This year’s International Women’s Day calls for gender equality but many women still don’t know where to turn to when they’re oppressed and discriminated at work or even at home. Whether to address the systemic injustice in the workplace or provide fair access to economic resources without facing prejudice, these NGOs equip women with the right skills and aid to reach their full potentials.
FOR LEGAL AID
AWAM has brought about some significant law reforms, namely the Domestic Violence Act enacted in 1994, and continues to work on establishing a nationwide feminist movement in Malaysia. In 1997, with the help of dedicated volunteer para-counsellors and chambering students from the Legal Aid Centre, AWAM launched the Telenita helpline to provide counselling and legal aid services to survivors of gender-based violence including domestic, rape and sexual assault and sexual harassment. Available in English, Bahasa Malaysia, Mandarin and Tamil, the counselling service can be done over the phone or through face-to-face appointment at AWAM centre.
Telenita Helpline: 03 7877 0224. Or email [email protected]
FOR HIV/AIDS EDUCATION AND SUPPORT PROGRAMMES
Formerly known as Pink Triangle Sdn Bhd, the community-based NGO work with five key affected populations such as drug users, sex workers, transgenders and people living with HIV. Its Community Health Care Clinic (CHCC) not only provides healthcare to the general public but also offers anonymous HIV screenings, telephone and face-to-face counselling, as well as pre-test and post-test counselling. For those who are screened positive, CHCC will be able to provide comprehensive referrals to qualified hospitals and clinics for medical care.
Call 03 4151 3611 or visit the clinic at no 2, level 1, Jalan Haji Salleh, Sentul, KL.
FOR FINANCIAL EDUCATION
Set up by the Kuching chapter of the global volunteer movement Soroptimist International, Purple Lily is committed to empower the women in Sarawak, especially those from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, by providing life skill training as well as financial education. The trainings zero in on topics such as self-confidence, stress management and leadership skills. It also includes sexual education — conducted by a certified nurse — for girls aged 15 to 18, which is held in a safe environment with respect to the local culture. On the other hand, the financial literacy program teaches women how to take control of their financial situations, from tracking expenses and budgeting to saving and avoiding scams. Purple Lily is also part of an alliance that focuses on influencing legislators and government officials to generate policies and laws to better serve the Sarawakian people.
FOR TECH INDUSTRY TRAININGS
With more than 200,000 members spanning 70 cities worldwide, Women Who Code envisions a world where women are proportionally represented as technical leaders. The global non-profit organisation provides women an avenue into tech, equipping them with the skills needed for professional advancement in environments where networking and mentorship are valued. The Malaysian chapter has been hosting regular events since 2014, such as workshops, programs and networking sessions that aim to close the gender disparity gap in the country’s tech industry. The website also contains a trove of recommended coding resources for those who wish to pick up coding or advance their technical skills.
For more information on upcoming events, see here.
FOR WOMEN WORKERS’ RIGHTS
Formed in 1984, PSWS is a women workers support group committed to the concerns and interest of women workers as well as the larger issues of democracy, justice and equality in Malaysian society. The group first started working with plantation, electronic and domestic women workers but is now working with local and migrant domestic workers. Through advocacy, education and campaigns, PSWS aims to build confidence in women workers and support them in their struggles to improve their livelihood. As a Joint Action Group member, PSWS is backed by a number of for-women NGOs in its fight for a more supportive Employment Act, Trade Unions Act and Industrial Relations Act to prevent the exploitation of workers. Free legal advice is given every Wednesdays at their office from 9am to 4pm.
11A, Jalan Restu 1, Taman Restu, Kajang, Selangor. Call 03 8737 8380 or email [email protected].