When AWAM first began, our core work was centered around fighting Violence Against Women (VAW) which addresses the specific forms of violence that insidiously make its way through speech, economic opportunities, and specific gender-based roles or practices that are harmful to women physically, mentally and emotionally.

In the early 2000’s, AWAM became increasingly aware of the need to be more inclusive – to include the gendered violence against lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgenders (LGBT), and other non-conforming genders – in our approach towards fighting sexual violence.

Today, we understand that while VAW is still prevalent, there is a bigger movement that addresses the larger structures that affirms, reproduces and perpetuates violence based on sex and gender – Gender-Based Violence (GBV).



Gender-based violence (GBV) is any act that is perpetrated against a person’s will and is based on gender norms and unequal power relationships

that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or mental harm or suffering to anyone, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty. Globally, it is estimated that one out of three women will be beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime.

While women and girls are the primary victims of GBV because of their ‘subordinate’ status, GBV reflects a broader conceptualisation of violence as anyone may be victims of violence that is based on socially determined roles, expectations and behaviours linked to ideas on masculinity.


Sexual Harassment

It is any unwanted act or conduct that is sexual in nature and perpetrated through verbal, non-verbal, visual, psychological or physical means that causes the other person to feel humiliated, offended and threatened.

To learn more about Anti-Sexual Harassment Program, go to our ‘Activities’ page.



Past programs


Politicisation of Ethnicity and Religion

This program aims to promote a better understanding of how the politicisation of ethnicity and religion impacts society, particularly women, and how AWAM can address concerns around this. Through this program, AWAM hopes to create safe spaces where we can dialogue with each other in a constructive manner and be able to hold diverse understandings and narratives on ethnicity and religion in Malaysia, one that embraces and celebrates diversity and adheres to human rights principles, rather than seeking to punish or persecute difference.