DAP committed to ensure equal status and dignity for women in society

in conjunction with International Women’s Day celebration held by DAP Perak
by Ngeh Koo Ham

(Ipoh, Saturday): DAP joined the world in celebrating the International Women’s Day because we believe in the need to further uplift the status of women and their dignity in our society. 

DAP on this day would like to reaffirm its commitment to ensure that women’s status and dignity stand equal to that of men in our society.


Someone once said, “God did not create a woman from the head of a man to lord over him neither did God create her from his feet to be trampled upon by him.  God had created her from his side to be loved and protected by him.  I would like to add  “so that she may stand side by side with him equal in status and dignity.”


Women had in the past been subjected to untold miseries.  Many were caused by cultural, religious and cultural bias against them.  Others were caused by the wrong concept the society has on women.


The Chinese in the past view a woman’s womb as a field and the man’s  sperms as the seeds.  In the event of an infertility the wife was always to be blamed because her “field” was not good or fertile.  She was again blamed if she could not bear a male offspring.  Failure to bear a son was an acceptable excuse for the husband to marry another wife! Science now tells us that a man may be the cause for the infertility and the man is always to be blamed if a wife cannot give birth to a son because the sperms of a man determine the sex of the baby and not the ova (eggs) of the woman!


Women had been treated as objects that exist for the admiration and satisfaction of men.  Therefore, when it was decided that women were only beautiful and desirable if they have small feet, mothers who were themselves women were willing to forcibly bind their little girls feet to ensure that they will not grow longer than 4 inches!  Imagine the torture these girls went through and their screams and cries when their feet were forcibly bound.


Women were in the past and the same still exist in some societies today, not given good education because it was believed that their roles were in the kitchen and they will some day belong to another family upon marriage.  Most families did not give their female children family inheritance or properties.  The same can be said of many families even today.


Women were never treated with equal respect and their positions in society were never equal to that of the men.


Sexual discrimination and ill-treatment of women are still rampant in many under-developed countries.  In certain communities, young girls are subjected female circumcision (genetial mutilation) in order to decrease their sexual desires when they grow up.


Women in Malaysia have come a long way but there are still many aspects of sexual discrimination that still exist in Malaysia today and DAP together with the Malaysia women will fight against the following discriminations and inequalities:-


  1. Work done by women are generally accorded lower economic value.

  2. Women are paid lower salaries though they carry out the same or similar duties as their male counterparts.

  3. Women’s  promotions at work place are still often subject to discrimination.

  4. Many families still do not give their female offspring an equal share of the family inheritance or properties.  Syariah law in fact provides that a woman gets only ˝ of what a male heir will inherits.  The Authorities should re-examine  this law to see if such a law was made because of the then male-biased environment.

  5. House work and children upbringing are still considered the duties of a wife though she has a job outside the home just like her husband.  Husbands must learn that if their wives have jobs outside the house just like them, then house work and children up-bringing should be a shared responsibility.

  6. Sexual harassment and discrimination are still rampant and these happen even in our Parliament!


To Malaysian husbands, let us love our wives because as the famous family adviser Dr James Dobson said, “The best way to love your children is to love your wife.”


To those who sexually abuse women and use women to profit, stop doing so. You also have your mother and sisters.  How will you feel if your mother and sisters are sexually abused by others or they were used by others to profit.


To those who are violent against their wives, remember they are your closest partners on earth and the ones who are willing to sacrifice all for you.  Your children will never forgive you for abusing their mothers.


To all the men, let us abide by the golden rule “Do unto others what you would others do unto you.”


In closing, I would like to wish all Malaysia women a Happy International Women’s Day and a further year of progress.



*  Ngeh Koo Ham, Perak DAP Chairman