & Sectoral Planning, Budgeting and Statistics”

Chairperson :
Dr Ang Eng Suan

Moderator :
Mdm Shanti Dairiam, United Nations

Resource Person:
Mr Harjeet Singh, Deputy Secretary General, Ministry of Women,
Family and Community Development (Policy)

Mdm Shanthi Dairiam:

I am supposed to give some general inputs of gender equality on
international level. If you look at the topic, “Making Gender Equality Priorities
Central to National, Local & Sectoral Planning, Budgeting and Statistics”; if we
look at that what it‟s clearly indicating is mainstreaming gender equality. Let‟s
start with the understanding of the mainstreaming of gender equality. It is a
concept that was first initiated during the World Conference of Women in
Beijing in 1995. United Nations was asked to do mainstreaming Gender
Equality into all UN Institutions, and if you look at UN Institutions and the
instruction for them to mainstream gender equality, logically it has to extend
to national level planning because UN is positioned to assist and give
development or assistance at the national level to government. If they
mainstream at their own level, the mainstreaming process has to be echoed
right down with the development assistance at the national level. At this point

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I just want to provide a rationale of this mainstream. When Beijing
discussions took place and the assessment of the initiatives for women that
have been put in place to measure the progress of women, the sad situation
was the progress of women has not been as quick as expected, a vast
majority of women still live in poverty. Women‟s empowerment and their
participation on the basis of equality involves various societies
including participation and decision making processes and access to
power are fundamentals for the achievement of equality and
development, and this is from paragraph 3 of Beijing Declaration.
The gender equality is crucial and the important step to make it happens is

The next point for us to understand is “what does mainstreaming really
want?”. At the UN, the Economics and Social Council formed this initiative of
mainstreaming starting in 1997. Many resolutions which were taken by
governments were at the significance of mainstreaming. There had been
more than 9 or 10 resolutions which related to mainstreaming. The
understanding of mainstreaming as promoted by UN to make women‟s
experiences and integral dimensions of all planned initiatives and policies
including design and valuation of such policies and programs in every
element, political, economic and social so that inequality is not perpetuated.
In other words, planning and development have to take place on the
basis of the experiences of women. Very often we find that planning is
one base of experiences. Planning is done on a very mutual process mainly on
men‟s experiences.

The next point that I want to make is although these initiatives of
mainstreaming have been coming towards us, experiences globally and
improving inside the UN agencies have been uneven to save the best and it
was actually not successful. The reasons for this again that there have been
no clear targets, benchmarks, indicators of success of mainstreaming so it
was just a concept with no clear methodology. Secondly, there was no

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accountability. Now you have clear results areas, performance indicators,
we are talking about that in our transformation program. But why there is no
such indicator for results area and therefore there was no clear assessment.
There was also no clear objective and no allocation from human resources
towards this including commensurate the organizations‟ equality levels. UN is
positioned to bring in the experiences and capacities through their countries,
assessment programs and also the UN development system program.

The next point is the problems with no clear standards of
mainstreaming when we say mainstreaming gender equality, I want to
emphasize that it is not enough to say mainstreaming gender. Because
gender can be everyone, so we have to be clear of mainstreaming from all
perspectives and the need for clear standards of gender equality. These
standards are emerged from the speech this morning on the need to
mainstream CEDAW which sets the standards of equality.

I just want to conclude with the case of Laos where the committee advised
that the government should take measures to ensure that CEDAW known and
applied by the government and as a framework of all laws, policies and
programs on equality. So this is the standard. I just want to end by giving
you other countries‟ experiences on mainstreaming. India has done a great
deal to mainstream. But this is also tricky, where do you put your budgets?
It becomes a serious situation. The most obvious thing that we want to do is
to look at women‟s specific programs. In India, very often in education that
people put aside certain budget for scholarship and also the women‟s specific
programs. But learning from the case of India, we need to actually allocate
budget for the infrastructure of women‟s specific programs. So this is where
budgeting becomes a problem.

The last point is on data collection. We have to do gender analysis and data
has to be collected not only on disaggregated by sex but also by many other
factors. Like in Malaysia we know that we are doing very well in certain areas
but still there are vulnerable groups and we should know which group of

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women is falling to certain areas. So without data, we are not going to get
any good analysis.

Mr Harjeet Singh:

Thank you very much Mdm Shanthi. So I will just go very briefly because
today we are going to have more discussions. I will just go through very
briefly my slides because most of it you have already known. Just to get you
a little bit of indications on what we have done.

In terms of the policy, framework and legal framework the government
has already provided all these. But the most important thing right now is
more towards the cultural awareness, advocacy progresses and we
have provided enough at the Ministry level but how do we implement it at the
grass root level and so on. So as you know we have the national policy on
women, policy on 30% women in the decision making. So in the
government is good, we have reached 32.3% but how do we go for
private sector for example, their commitment and so on because in private
sector now we see a lot of women now moving towards being professionals.
So in terms of legal framework, we have so many acts but one issue has
always been raised is “do we have gender equality act?” which has been
discussed quite a number of time. So in terms of employment, the Work
Regulations 2010 was set to allow more women to work part time.
Next is on Security, today I would like to pose this question, why don‟t we
come out with a sexual harassment act, for example? Is it really needed?
Because we have the codes of practice and we have the guidelines, is that
good enough?

Gender Budgeting. In terms of the planning is good, we have these 5
Ministries who are supposed to be on a pilot basis but at the end of the what
we have seen is that the officers do not really understand about the gender
budgeting. Gender disaggregated data, one of the biggest
accomplishments. But this is only for the public sector, how about the private

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sector? One of the examples with the private sector, they don‟t serve the
customers based on the gender but they are profit driven and give services to
anyone. Gender Focal Point (GFP), previously we had the middle level
management to be the GFP but last year during the “Hari Wanita”, it has
been decided that the Deputy Secretary Generals are the GFP because
previously when the middle level was the GFP they are not able to make
policy and so on. So we were hoping that when we appoint these people,
they will get involved in decision making. So this is one of the challenges that
we have to look very effectively. Gender Gap Index, this has already been
discussed so I am not going to touch more. But I just want to highlight on our
problem which would be from the health problem. We have no problem from
the rest, education and economic but only from women‟s empowerment, one
problem is on equality. And then Gender Sensitization is very crucial in
terms of advocacy, capacity building, economic empowerment which
is very important because when we went on the ground to pass to the
women who are receiving the aid from the Welfare Department, we asked
them “are you willing to work?” the answer was “yes, but we cannot leave the
house”. So how do we translate that so that they are able to work from
home? That is very important.

There are several challenges on gender equality:

   •   Common public perception that gender issue is the sole responsibility
       of MWFCD

   •   Gender mainstreaming efforts, more often than not, focus on the
       executive level rather than legislative and judicial levels

   •   Top management commitment towards gender empowerment (public
       and private sectors as well as political parties)

   •   Multifarious roles of women

   •   Maternity leave for private sector (90 days)

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   •     Training in terms of gender values and gender skills have not been
         given priority

   •     Lack of sex-disaggregated data and indicators for continuous
         monitoring of gender issues

   •     Lack of understanding among the planners, implementers and decision
         makers on the concept of gender and gender equality resulting to
         inability to relate the importance of gender mainstreaming in their
         course of work

   •     Support services for women particularly in employment (i.e. child care

There are also several ways to move gender equality forwards:

   •     Special committee on gender chaired by the Minister of Women, Family
         and Committee Development (10th MP) – but do we need a
         consultative committee? Or advisory committee that looks into gender
         perspectives? I think there should be a committee that advises the

   •     Comprehensive Gender Mainstreaming Action Programme to accelerate
         in promoting gender equality

   •     Systematic collection particularly analysis of sex-disaggregated data to
         be carried out effectively

   •     Involvement of men in gender-related programmes

   •     Establishment of Media Watch

   •     Key programmes under the 10th Malaysia Plan will focus on:

       i.    increasing women‟s participation in the labour force

       ii.   increasing the number of women in key-decision positions

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    iii.   improving provision of support for women in challenging
           circumstances such as widows, single mothers and those with lower

    iv.    eliminating all forms of discrimination against women.

I think with that I will pass the meeting to our Chairperson. Thank you.

Chairperson: Dr Ang Eng Suan

We have heard presentations from both representatives from the Ministry and
also UN. So the issue now is we have to find out the main areas that we
would like to focus on. And we have to come out with the recommendations.
Firstly, what are the main issues or challenges that we want to discuss on?

Ms Selvarany:

From the presentation, it does appear that the concept is there what is
lacking is really the implementation. So from the ministry‟s perspective, which
are the areas which can bring the most significant impact to this issue on
gender equality?

Mr Harjit:

To me, the important thing is the support for women because you see I am
willing to work long hours but who is going to look for my children. So what
kind of support services that we can provide them to allow them to work?
Problem with the child care centre for example. And one of the challenges for
private sector, even though they child care centre at their workplace
sometimes it is not conducive in which you have to allocate the ground and
first floor for child care centre which I think the private feels difficult because
that is the private area that you have. So that is one of the things that I see

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in terms of the support services because a lot of them have gone to higher
education but then sad to say they don‟t go to the labor force.


Based on the discussion, I think it is important to see what is the current
situation of women in the workforce? At the same time, we have to see the
support system to allow women working.

Ms Selvarany:

So when we categorize in terms of the importance is that one of the
important points to look at is increasing women‟s participation at the
workforce. Because there are many areas, domestic violence and etc. So I
just want to know which can bring the biggest impact of this issue that we
are looking at, so what do you identify. Meaning to say that, workplace is a
key area, how do we bring gender equality in the workplace and many
elements that we can see and many workable recommendations that we can
come out with.

Personally I find that the security of women is another issue, particularly with
the influx of foreign workers to our country. It is a very big issue especially
for women, particularly I think in the rural areas where you see the mingling
of foreign workers are more segregated between communities.

Mr Harjeet:

I think in terms of security, Group 2 will be discussing more on that. Can we
skip that otherwise there will be a redundant discussion? We should
concentrate on our topic.

Mdm Shanthi:

I would like to refer on one of your slides on mainstreaming. If you look at
the economic program which oversees the special programs for women. In

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terms of development policy, you look at government‟s transformation
program. There are many strategies or progresses in the country and
mainstreaming at the end of the day can create an environment where
women can participate equally with men regardless of differences and roles. I
don‟t see anything about CEDAW, except that you have said that the judiciary
is strong. So the legal framework and the way the judiciary interprets
equality, what I am trying to say is we have to make our concepts right to
begin with. And then we can see what are the strategies that we have been
using under these concepts as well. We have to look at in terms of our own
development thrusts, where is Malaysia actually moving. But I don‟t know
whether the ministry has the data on entrepreneurs. So we have to look at
the transformation program, to see what are the strategies that the
government has and the mechanism that needs to be in place.

Dr Husna Sulaiman:

I would like to mention that the first thing is the concept of gender is not
clear to many people, to high level officers, to the masses, because when we
talk we always raise issues about women but we should be talking about
gender equality. So we have to go all out.

Mr Harjeet:

I would like to bring one example in accordance to what Dr Husna just
mentioned. A Malaysian woman who is married to a foreigner and give birth
to a child overseas. That child is not a Malaysian. But if she gives birth in
Malaysia the child is a Malaysian. But if a man gets married to a foreigner and
the wife gives birth overseas, the child is a Malaysian. So this is one of the
examples to show the gender equality issue in terms of planning and policy
maybe. We have tried to push this issue to the ministry but then other
agencies will say that this cannot be done because we are looking from the
angle of national security.


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Dr Husna has brought up the issue of having the right concept of gender
equality which is still not clearly understood. And although we have accepted
the gender equality but we still have problems.

Mdm Rokiah:

I would like to refer to Dr Husna‟s concern on this unclear concept of gender


I think we have sufficient policy and plans towards gender equality just the
matter of taking actions but from our discussions, it is not that the concept is
not clearly understood, only there barriers that prevent them from being
translated into action. So what actions should we take?

Prof Tan Sri Dato‟ Wira Dr Sharifah Hapsah Syed Hassan

I would like to ask a question, when you appointed the Gender Focal Points
(GFP), are they given training? Do they have to attend courses on gender

Mr Harjeet:

The course was initiated by INTAN but unfortunately after many poor
responses so INTAN stopped the course.

Prof Tan Sri:

What is the problem there?

Mr Harjeet:

Firstly, they don‟t attend themselves, they will be sending their subordinates.

Prof Tan Sri:

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No, they were appointed. They are Deputy Secretary General, and they were
appointed as the GFP, then they should have been given the training. Then if
they don‟t turn up, I think you should report them. Because they are the GFP.

Mr Harjeet:

Same thing in Gender Budgeting. We have engaged INTAN as the provider of
the modules but at the end of the day the Ministry has to stop the modules.

Prof Tan Sri:

Why do you give this to INTAN? I think the Ministry must do this because you
must show your team. When you give to INTAN, they will not know, these
people don‟t know what Gender Budgeting is. INTAN can help but you must
be responsible. If I were to put a recommendation, I will put that as number

Dato‟ Wan Ramlah Wan Raof:

I do agree that Tan Sri. Because I was appointed without any knowledge
what is going on, what are my concerns.

Puan Hajjah Nor‟ Aini Abdul Wahab:

I was one of the GFPs as well, I attended a course on budgeting but then
since the head was not involved so we don‟t know what to do and we just
carry on as usual. A continuous change should be done to create awareness.

Prof Tan Sri:

And also to institutionalize this, you must have you SOPs, gender budgeting.
You must do this.

Mr Harjeet:

So, circular is not good enough?

Prof Tan Sri:
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No not circular. Must be SOPs.

Mdm Shanthi:

I have something to ask regarding the GFP. When did the Deputy Secretary
General start being the GFPs?

Mr Harjeet:

Since August last year. That is why they were not able to get GFPs but later it
must be done. But the only thing what we have done while waiting for a
formal discussion between the minister and the GFPs. I think you have got
the guidelines of what the GFPs have done in some ministries.

Prof Tan Sri:

I want to ask the Ministry, do you have any unit to take care of all the GFPs?

Mr Harjeet:

Yes. Under our Ministry we have one unit that handles GFPs.

Prof Tan Sri:

So this unit is the one who will work together to do the SOPs, training and

Mdm Shanthi:

Excuse me, I have to say something on this issue. The training for the newly
appointed GFPs is now in the making. I think NIEW has been asked to come
out with the training.

Mr Harjeet:

It was scheduled in July but now it is postponed.

Mdm Shanthi:

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So I need to say something because I was asked to help with that training.
We are in the process of having discussion on this and I have in the past
trained the GFPs and the problem is no understanding. The lack of
understanding comes from the fact that there is no clear agency, no Gender
Equality Plan within each Ministry or Agency. Therefore, there is no program
or plan to go back into and apply the skills that they been trained on. Since
the head is not involved in this there is no policy changed. Firstly, this is
not doing a separate project on women. Secondly, they have to
conceptually understand the meaning of gender, equality and etc
because all of these have lack of clarity. So I was asked on this stage, we
have a long discussion and we have looked at the terms of reference that
were given to GFPs. One of the activities is writing speeches so we have
proposed a 1 year program of mix of training and practicum where they go
back and develop an equality plan where the ministry has to see and have
policy changes. Several activities based on one on one, we have training,
group work, and the resource person has to sit there together with the
ministry and see how they can develop an equality plan. One of the biggest
problems is to get all the GFPs to be in a meeting at the same time. We
should look into this matter seriously, we may need different approach to
come out with a strategic plan which will last for a whole year. However the
program is postponed to December. So this is the pipeline and jointly initiated
by Ministry of Women and UN.

Ms Selvarany:

Can I just see the clarification? This mainstreaming is more towards equality
and also attending to other aspects which means facilitate to women‟s
participation. So if you look at equality, it can be restricted meaning you need
to go beyond equality. We look at having a crash in the workplace that is not

Mdm Shanthi:

It is equality.
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Ms Selvarany:

Oh really? But to me, I look equality in the sense that providing the equal
opportunity that is how equality is commonly misunderstood.

Mdm Shanthi:

If you are looking at a general perspective, what is equal opportunity? It is
catering for difference. So if a woman is not safe, she cannot access the
opportunity. That means, having equal opportunity does not mean having
gender equality.

Ms Selvarany:

But that is not how it is commonly understood. I am not sure whether it is an
issue of terminology, you want to look at terminology that is more
encapsulating just picking a word that provides clarity.

Mdm Shanthi:

You have to change your understanding of equality and that is why we are
talking about CEDAW. CEDAW says that all these elements that do not
achieve equality in spite of laws which provided the equal opportunity
because it did not take into consideration these specific elements the
government takes. Therefore if you did not cater for that, they cannot have
the equal opportunity. It encompasses more than what we understood. And
that is what CEDAW all about. In fact we are so sad after working for 16
years on this still there is no clarity, and beginning to ask why. Private sector
is important, we need to bring them in but the government doesn‟t have that
clarity, then how do we want to involve the private sector? So what we need
to do in the recommendation is to create clarity on government‟s international
obligation under human rights law obligations, to create the understanding of
the meaning of equality. That has to be our recommendation.

Prof Tan Sri:

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I am a very practical person. If you go very high, these people down, they
will get lost. I think it is very brilliant that you choose gender budgeting. I
think we should take this path, because it really gets people to understand
the gender equality. Once you do that, you will understand all these
international conventional systems. I think the GFPs must help, I think the
KSU must be there because these people are all deputies. So if the GFP unit is
strong, they are the ones that look at CEDAW, they will do benchmarking,
they work out with the Deputy Secretary General, what should the SOPs and
so on. I think if we go in this way, we get more and then these people will
move. The minute you have the SOPs, get it to cabinet and get it approved,
don‟t just stay at the ministry. Get all the ministries to work and say yes and
send memorandum to cabinet. I think you need to be good along this
practical approach. So I think the first thing that I will do is, strengthening the
GFP within the ministries, clear functions and also the gender budgeting.

Mdm Shanthi:

Side by side, we need to have clear goals because if don‟t have that we don‟t
know why are putting our budget there. Gender budgeting has to be there as
a practical exercise, no doubt for that but you need to have your policy
framework in order to know where to put your budget.

Prof Tan Sri:

In budgeting process we put the target. Budget is so comprehensive you
know. In many areas you can set your target.

Dato‟ Ramani Gurusamy:

I think the idea of having a GFP unit is very good and we must get a few
retired experts in that unit to monitor the unit. Seriously, when the retired
ones are around they can provide assistance.

Ms Selvarany:

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This is a little bit like business planning where you are going to look at what
are the targets. The targets are going to determine the budget. Cannot let
the budget ride the targets. I think that is why we need to set the targets that
we want to achieve in the workplace.


Can we put it this way, the main issue is proper understanding about
gender equality and mechanisms to achieve the goals. Then we have
identified the mechanisms to do it, which is strengthening the GFP at the
ministry itself and guided by people that are knowledgeable or experts. At the
second level, at the Ministry through the GFP at the various
Ministries. Back to the GFP unit that we were talking about just now, based
on Shanthi‟s proposal that unit needs to come out with Gender Equality
Plan or framework. So that is the output from the GFP unit at the ministry.
In that plan also we need the goals and that will drive to the actual budgeting
process. One more level is that having a GFP unit at the Ministry, and the
actual mechanisms that will drive this whole thing is the Gender Budgeting
process. So within the Gender Budgeting, it will include the Gender
Equality Plan and get the GFPs from various ministries driving the
Gender Budgeting process. The process itself ensures the resources that
are allocated will achieve goals and the Gender Budgeting process is specific
to each ministry and within this process, we will have the assistance of the
training programs that are currently being developed. But what do we want to
do now?

Prof Tan Sri:

If the Gender Equality holds this, we can audit and it will be translated in the
budget. At the end of the day it is still budget.

Puan Hajjah Nor‟ Aini Abdul Wahab:

I think the unit in the Ministry of Women needs to be strengthened.

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Mr Harjeet:

So even if we do not really strengthen in terms of number, we can always
outsource to get the experts and so on.

Puan Rokiah Harun:

Why don‟t we have a special unit in every Ministry to look into gender

Mr Harjeet:

The problem that we face is a lot of Ministries say that we already have our
own core business then we are asked to do something else. So that is the

Puan Rokiah Harun:

But I don‟t see any reason, it is not that difficult to achieve 40% women
participation in public sector.

Mr Harjeet:

In private sector we don‟t have any problem. We do have “Dasar Wanita
Negara”, “Dasar Warga Emas”, but those are only half of their business.

Dr Husna:

I would like to find out, all the TKSU or GFPs when they go back to their
Ministries, are they going to have their own unit? GFP unit or whatever you
call it? So this is the group that is going to analyze everything, in the


I think this is part of what Shanthi said just now on the mainstreaming, we
have programs and training that will ensure that there is understanding. One

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issue that was raised just now was Gender Budgeting. So one critical ministry
is the Treasury should be seriously involved. There are several agencies or
ministries that are critical in the meantime. Is there something that we can
discuss on the planning? Family Planning Unit, Treasury and the key agencies
that are going to ensure that the individual ministry‟s place can be carried

Dato‟ Ramani:

Between now and December, I think this all can be done.

Datin Paduka Nurmala Abd Rahim:

First of all, I think we need to have specific plans to suggest first and then it
goes to Treasury. If we are not clear on what are the programs that we want
to do, we have to work on that first. So we have to work on some sorts of
national programs which involve various ministries and agencies. So then if
that is workable then we can proceed.


So you are saying that Treasury has to support this issue to make sure that
there is a proper plan?

Datin Paduka Nurmala:

Yes. But Treasury will look the points of having these specific programs, of
course it is always outcome-based. So you must be very clear on the impacts
of the programs.

Mr Harjeet:

But in terms of progress, it is the GFPs that need to be given enough
knowledge, enough information, clear understandings of their functions
eventually they will be able to translate it into progress because they do
amendments to the law.

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Puan Hajjah Nor‟ Aini:

Do you allow the individual Ministry to do it? I don‟t think we can do that, I
think the Ministry of Women has to do it, it has to come out from the Ministry.

Mdm Shanthi:

I just want to explain this once more. The issue is not about specific
programs within different Ministries. The issue is what the goals are and how
it will benefit the women. We have to make sure that women will benefit from
this and for example in United Kingdom, they do this and they call it the
Gender Equality Plan, the Gender Equality Duty they call it. For example,
where there was a huge development program on fish farming which was
supposed to be government‟s program and anybody can come in but it
happened that only men applied. Everything was free except that you needed
to own a pond. Now in this country women are not allowed to own a property
according to the law. So women could not participate because they don‟t own
any pond. So this program was criticized and we don‟t want this will happen
in our country whereby they have to make the gender analysis to find out
who will benefit. And then the respective Ministries had a discussion on how
to let women to participate and they get unused ponds and made it available
to women. This to give equal opportunity to women. So we need to look at
the policy on certain programs and determine whether women are left out or
not or maybe it is only made available to certain groups of women. So they
said what is the next step that we need to do to give women this opportunity
so that they can participate? Also, you need data and also this is what we
need to do. It is not that the Ministry of Women telling you this is the specific
programs, it‟s just that the Ministry of Women has a role in giving you the
capacity to the analysis.

Puan Hajjah Nor Aini:

We can propose on the specific programs to the Ministry as suggested just
now but for us to bring up to Treasury, it has to come from the Ministry of

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Women. Because we cannot just work on one specific project, we cannot do it


So we need a central process with the various Agencies and Ministries in
which we can develop specific progress that will go to support the Gender
Equity Plan.

Dato‟ Ramani:

That is what I said just now, the Ministry has to meet up with the KSU and
tell them what your plan is in relations to the Gender Equality Plan.


One issue that was earlier raised, the labor force participation. Another
issue that came out was, data. What kind of data that you want that will
support gender equality? We always talk about gender disaggregated data.
But we also need data that are designed to be more specific.

Prof Dr Saran Kaur Gill:

I just want to respond on what Harjeet said earlier on response from various
Ministries. You need to find out from them, these people don‟t have time to
do it, so you have to be able to tell the Ministries what they need to do which
is at the moment doesn‟t meet up with the gender equality. The Ministry has
to work out first, what are the areas, and then maybe pay some researchers
to find out from respective ministries, look these are the problems that you
have. So you can be alerted to that and something can be done, you need
that information otherwise you will be talking in a vacuum.

Ms Selvarany:

I think in furtherance to what has just been said, we all have been talking
about Gender Equality Plan. So when you are going to come out with that

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plan, you have to work on the gaps analysis. All that will drive the data
because once you have done with the analysis than you will be able to come
out with the action plans. That facilitates all the implementers. We
need information and we need consistency and cohesiveness in the
information. That is why the plan that we have been talking about it is not
just a plan, it has to be driven by the gaps analysis.


We are now going to the next point which is on the gaps analysis and
ensuring sufficient information is available to drive that implementation.

Prof Tan Sri:

We already broke up into four sub-committees. One is for the laws. You
just need to find out who is the gender equality person there. Get that person
to work on this. The law is all there, it is already written up, where are the
gaps? Which one needs to be changed. For this department, just get them to
crack on those. And I think we should just keep on pushing them. There are
three others I can‟t remember what they are. But I remember definitely that
law is one of them.

Mdm Shanthi:

I just want to add one program that I described earlier on for the GFPs. All of
these analysis of the gaps, the formation of Gender Equality Plan and using
CEDAW standards are all a part of that program. So it is not just about
training only but also giving technical assistance to each of the Ministries
on coming out with gender equality plan and also there is a process inside
there that is taking a year for the Ministry of Women to do advocacy of those
plans. In our strategic programming, we have put in the Ministry of Women.
Once this plan has been formulated and budgeted for, they have a role in
ensuring that this is accepted. What has happened again, each of the
Ministries begins to realize that this is not extra added work, it is how they

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form policies and programs to put in women‟s justice. But definitely there is a
role for the Ministry of Women to advocate for these plans.


But this falls a little bit beyond the GFP right so there is a proper
understanding and at higher level where the needs are.

Dato Wan Ramlah:

You are talking about Ministry‟s level right? But in JPM they all are
fragmented, there is no “Kementerian Jabatan Perdana Menteri”. They are all
fragmented. Too many departments, I don‟t know who is the focal point.

Puan Rokiah Harun:

The focal point will be any agency.


There are 42 departments in the Prime Minister Department, how do we want
to ensure the GFP?

Puan Rokiah Harun:

They all are under one department and they have different GFPs.

Datin Paduka Nurmala:

I think we need like a national plan. I suggest that you from all the
Ministries, have a seminar or gathering and to have a clear understanding on
the plans. Then the idea from that, because each Ministry will have ideas on
the program will be put together. So once you have done that, you provide
input into your national plan and strategize it for national level. From there
comes the budgeting process. With that support, with the right budget
then we can move on. So it is like the whole chart because otherwise if there
is no structure you will not be able to do it.

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Prof Tan Sri:

The GFP unit is in the Ministry right?

Mr Harjeet:


Datin Paduka Nurmala:

We don‟t have any GFP unit. So I think the most important thing is meet all
these GFP, and create understanding. That is why we all hanging in the air
and nothing is being done. We need to have a proper meeting with all GFP
and input what are being discussed into national plan.

Mr Harjeet:

The first to the third can be to all the GFP. But then now it is postponed until
December. But should we start now?


December is the actual training right?

Mr Harjeet:

Yea, and I don‟t think we should wait until December.

Prof Tan Sri:

We don‟t have to wait for the Minister to start the work.

Mdm Shanthi:

So we should put in recommendation that preparatory work for Gender
Equality Plan should start right now.

Datin Paduka Nurmala:

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Just set a date and then you tell them what to do prior coming to this


I think we can make it step by step. Before the actual capacity building end of
the year, you can meet first so that get the general idea first. So we talked
about the data and gaps analysis, we have existing documents that will
stuck us all in terms of work and scheduled reports. We also said that there
should be further data collection, information that is provided that
will further guide the planning. Perhaps that will come out in the data
and research that will ensure that the actual Gender Equally can be
implemented meaningfully. Anything else about data that we want to discuss?

Dato‟ Ramani:

The Ministry acts as Secretariat, so go back and read up on the gender

Dr Husna:

Maybe we need more people as gender trainers. Specialized ones.

Dato Ramani:

Harjeet do you mind telling us the staff that you have in the GFP unit?

Mr Harjeet:

Our staff is PTD and not experts. So that is one of the issues I think that we
need to have PTD Officers who are the specialists from the
institution of higher learning. Because in my department, they can
administer the resources but they are not the experts.


So, strengthening the GFP unit will include the specialized team.

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Ms Selvarany:

We have talked about the public sector and we have not touched on the
private sector.


What do we do about the private sector? Secondly how do you get the
private sector to participate?

Ms Selvarany:

You can actually go into a basis that is not as extensive as public sector
because of the time. And you could start on the awareness, because
honestly awareness is very important and today the mindsets of companies
are changing. Why? The sustainability is a very big issue globally. So even at
the exchange we promote sustainability to our stake companies. So
sustainability essentially also refers to the workplace and issue such as safety,
equality and all are parts of the sustainability. So I think there is of course an
opportunity because you see it globally even look at it in terms of investment,
the global assets under management of sustainability funds are growing.
Currently we estimate about 50% of global funds are actually sustainability
funds. So there is the opportunity to actually work with the private sector and
of course you have to sit down and see how to push this through and you are
right Tan Sri that many people will look at incentives but I think today the
incentives for corporate sector is not just tax incentive, but it is also in terms
of your own consumers, marketability of products, workforce and things like
that. So there also lots of other benefits. I think this is a big topic that needs
to be discussed thoroughly.

Prof Tan Sri:

What she is saying is true. Actually they look at it that way, their bottom
line is not money, it comes through things like sustainability,

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diversity, if you can bring in gender issues, they don‟t want to lose that
diversity. I think if we can work with private sector in these few areas.

Mr Harjeet:

In fact in the corporate sector especially the GLCs, it has become a culture
that they practice CSR, you don‟t force them to but they are willing to do and
some even some big companies like Microsoft allow the staff to take 2 or 3
days to do CSR. So I think if we can bring that as a culture especially in
gender sensitization and so on that will be very helpful.

Dr Husna:

I think we need to have champions in the private sector.


I am so agreed that we need a specific plan for gender equality in the
private sector but you need to be very specific to address the issues that of
the interest. Slightly a different plan, Gender Equality Plan in the corporate
setting for example. The issues discussed maybe the same.

Ms Selvarany:

When you do your gaps, you do it based on issues in public private. But
instead of doing that why don‟t you elevate it to one national level. That
creates a greater awareness because to me the drivers are going to be the


The issues are the same, but the mechanism to achieve it may be slightly
different. So that is what you should arrive at.

In the private sector, what are the most difficult issues that we understood
just now were issues on women‟s participation, maternity and child
care centre.
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Ms Selvarany:

But you also have to segment it according to the various levels or workforce.
There is executive level, clerical level, even management level. And there are
different factors affect gender issues. Actually what we need to understand is
that even the decision making level is lack of women. That is the key
issue that should be addressed, decision making. In the private sector, it has
got to be persuasive, that is why awareness is very important.

Prof Dr Saran:

If you can tie in with the sustainability plans that we have to undertake, you
will have not much of a problem. If you are able to show how this fits into
sustainable development where the private sector is concerned.

Ms Selvarany:

So maybe that is where the Ministry of Women can play a role. In taking
advantage for example in Stock Exchange pushing the idea of sustainability in
public listed companies. So you can come into the perspective of gender
equality that we are talking about because there is a connection with
sustainability. So you can see the marrying of two birds but you can‟t see the
compulsion unlike in the government where it is the persuasion.

Prof Tan Sri:

Let me give you an example in the private sector. In the government sector it
is quite easy to go tell them what to do. But in private sector you have to
show why it is important to the labor force. You have to go in that way that if
you don‟t take care of this, this is what you get from people in the
organization. You have to show them dollars and cents. Then they will get
things done, otherwise they cannot see the importance of doing all this. I
think in the private sector we have to use different strategy.

Mr Harjeet:

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There is always a consumer‟s process, it is not like one off we are able to
meet our target because last time with regards to the income tax for women.
It took MCWO more than 12 years to fight for that. Same thing like the
citizenship for the child, it is not just once we have tried that‟s it but it must
be little by little.

Puan Rokiah Harun:

Since we have a champion in the private sector, can we like have our
Universities to come out with Centres of Excellence?

Prof Tan Sri:

For us we would like to focus on leadership training and I have already
established a centre for that. We see a lot of women that are capable, we
push them forward they pull back. And they think training will help them to
come out and take initiatives. They can do it, but they pull back. So we want
to focus more on leadership. We should have niche.


I think we have to end our meeting now as we have to break for lunch. May I
ask any volunteer to be the presenter for this afternoon‟s presentation? I
would like to thank everyone for your participation.

                       The End of Rapporteur Report

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