Protect social development of women in all spheres of life in nation building
by Ashvin Raj
(Kuala Lumpur, Saturday): The world would be commemorating International Womenís Day, on 8 March 2003. As such, DAPSY wish to highlight and express our heartfelt gratitude to all women in Malaysia who have contributed to nation building, regardless of their marital status, occupation, race or religious background for the tremendous sacrifices made by women, including working mothers in their quest for freedom.
The International Womenís Day also provides an opportunity for all Malaysians to reflect on the progress made to advance women's equality and women empowerment as vital tools for sustainable development of a nation.
Our nation should strive to care for the needs of all women, as they have the capacity to bear children as future leaders. Since God from creation has created woman to be equal partners with man in managing the earthís resources, we must therefore resolve to work harder for gender equality and the empowerment of women as vital tools to combat poverty and disease, and to achieve economic development that is truly sustainable for all to share.
We should continue to inspire all Malaysians to address women issues to protect women from the impact of domestic violence, but also to strengthen their role in nation-building. In a growing number of countries, there has been growing recognition of the importance of the advancement of womenís rights in the fight against the AIDS epidemic.
We also need to ensure that all women can age with security and dignity. Our Malaysian youth should remember this auspicious International Womenís Day, and be mindful that the achievement of womenís rights currently is not the sole responsibility of women alone -- it is the joint responsibility of all mankind. Let us increase our efforts to create and maintain an environment where progress towards gender equality and protecting basic human rights under the UNís Universal Declaration of Human Rights would continue.
Article 8(2) of the Malaysian Federal Constitution, which prohibits any form of discrimination against Malaysians on grounds of gender, should be strictly enforced to protect the social development of women in all spheres of life in nation building.
* Ashvin Raj, DAPSY Assistant National Publicity Secretary