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Forside Historier fra hele verden Artikler Unik Malaysisk kvindeorganisation - Et BAV støtteprojekt

Unik Malaysisk kvindeorganisation - Et BAV støtteprojekt

Nedenstående artikel er udgivet i BAVnyt 40, i en kortere version. Af hensyn til artiklens længde har vi valgt at henvise til vores hjemmeside, www.bavnyt.dk, hvor den kan læses i sin helhed. Artiklens interview er på engelsk.

Unik malaysisk kvindeorganisation - Et BAV støtteprojekt

Af Birte Møller Jensen og Peter Wad

Det er ikke så tit man hører om, at der bliver oprettet en landsdækkende organisation for arbejdende kvinder, i et overvejende muslimsk land – men det skete!

Tilbage i 2002 fik BAV kontakt til Silam Hassan fra Malaysia, som deltog på en kvindekonference i Danmark. Vi erfarede hurtigt, at det var en usædvanlig stærk kvinde vi havde med at gøre - en ildsjæl, klar til at gå op mod vinden for kvinders ret.

Silam Hassan var fraskilt, enlig mor til 5 børn havde 20 års erfaring fra fagbevægelsen, og fingeren på pulsen omkring kvinders situation i Malaysia. Det var Silams brændende ønske at oprette en uafhængig kvindeorganisation for uorganiserede kvinder i alle samfundslag, og hun havde allerede samlet et stort netværk bag sig.  Hendes drivkraft var et stort behov for at forbedre forhold for kvinder i Malaysia, oplyse om rettigheder og de mange specifikke problemstillinger for kvinder, ting hun så drukne i et tungt mandsdomineret samfund.

Hos BAV så vi et stort udviklings-potentiale og startede derfor en indsamling til fordel for dette projekt i juni 2002. Og vupti - med støtte fra Udenrigsministeriet, blev det muligt allerede i november 2002, personligt at overrække en check på 30.000 kr. til MAOWW. Dette skete på et landsmøde i hovedstaden Kuala Lumpur, hvor glæden ingen ende ville tage over denne donation. Det blev startskuddet til at MAOWW kunne slå rødder, arrangere en konference og oprette en hjemmeside.

 

Silam Hassan, præsident for Malaysian Association of Working Women (MAOWW)Silam Hassan, præsident for Malaysian Association of Working Women (MAOWW)

Silam Hassan, præsident for Malaysian Association of Working Women (MAOWW)

Nu, 16 år senere:

Organisationen eksisterer fortsat! Efter en årrække, uden kontakt til MAOWW, er det med stor glæde at kunne bringe nedenstående interview, der afspejler deres energi og styrke.  De har nu et sekretariat og Silam Hassan er fortsat præsident, og aktiv i kvinderelaterede sager i Malaysia. Hun rådgiver både ministerier, fagforbund og kvinder, og udtaler sig jævnligt til pressen.  MAOWW bistår ved retssager, engageret i lokalpolitiske sager, og et vigtigt forum for kvinder, hvor også enlige mødre med ekstra udfordringer, finder en unik støtte.

Hos BAV er vi bevidste om, at denne organisation arbejder under helt specielle forhold og vi er stolte af, at vores indsamling har været med til at give grobund for denne organisation, der gør en forskel for kvinder i Malaysia.

 

 

Via kontakter i fagbevægelsen lykkedes det Peter Wad ((PW) at finde frem til Silam og få en aftale om et interview med hende d. 31. januar om aftenen i det centrale Kuala Lumpur, hovedstaden i Malaysia.  Interviewet varede lidt under en halv time, og det foregik dels i hendes bil mens hun kørte, dels på en cafe. Her er nogle uddrag, der fortæller om Silam Hassans (SH) vurdering af støtten fra BAV til opstarten af MAOWW, hvordan foreningen udviklede sig og hvad visionerne er for fremtiden.

Interview with Silam Hassan (SH), president for Malaysian Association of Working Women (MAOWW) d. 31.1.2018 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Edited version, medio June 2018.

Peter Wad (PW): Why was it started, how did it work, now it is still on what has been its strengths and weaknesses, what have been its obstacles and opportunities, what’s the outlook now?

SH: First I would like to thank the Danish international. I do not remember its name…Oh yes, BAV. We did a website, but after five years we could not continue it. When we build the website the people [who did it] resigned from the organization. We could not get through. Until today I really feel sad about that. We did a very good website for the Malaysian organisation [MAOWW] but I carried on. I participated until today advising the government network on many issues... We also affiliate to the National Council of Women Organisations from the day we operate our organisation and until now, whatever relate to the government we still participate. I have made my role. In fact I have been sitting the last year the government assistant deputy Women’s minister in the Ministry to talk about the single mom issue. Because I think that the Malaysian government is ready to build up good policies on single women and friendly toward single mom and children, the families. So we did a campaign. The current one is about the whole…  Two years before we worked together with the Ministry of Human Resources on the issues of still single mom, we did a big carnival to provide information on the rights of sharia and also welfare to them, also for children training, for job placement. Last year we only had a seminar, a forum. In Kajang area, 300 over single women, single mom, seeking job.

PW: It is not only single working mom, it is also single house working mom?

SH: Jah. Plus their children, we are helping them seeking a job. That is under the Ministry of Human Resources. It [MAOWW] has been recorded in the Ministry of Women. Whole last year and this year I’m working to help them build economy. To sustain their lives they need proper – I’m talking more about self-employed people – they work for themselves or they work part time. Also sometimes the press calls me asking me about the women In Malaysia, women workers, I give them information. The local reporter in Malay community, they used to call me, also about foreign workers, they questioned me and I put my thoughts about part time whatever related to people and work. I’m trying my best forwarded the necessary opinion on self-employed and low income generated group problems.

PW: What is the situation now? What is the lesson learned from working with the association until now? You said that you were really sorry about the departure of the IT people, the home page people so you could not continue?

SH: It was a bit my mistake. When I did the website the company person doing the website she resigned so I could not get in contact. After some time I found somebody that tried to trace back the website, but still I had to pay a certain amount like they had fees to pay, much more less, but at that time my association was not that [well] than now. I have improved a lot. I opened up a child care in Kajang district with the MAOWW. We invest ten percent to put a name on my association. It is like a community having their workers around the area if there is anything. From there on the members are growing now. Before the members were 30 or 40 or 50, 60, not more than 100, but now last one or two years with a lot of improvements I have more than 1000, all over Malaysia. My organisation is national based. From that on local media is in contact with me. The local Malay News (Berita Harian)] is seeking our opinion on women issues ... Whatever, I can participate on behalf of the association. My opinion is there. I do not feel scared.

My vision. I want to give benefits to these people, and I now want to enlarge. But before I did not have the opportunity... Now I am trying to enlarge my association again. Before going up now I have been there from the beginning as president. Now I have an office and a very good secretary helping with the execution. Volunteer. Everybody here is volunteering...

PW: So you feel also if you get too many money from the government you will be dependent?

SH: Yes, until recently the Ministry of Women opened up, if we wanted to have project, because this year is the Year for Women in Malaysia empowering women. I did not still apply. I do not know if I want to maintain or not. I prefer my voluntary life. But I do not know what is happening in the country.  Whenever there is a forum I turn up...

I never stopped, I was sometimes silent, but I never stopped. The only problem with us is funds. I never got funds from anywhere. The first time given, a gift, until then no.

PW: So it is more or less thanks to the Danish NGO that you got started?

SH: Yes, great. And then up to now I have been on my own with my committee... When you are in an association it is quite difficult unless you take a lawyer fighting for the workers. My vision is to have an office for counseling and maybe I can send letters to the government or to MTUC. The women workers faced work discrimination seeks advice from me before they refer to Industrial Relations (IR) Department at the government agency.  I served about 8 months at the Malaysian Trades Union Congress in 2014 on domestic workers project and assisted meetings, trainings and campaigning programs for domestics workers including foreign domestic workers.

PW: Thank you so much.

Senest opdateret: Søndag, 05. august 2018 12:34