10 Malaysian Women On The Importance Of International Women’s Day

10 Malaysian Women On The Importance Of International Women’s Day

BAZAAR rounds up 10 Malaysian women boldly fighting for change, as female forces of society.
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NISHA AYUB

Transgender rights activist

What’s one word that best defines you as a woman?

Strength; being able to define our own strength without being subjected to conventional social constructs. The predominant struggle in Malaysia is having to face religious indoctrination that constantly denies the existence of our community. We are going beyond to fight for gender identity and expression.

Why is it important for your voice to be heard?

The trans and LGBT voices need to be heard because only we know our issues, our needs, and the problems that we face best. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. I see myself as an inspiration for others to speak up and not to be afraid. It’s important to be strong whenever we become the target of hatred and violence.

How are we as a society progressing with equal rights?

Progress is very slow. We’re still discussing child marriages and female circumcision in this era. Women in Malaysia are always perceived as the second gender. This is a result of the patriarchal system that has been created by men who see power over women. Fortunately, we have a lot of female activists who are vocal about women rights, such as Hannah Yeoh and Datin Mina Cheah. Progress is seeing more women speaking up and being more of a champion of female rights in Malaysia.

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