Malaysia

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At A Glance

Indices and Rankings
Gender Gap Ranking1 #98/134
Gender Inequality Index2 0.493
HDI Ranking3 #57
Political Participation
Women parliamentarians lower/upper houses 10%/28%
Women in Parliament ranking #102/133
Women at ministerial level (ranking) 7% (#79/133)
Year women received right to vote/be elected 1957/1957

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Overview
GovernmentConstitutional monarchy
Total population28.8 million
GDP per capita (PPP) $14,700
HDI ranking3#57
Population under age 1530%
Urban population72%
Internet users65%
LanguagesBahasa Malaysia (official), English, Chinese, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Panjabi, Thai, others

Indices Education & Employment Political Participation
Sources (March 2011): CIA World Factbook, Inter-Parliamentary Union, Internet World Stats, MDG Info 2010, Quota Project, UNESCO Institute for Statistics, UNICEF ChildInfo , UNICEF State of the World's Children 2011, United Nations Development Project Human Development Reports, World Economic Forum, World Health Organization Global Health Observatory Database. 1.The World Economic Forum's Gender Gap index assesses how well countries divide resources and opportunities amongs male and female populations in four areas: economic participation and opportunity (salaries, participation levels and access to high-skilled employment), educational attainment (access to basic and higher level education), health and survival (life expectancy and sex ratio), and political empowerment (representation in decision-making structures). 2. The UNDP's Gender Inequality Index is designed to reveal the extent to which national human development achievements are eroded by gender inequality. It is a composite measure reflecting inequality in achievements between women and men in three dimensions: reproductive health (maternal mortality ratio and adolescent fertility rate), empowerment (share of parliamentary seats, and secondary and higher education attainment levels) and the labour market (women's participation in the work force). It varies between zero (when women and men fare equally) and one (when men or women fare poorly compared to the other in all dimensions). 3. The UNDP's Human Development Index (HDI) is a summary composite index that measures a country's average achievements in three basic aspects of human development: health, knowledge, and income. It was created to emphasize that people and their capabilities should be the ultimate criteria for assessing the development of a country, not economic growth alone. 4. Vulnerable employment is a Millenium Development Goal (MDG) 1B indicator; vulnerable employments are lower productivity and informal activities such as own-account workers and unpaid family workers. They are therefore more likely to lack benefi ts associated with decent employment, such as adequate social security and recourse to effective mechanisms for social dialogue. Vulnerable employment is often characterized by inadequate earnings, low productivity and substandard working conditions that undermine fundamental labour rights.
Gender Gap Ranking1 98 Adult literacy rate, females as a % of males 100% Women parliamentarians lower/upper houses 10%/28%
Gender Inequality Index2 0.493 Population with secondary education, female/male ratio 91% Women in Parliament ranking #102/133
Vulnerable employment for women (men)4 21% (23%) Women at ministerial level (ranking) #79/133
Year women received right to vote/be elected 1957/1957
HealthQuotas
Lifetime risk in maternal death, 1 in 1200 Quota type --
Births per woman 2.6 Constitutional quota in lower house --
Births per 1000 women aged 15-19 13 Electoral quota in lower house --
Voluntary political party quotas --

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Our Partner

All Women’s Action Society (AWAM) is an independent feminist organization committed to improving the lives of women in Malaysia. Founded in 1985, their vision is to create a just, democratic and equitable society where women are treated with respect, and are free from all forms of violence and discrimination. Towards this, they inform, connect, and mobilize those interested in securing women’s rights, bringing about equality between men and women and supporting women in crisis.

Reports & Updates
December 15, 2012 | Malaysia
All Women’s Action Society (AWAM) is an independent feminist organization committed to improving the lives of women in Malaysia.
October 4, 2011 | 2012 Events, Americas, Brazil, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Leading to Action, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mauritania, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, Turkey, Zimbabwe, Political Participation
In October, WLP traveled to Lima, Peru for the World Movement for Democracy (WMD) seventh Global Assembly, Democracy for All: Ensuring Political, Social, and Economic Inclusion. The conference brought together WLP Partners and more than 500 democracy activists, practitioners, and scholars, providing an important opportunity for learning, exchange, and networking with civil society actors from across the world.
June 23, 2009 | 2009 Events, Brazil, Events, Jordan, Malaysia, eNews 24, Political Participation
Today, Ms. Afkhami said, we "need to adopt new ways of looking at the forces that produce and control social and cultural power, and focus on strategies that increase women’s leadership and access to power." She went on to describe the connection between women’s leadership and reducing violence against women. "There is new scholarship that shows not only is there a causality between women in power and a reduction in violent conflict, but the original social conditions that allowed for the rise of democracy and greater gender parity included a significant reduction in violent patriarchy."
September 14, 2007 | Jordan, Malaysia, eNews 17, Political Participation
Malaysian women's groups organized Fiesta Feminista to to reclaim the often misunderstood and maligned feminist movement by increasing awareness about the role, contributions, and relevance of feminism in building a just and democratic Malaysia. In Jordan, a media campaign to promote women's participation in politics broadcast the slogan, "You trust her to raise your children, do you not trust her to lead your municipality?"
August 13, 2006 | Malaysia, Leading To Choices, Leadership
The majority of the labor unionists were new to the participatory leadership approach and to gender analysis. Many male participants found that the workshop challenged their views on gender relations, leading them to question their behavior towards female colleagues and family members. One unionist reported, "I was blind to women's problems in our country. But I'm willing to reopen my eyes, reassess the situation, and play my part to achieve gender equality." A few men decided to organize discussions within their unions on the role of gender relations in society.
March 5, 2006 | India, Malaysia, Leading To Choices, eNews 7, Leadership
"Although for me a leader meant only a political leader, I have learned that we can also be leaders in our lives," expressed one participant. Another said, "I was inspired to come forward to help the women of our village, as well as other people, so that we can work together as one."
March 2, 2006 | India, Malaysia, eNews 11, Leadership
On March 8, women across the world celebrated International Women’s Day through a variety of celebratory festivals, peaceful ceremonies, and political rallies to honor the long struggle for equality and freedom. WLP partners in India and Malaysia held special events to raise awareness of the rights of women and indigenous peoples in their communities.
March 2, 2006 | eNews 13, Family Law Reform, Human Rights, Jordan, Malaysia, Morocco, Guide to Equality
Family law in Muslim-majority societies governs every aspect of a woman’s life – from minimum age and conditions of marriage, to divorce, child custody, and the right to work, travel, or decide on a place of residence. The reform of family law is therefore crucial to women’s ability to participate on equal terms in both family life and public life. In each thematic module, the Guide presents the current state of the law, then proposes religious, human rights, sociological, and domestic legal arguments for reform, well-supported by relevant data.

Profile

Zainah Anwar

Executive Director / Sisters in Islam (SIS Forum Malaysia)
Nationality:  Malaysia
Profession:  Activist, Scholar/Writer
Languages Spoken:  English, Malay
Area(s) of Expertise:  Advocacy, Religion & Culture, Women's Human Rights
Country/Region of Expertise:  East Asia & Pacific, Malaysia

Zainah Anwar, a women's rights activist and well-published freelance writer, is former Executive Director of Sisters in Islam (SIS), a group of professional Muslim women committed to promoting the rights of Muslim women. An advocate for women's rights under Islam and the possibilities for alternative interpretation of the Qur'an, she was formerly a member of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia, a Chief Programme Officer for the Political Division at the Commonwealth Secretariat in London, and a Senior Analyst at the Institute of Strategic and International Studies.

S:SSO to Sakai