Chandrakala, PSWS' ExCo member facilitating an International Women's Day program on 12 Mar, 2016 at a home in Kajang. About 15 women, a few teens and kids of mums joined this session. The session comprised of creating a 4 line verse song on women. Groups came up with the most empowering verses and it brought a smile and laughter to all those who attended. It seemed there was a lady who never smiled before and many were surprised to see her give a wide smile.
The photos below show participants busy preparing for the lyrics of their song on women. There are the posters they prepared too. Irene Xavier (the woman with her hand up) had a few questions for them ... its unfortunate they could answer questions like who is the MP for Kajang but they were able to get presents for simple questions on pregnancy leave. Irene gave the input on why 8 Mar was significant for women workers.
The International Women's Day (IWD) workshop we had at a hostel for students of Putra Intelek International Kolej, Puchong on 8 Mar, 2016. It was refreshing as we shared the occassion with young students.
Yesterday we went to attend the first in a series of events for Malaysian's civil society to discuss the recent UN Conference on Climate Change in Paris - COP21 and how to move forward after this. It was organised by NCWO, the National Council of Women's Organisations Malaysia. A special focus of these discussions is given to the actors who are least visible in these discussions like women, youth and indigenous peoples. Specifically how can gender work as an enabler in the post COP process.
Power Shift Malaysia (a Malaysian Youth Climate Change Education and Empowerment), who also attended COP21 bringing along 7 young people, recorded the session:
Looking To The Future: Beyond COP21 - NCWO
Projek Dialog is a social discourse project that aims to promote healthy debate and understanding, within and among the diverse cultural, ethnic and religious groups in Malaysia. The project is a joint effort among several organisations and individuals who are committed to the progressive development of social issues in Malaysia. In a partnership with Article19, an international organisation defending the right to freedom of opinion and expression, the project Dialog Jalanan adresses the issue of freedom of speech in Malaysia.
They interviewed our founding member Irene Xavier:
Tahanan Politik: Penjarakan Aktivis, Penjarakan Negara
On 22 November the Cambodian Migrant Workers Training Project started with our first workshop for Cambodian migrant workers from a garment factory in Perak.
The Cambodian Migrant Solidarity Network together with CAW, PSWS and the Malaysian Trades Union Congress organised this project with the aim to raise rights awareness amongst migrant workers, inform them about relevant local law and encourage them to organise themselves. Becoming aware of issues commonly faced by migrant factory workers, especially women, and stimulating more confident and independent thinking shall empower them to work together towards obtaining a decent wage, freedom of association/collective bargaining, and abolishment of contract work.
We tried to further these aims in group discussions, through case studies and gave a presentation about the Malaysian Employment Act focusing specifically on migrant workers’ rights.
The group of 21 workers mainly from Cambodia but also including some women from Burma and Nepal, and some men, made this day a productive and rewarding session and we are looking forward to the next training with them.