Women's Lived Realities in Malaysia: Socio-legal perspectives

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Guest seminar presented by Prof Noraida Endut from the Women's Development Research Center (KANITA), University Sains Malaysia, 8th March, 2013

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Women’s Lived Realities in Malaysia: Socio-Legal Perspectives : 

Women’s Lived Realities in Malaysia: Socio-Legal Perspectives 4/14/2013 NORAIDA ENDUT Women’s Development Research Centre (KANITA)

Background to the Malaysian women : 

Some social indicators Background to the Malaysian women 4/14/2013

Population : 

Population 4/14/2013 During the half year of 2011, Malaysia’s population numbered at 29.2 million Men outnumber women with a ratio of 103:100 Women’s population over the last 10 years show an increase of about 0.15%

Percentage of women : 

Percentage of women 4/14/2013

Female population by age group : 

Female population by age group 4/14/2013

Female population by age group : 

Female population by age group 4/14/2013

Employment : 

Employment 4/14/2013 Female labour force participation rate in 2010 is 44% (85.8% for degree holders v 92.9% for men) It is projected that women will account for 40% of M’sia’s productive workers by 2020 (30% of projected as entrepreneurs) Vulnerable female employment (unpaid female family and own-account workers) was 19.70 in 2008

Labour force participation by age group : 

Labour force participation by age group 4/14/2013

Percentage of female labour force participation by occupation : 

Percentage of female labour force participation by occupation 4/14/2013

Employed women by industry : 

Employed women by industry 4/14/2013

Employed women by industry : 

Employed women by industry 4/14/2013

Education : 

Education 4/14/2013 Literacy rate of women, 2009: 90% (95% for men) Women enjoy relatively good access to education In 2010, they made up 60.1% of the enrolment of students at government-assisted universities Only 42.5% of the Student Council members of 20 public universities in 2010/11 are female students

Enrolment in schools : 

Enrolment in schools 4/14/2013

Enrolment in government institutions of higher learning : 

Enrolment in government institutions of higher learning 4/14/2013

Women in institutions of higher learning : 

Women in institutions of higher learning 4/14/2013

Women in decision making positions in institutions of higher learning : 

Women in decision making positions in institutions of higher learning 4/14/2013

Students fields of study by sex, 2010 : 

Students fields of study by sex, 2010 4/14/2013

Issues in employment and education : 

Issues in employment and education 4/14/2013 Formal & substantive equality in access and opportunities to education and employment Protection from gender-based violence in public and the workplace sexual harassment Rape & sexual assault

Formal and substantive equality in education : 

Formal and substantive equality in education 4/14/2013 Although there is formal equality in access and opportunities to education, cultural considerations may limit opportunities of women to education Gender stereotypes about fields of study and employment opportunities Covert decision making norms and practices that prefer one sex over the other for particular fields of study

Formal and substantive equality in employment : 

Formal and substantive equality in employment 4/14/2013 Art 8 of Constitution prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex including for employment Pension Act 1970 guarantees equal mandatory retirement age and pension rights But, Equal pay for equal work is not clearly legislated; administrative directive in 1969 for civil service Protective discrimination re hours of work (women cannot be required to work in agricultural and industrial undertaking 10 pm - 5 am except with permission of Minister; women cannot be employed in underground work) Sexual harassment is not clearly prohibited under the law

Sexual harassment in the workplace : 

Sexual harassment in the workplace 4/14/2013 1999 Code of Practice on the Prevention of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace for private Persuasive only (1% of private companies have SH policy) Government circular in 2005 include SH in public service as a form of misconduct Limited provisions in the Penal Code may be used as remedy for SH

Protection from violence in public spaces : 

Protection from violence in public spaces 4/14/2013 Women are prevalent victims of violent, sexual, crimes Sexual violence only regulated through the offences of rape and intercourse against the order of nature Law on rape requires prove of actual sexual intercourse (penile penetration) [amendments to inc injuries caused to commit forced sexual intercourse] Although laws of evidence that are prejudiced towards rape victims have been repealed, victim-blaming attitudes are still prevalent amongst society at large (inc. police and hospital personnel) A few cases of police officers allegedly raping women while in custody

Women, marriage and the family : 

Women, marriage and the family 4/14/2013

Marriage and the family : 

Marriage and the family 4/14/2013 Average age at marriage of women in 2010 is 25.7 Males are still culturally accepted as heads of households Child-rearing and domestic responsibilities are largely the burden of women Patriarchal views about marriage prevalent amongst young people and service providers

(contd…) : 

(contd…) 4/14/2013 Unilateral divorce rights are formally or informally pervasive in all major cultures Marital problems have more detimental effects on women than men eg, domestic violence, desertion, failure to pay maintenance, polygamy Forced sexual intercourse within a subsisting marriage is exempted from rape and is not a criminal offence

Issues : 

Issues 4/14/2013 Domestic violence Polygamy Access to justice

Domestic violence : 

Domestic violence 4/14/2013 Affects substantially more women than men WAO National Reasearch on DV 1994: 58% of respondents thought that physical abuse was acceptable when wife, eg, failed to obey husband

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KANITA prevalence study 2010 : 

KANITA prevalence study 2010 4/14/2013

Effects of DV on health of women : 

Effects of DV on health of women 4/14/2013

Service providers views about marriage : 

Service providers views about marriage 4/14/2013

Slide 34: 

4/14/2013

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