ENOUGH IS ENOUGH: Petition to enact Sexual Harassment legislation in Malaysia
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Dear YAB Dato' Seri Dr. Wan Azizah,
As the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia and the Minister of Women and Family Development, we ask that you enact long overdue Sexual Harassment legislation in Malaysia.
Enough is enough. Malaysia needs to do more to stop the rampant incidences of sexual harassment both offline and online. Rape culture is NOT our culture. We need to be better.
In the spirit of #MalaysiaBaru, we urge you to place Malaysia firmly in 2018, as a nation that protects its people from harm.
(i) CEDAW Signatory:
Malaysia has been a signatory to the United Nation's 'Convention For The Elimination Of All Forms Of Discrimination Against Women' (CEDAW) since 1995, yet has failed to follow many of the articles listed in the CEDAW framework (as seen from its shameful showing in the presentation of the Malaysian national report to 69th Session of the CEDAW committee on Tuesday in Geneva, Switzerland this past February 2018).
(ii) The frequency of and the underreporting of Sexual Harassment:
As per a 'Sexual Harassment in the Workplace' survey conducted by 'Speak Up', "around 60% of people from various sectors said they have been sexually harassed at work in Malaysia, half of them by a boss or someone senior," and "44% have kept silent about the unwanted sexual encounter at the office, while only 12% have reported about the harassment to their human resources department."
(Source: Azizan, Hariati. '#Malaysia too'. 29 October 2017. The Star.)
(iii) Public incidents and the prevalence of violent and hateful speech on social media:
There are sexual harassment cases happening frequently around the nation, whether reported or not. This past weekend saw the unfortunate harassment incident which happened to your daughter, YB Nurul Izzah and has since led to the opening of a dialogue happening across social media platforms in the country. Discourse is taking place, we as a nation are becoming more aware, angry and frustrated that incidents such as these take place so frequently.
(Please see link for examples of violent and hateful speech common on Malaysian social media: TRIGGER WARNING: Thread compilation by @skinnyondinie)
We should be protected by the law against acts and incidents of Sexual Harassment.
The time for change has come.
The new government can rectify this.
Below is a link to a Sexual Harassment Bill proposed by the Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG) (written back in 2002), we ask that the Malaysian Government take the time to read the proposed Bill, and work with JAG on the updating and implementation of the Bill as a legally binding measure to protect all Malaysian citizens, as well as those working, living, and travelling in Malaysia, from Sexual Harassment of all forms.
In the proposed Bill, sexual harassment is defined as "any form of unwanted verbal or non-verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature with the purpose or effect of violating the dignity of a person or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment." As a country that is progressing and changing, this Bill is essential to moving us forward as a nation, and ensuring that those who fall victim to sexual harassment are not left by the wayside.
Enacting Sexual Harassment legislation in Malaysia will help to fulfil Pakatan Harapan's Promise 26 in your manifesto:
'Make our human rights record respected by the world'.
Looking forward to seeing the new government do the right thing.
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