Gender inequality is still very much alive in our society, despite various efforts to erase it’s existence. One reason is the short-sighted mindset that women are bound to handle domestic duties as their primary role.
A lot still needs to be done to amplify the voices of women and girls as sustainable development highly depends on eliminating discrimination towards women and providing equal access to education as well as opportunities for employment.
In a celebration of International Women’s Day at the Ipoh International Convention Centre, Perak State Assembly Speaker, Dato’ Mohamad Zahir bin Dato’ Abdul Khalid said that for decades women have been dealing with issues involving patriarchy, racism and economic inequality and people have incorrectly internalised.
In this year’s theme of Gender Equality for Sustainable Tomorrow, the United Nations is highlighting the direct impact of climate change on the lives of women and women leaders who are changing the conversation about climate with their sustainable initiatives. Without gender equality today, a sustainable future remains out of reach.
He further explained the idea that women play a vital role in society. He assured that there will be more events coming up in the future, where workshops and exhibitions involving women will be carried out.
Dr. Carrine Teoh Chooi Shi, co-chairperson of Bond Holdings highlighted that we have to celebrate International Women’s Day to tell them that they too are important to society and inculcating awareness is a way to honour this special day.
“This is the second time Bond Holdings is running the International Women’s Day conference, themed ‘Gender Equality for Sustainable Tomorrow’ with Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP) and the Ipoh City Council (MBI) to pay homage to women all over the globe,” she said.
Today’s conference also saw the launching of the Top Women in Security – ASEAN Award 2022.
Being a winner of the ASEAN Award last year and the only judge from the country this year, Dr. Carrine shared that many are still tied down by the bias of women lacking opportunities in many sectors, especially male-dominated industries.
However, to break the bias is to break out of the gloomy view of the situation. “If gender equality is not present or women don’t have equal voices as men, then women are left behind.”
Plans for the country to break the bias
Dr. Carrine said, “They are looking into different channels to encourage more nominations from Malaysia to promote the importance of their sense of self worth and they have the right to determine their own choices. They deserve an award for their contribution to society.
“We aim to have a women’s week in the near future! The most effective way to spread the word to the people is to involve the participation of youth and expose students to their responsibilities in society,” she added.
Present at the seminar were Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ku Zilati Ku Shaari, co-chairperson of UTP; Dr. Richard Ng, an Ipoh City Councillor; Datin Dr. Norrizan Razali, Managing Director of Tech Capacity Sdn Bhd; Datin Munirah Che Rose, Regional Director Maybank and Prof. Ir. Dr. Siti Hawa Hamzah, Director of the Engineering Accreditation Department, Board of Engineers Malaysia.