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

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IZZANA SALLEH

Women empowerment and youth education enthusiast

Courage inspires me. If we have the courage to believe, to speak, and to do, anything can change. Being an empowered woman means embracing all the strength and power, using the voice that we have in this “woke” world to create greater change than that of the giants before us, and to nurture a powerful future for our country. No task is too big, no problem is too small.

Over the years, I have been exposed to the disparity that exists between men and women. There are women who are highly skilled and hardworking but due to cultural expectations, self-limiting beliefs, and systemic barriers, they often lose out when attempting to climb the ladder of success. I was anxious to be part of the solution, and there are not-for-profit organisations I have had the pleasure of creating and now serving, such as Project Girls for Girls.

If you attend most women empowerment events, it’s like preaching to the choir. It’s mostly attended by women who already believe in the cause, but are not in the position to make the changes. I hope to see more male leaders in their respective fields take on this cause, not only because it affects their wives, sisters, daughters, nieces, and more, but because it is of real concern to them and the country’s progress. We should meet the 30 percent target—not quota—that we have set for ourselves as a nation.

The time is ripe to move the conversation to an equitable and equal 50 percent. Women are half our strength and half our success. The future is now.

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