Monday, March 08, 2010

International Women's Day 2010

Message from YB Dominique Ng, PKR Sarawak Advisor and ADUN for Padungan on the occasion of International Women's Day on 8 March 2010.

In 1910 at an International Conference of Working Women was held in Copenhagen. A woman named Clara Zetkin proposed an International Women's Day - to press for their demands for the rights of women. Thereafter each year around the world, International Women's Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8. Hundreds of events occur not just on this day but throughout March. The United Nations theme used for International Women's Day in 2010 is Equal rights, equal opportunities: Progress For All.

The UN Division for Women in its review of the four World Conferences (Mexico1975, Copenhagen 1980, Nairobi 1985, Beijing 1995) stated: "The fundamental transformation that took place in Beijing was the recognition of the need to shift the focus from women to the concept of gender, recognizing that the entire structure of society, and all relations between men and women within it, had to be re-evaluated. Only by such a fundamental restructuring of society and its institutions could women be fully empowered to take their rightful place as equal partners with men in all aspects of life. This change represented a strong reaffirmation that women's rights were human rights and that gender equality was an issue of universal concern, benefiting all". The history of the struggle for womens’ right and gender equality may be accessed at several websites, e.g, U.N., UNESCO.

ADUN for Padungan, YB Dominique Ng, has on the occasion of INTERNATIONAL WOMENS’ DAY 2010, called on women in Sarawak to marshall their forces in order to promote their political and human rights, and thus bring about the needed reforms to the State and nation for a future which is both materially and spiritually better.

Says YB Dominique Ng,” There needs to be much better safeguards economically for women, so that they can advance in every sphere such as education, health, social welfare, living environment, etc. Progress in women’s rights in the context of human rights did not come easy without the determined struggle of committed women throughout the world spanning over a century.”

“ It is a matter of immense national shame that the indigenous women of Sarawak have borne the brunt of human rights violations. Many do not even have the identity paper /IC which entitles one to the rights of a citizen- a group of Pri(mary) Bumiputera with citizenship denied. Even more indigenous Pri(mary) Bumiputeras are dispossessed of their Native Customary and ancestral land on which they have lived for centuries. The womenfolk and others thus have no security of tenure on land, this in an age when women have made journeys into Space.”

“Some of the Penan women have been victims of rape as officially confirmed by a Federal Government report. Women political leaders in Opposition were harassed in Parliament, and one had her private photographs exposed for political mileage. Domestic violence against women is officially admitted to be a serious problem, with 1800 police reports made in 2009, an increase of over 10% over the previous year.”

“Malaysian women, including Sarawak women, still have much to strive for, including employment opportunities, labour rights, reproductive rights, maternity benefits, fair wages, promotion prospects, marital and divorce rights, single-parenthood support, and space for political and economic participation.”

YB Dominique Ng reaffirms Parti KeAdilan Rakyat's vision on the realisation of gender equality where women’s political, social and economic rights are inseparable from fundamental human rights.

YB Dominique Ng wishes all women in Sarawak a Happy INTERNATIONAL WOMENS’ DAY 2010.

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