Incidences of rape and abuse involving women and children are on a rise in the country. On an average, 3000 rape cases are reported yearly in Malaysia. That amounts to about eight cases a day – a woman or a girl is raped once every three hours.
The highly publicised gang rape of two teenage girls by 38 men in Kelantan in May was most unfortunate as among the perpetrators were a father and his two sons. Then there was the recent case of a 69-year-old woman being forced upon by her own son-in-law! The list goes on.
It is becoming obvious that crime against women is increasing by the day. If and unless something substantive is done, the safety of women and children, especially girls, in Malaysia will be affected and it may have dire consequences on the country’s economy and outlook.
Realising the gravity of the problem and the necessity to protect the fairer sex, Perak Women for Women Society (PWW) decided to “take to the streets” to articulate its concern. Some 50 members and friends of the society gathered in front of Ipoh Parade, along Jalan Sultan Idris Shah on Saturday August 23 afternoon to demonstrate their displeasure.
Carrying placards and distributing leaflets and pink ribbons they held a noisy but peaceful demonstration. Motorists hooted as they passed signalling their approval and acceptance of the message. Curious passers-by stopped to enquire with some joining in to lend their support.
“The rally is initiated by a joint coalition of 10 women non-governmental organisations from all over Malaysia. It’s known as the Joint Action Group for Gender Equality or JAG, for short. We’re organising a Citizens’ Against Rape gathering on a nationwide basis today,” said the President of PWW, Puan Halida Mohd Ali, to Ipoh Echo.
Nationwide gatherings were held on the same day but at varying timings in Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu and Kota Marudi in Sarawak. It was supposed to be held on Friday, August 22 but had to make way for the National Day of Mourning for victims of MH 17.
The women dispersed around 4pm satisfied that their vociferous denunciation of rape and abuse against women and girls was heard.