The COVID-19 pandemic has created a global economic shock of a magnitude unprecedented in modern times. How governments respond to the economic crisis will have far-reaching consequences for political participation and inclusion in the longer term. Times of crisis such as this are often worse for women as they are more likely to have vulnerable jobs, to work in the informal sector, to lack social protection and to have less access to financial resources. While confronting the coronavirus crisis will take extreme measures, a key risk today is the fact that the impact of the pandemic and the effect of measures might undo decades of economic, political, and social empowerment of women.
As in other countries globally, policy responses to the pandemic in Malaysia are affecting men and women differently and government is inadequately addressing the gendered impacts of the public health emergency and socio-economic crisis, such as the spike in reports of domestic violence. The new government in Kuala Lumpur is far from taking the right approach to ensure its response is gender sensitive. How do we respond to this challenge? How can we make recommendations to affect these much-needed changes?
There is a need to building an evidence base for and championing the inclusion of measures in policy and legislation that respond to the gendered impacts of the pandemic. We will seek to develop a coalition for change around Covid-19 starting in civil society and growing to include politicians, with the aim of using data and evidence to equip parliamentarians to make the case for policy and legislative changes that respond to those issues affecting women across Malaysia.
This session focuses on the theme of economy and will featuring representatives of Women’s Rights Organisation (WROs) and parliamentarians. The purpose of these discussions will be to probe the impacts and inequalities caused and exacerbated by the pandemic and to give voice to advocates from across Malaysia.
- Siti Kamariah Ahmad Subki, Chief Executive Officer, Institut Wanita Berdaya (IWB)
- Opening remarks by Alex Simm, Senior Programme Manager (Asia), Westminster Foundation For Democracy (WFD)
- Charles Santiago, MP for Klang & Chair, ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR)
- Amin Ahmad, MP for Kangar & Steering Committee for the World Bank Young MPs Network
- Professor Datin Dr. Norizan Abd. Razak, Director, Women Leadership Centre, Tun Fatimah Hashim, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) & founding President of E-Entrepreneur Women Association of Malaysia
- Who:WFD Malaysia
- When:18 August 2020
8-10pm Malaysia Time