In our view, social activities are a crucial part of our work as it involves durthering our advocacy and mobilizing for change.

Without strategic messaging coupled with massive action, it is impossible to gain momentum at ground level – which is so important in advocating for change.


Sexual Harassment Poll

The aim of the AWAM’s Sexual Harassment Poll is to assess public perceptions and experiences with regard to sexual harassment among Malaysians and people living in Malaysia, using Twitter as a communication platforms. Feedback from this poll will go towards supporting the need for a Sexual Harassment Act, which will ensure that sexual harassment is taken seriously by all involved, and informing AWAM’s own advocacy and outreach efforts.

The poll is available in English, Malay, Mandarin, and Tamil. AWAM conducted the poll nationwide with technical support by UNICEF in February (4 weeks) and July 2020 (2 weeks).


Feminis Buatan Malaysia

The Feminis Buatan Malaysia (FBM) Series is aimed at addressing gaps in social issues and opening up space for conversations in the Malaysian context.

It is a space for conversations that explore feminism, women’s rights, and sensitive issues, without any judgment. This space is a necessary response to the increasing intolerance towards people who ask questions and the shrinking of democratic spaces.

It also provides the space for members/volunteers to facilitate the session(s) and allows them to have the opportunity to develop leadership capacities.

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16 Days of Activism

During these 16 days, AWAM ran a social media awareness activity and a rape petition as part of our 16 Days of Activism Campaign. The first part of the campaign focused on rape in Malaysia seeing that rape has been on the increase and that we are seeing more rape in the form of rape via stealthing, date rape andother forms of rape where consent is treated as a matter of contention.

This trend is not exclusive to Malaysia but we are also seeing more of it on a global scale. Consent was the also the point of debate in the case Harry Weinstein who was convicted for two counts of rape where the survivors had a complicated history and relationship with the perpetrator. As such, it was important to highlight the different forms of rape that does not fit in with the traditional view of rape.


Past Activities

Nationwide Domestic Violence Campaign
AWAM’s Nationwide Campaign on Domestic Violence

AWAM launched a nationwide campaign on domestic violence on the 13th June 2013. The campaign saw seminars throughout Peninsular Malaysia for this year and is on-going in 2014. We will also be in East Malaysia in 2014. Much thanks to SOGO Kuala Lumpur for funding this campaign!

Through this campaign, AWAM has brought together the key service providers, that is, Hospital (OSCC), Police (D11) and Welfare Department (DV) to provide information on what they do in the management of domestic violence.

This campaign not only brought more awareness to the communities but also made available access to various agencies when one experienced domestic violence.

The coming together of the various agencies and non-governmental organizations enabled closer working together on the issue of domestic violence. The campaign envisions the training of the front-line officers of these agencies to enhance their skills in order to achieve victories over domestic violence.

Campaign venue and dates:
Kuala Lumpur:10th December 2013
Selangor:10th November 2013
Melaka:19th October 2013
Kedah:23rd October 2013
Perak:7th September 2013
Negeri Sembilan: 13th July 2013
Johor:26th April 2014
Terengganu:4th May 2014
Perlis:24th May 2014
Penang:6th September 2014

Domestic Violence Hurts Families
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Domestic Violence Hurts Families” – AWAM’s Community Message Video

We also launched a Community Message Video to highlight the issue of Domestic Violence, its impact and what the community can do in response. This video is part of AWAM’s on-going work and campaign on this issue and will be used in public education and training activities.

You may not be the only one to witness it, but you can be the last one. Stand up, speak out and take action against Domestic Violence.

The video was launched on 10th December 2013, in conjunction with Human Rights Day.

Special thanks to our sponsors True Wealth Sdn Bhd, Azizi Bin Ali, Norazlyn Binti Karno, Dato’ Dr. Arunan Selvaraj and Gregs Video Sdn Bhd. The cast provided their talents pro-bono for this project: Eewen Teoh plays the mother, Achu Nair the father, Syarafana Aida Shuhaimi the child, Suhaili bin Basri the boss, and Callista Aveena the doctor.

Celebrities who lent their support and messages for this video include Mrs. Universe Carol Lee, Miss Malaysia Tourism 2013 Ms. Thaarah Ganesan, and Anchor/Reporter at NTV7’s The Breakfast Show Ms. Aishah Sinclair.

Citizens Against Rape
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Citizens Against Rape (CAR) – 1987 & 2003

In 1987, concerned members of the Malaysian public came together to form an initiative known as Citizens Against Rape (CAR) in reaction to the brutal rape and murder of a nine year old girl, Ang May Hong. AWAM played an active role in this campaign. Through protests and street theatre, the group successfully raised public awareness on the issue of rape and related laws.

In 2003, AWAM decided to revive the CAR campaign following another rape and murder incident, this time of a young woman named Canny Ong. We wanted to invoke the spirit of the earlier campaign and facilitate local collective action that would bring Malaysians together to work towards a society free of rape. The main goals of this revived CAR campaign were:

  • To gain support and foster community involvement in the fight against rape
  • To provide public officials with recommendations for improving the standard of security in public spaces
  • To set up a monitoring body to keep track of the situation regarding rape and steps taken by public officials towards addressing the issue and ensuring the safety of our public spaces
  • To raise public awareness on proposed amendments to laws relating to rape

The 2003 campaign kicked off with a rally at Kolej Damansara Utama (KDU), where over 500 members of the public attended to demonstrate their solidarity against incidences of rape that had taken place over the years in Malaysia. Pre-rally publicity focused on calling Malaysians to take a stand as citizens in the push for better laws related to rape and implementation of these laws as well as higher standards of public safety. AWAM followed up this rally with a public survey to gather recommendations and concerns from members of the public on securing the safety of our shared spaces.

Walk and Wheel
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Walk & Wheel – 2007

Developed in response to the alarming rise in crime rates in Kuala Lumpur, Walk & Wheel’s objectives were to educate young persons through awareness talks and to encourage them to find creative solutions to the crucial issue of safety. The campaign took a positive approach encapsulated by the tagline “Count Me In!”

One of the key target audiences for Walk & Wheel was school-going children. Approximately 4000 students from 40 schools in the Klang Valley participated in campaign-related talks. A School-Community Project Competition held in conjunction with the campaign saw approximately 130 school and college students taking up the challenge of developing projects to make their campuses and school surroundings safer.
The winning team from Sekolah Sri Lethia, Klang tackled sexual harassment on public transportation. They conducted surveys in their school and at public transport hubs, designed an anti-sexual harassment ad campaign, and offered practical and innovative suggestions like installing mirrors, fake CCTV cameras and launching patrols on trains and buses. The team also created a blog to garner feedback and support for their project. Special mention went to teams that created a documentary film to highlight the dangers of their inner-city school, conducted surveys and lobbied the KL Mayor and Chief of Police, conducted poster and signature campaigns, and revised crime reporting procedures on campus.

The campaign culminated in a public “walk & wheel” at Dataran Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur, followed by a pop-rock concert. The walk symbolised citizens taking collective action towards ensuring safe public spaces. Also participating were people with disabilities, who walked and wheeled to draw attention to their safety and accessibility needs. This event drew a crowd of more than 1000 supporters.

The main sponsors for the campaign were the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Celcom (M) Bhd, Freescale Semiconductor Malaysia Sdn Bhd., Plenitude Berhad, Kuala Lumpur City Corporation Berhad, Zelan Berhad and Kluang Station. The campaign also had the generous support of many celebrities including actress Sharifah Amani, pop star Jaclyn Victor, rock bands Couple and Evenstarr, and popular radio DJs.

Sexual Harassment Out! (SHOut)
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Sexual Harassment Out (SHout)

The SHout Campaign is a national campaign focused on ending sexual harassment in Malaysia. The campaign was spearheaded by AWAM, and we serve as Secretariat to coordinate campaign efforts. SHout has 11 organisational members, including the Association of Women Lawyers (AWL), Bar Council Human Rights Committee, Sahabat Wanita, Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) and Women’s Centre for Change (WCC), as well as several academics with research expertise on sexual harassment. Through SHout, we advocate for greater awareness on the issue of sexual harassment and how to deal with cases when harassed or witnessing harassment and for the implementation of specific legislation at state and federal levels to address the issue. We believe that all public spaces should be safe and accessible to everyone.

Wanita Suara Perubahan
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Wanita Suara Perubahan

An umbrella body of 41 civil society organisations and 6 political parties, Wanita Suara Perubahan was initiated by JAG in the lead up to International Women’s Day 2012 to remind the government that women make up a sizable voting bloc and that we would use this political voice to demand change, to push for clean and democratic governance at every level. Wanita Suara Perubahan has 6 specific demands, which are:

  1. A government free of corruption
  2. A decent living wage
  3. A better quality of life
  4. An end to gender-based violence
  5. Repeal of the peaceful assembly act
  6. Free and fair elections

For more information on these demands, read the manifesto here.

On March 8, 2012, International Women’s Day, members of Wanita Suara Perubahan had a public gathering in Brickfields and took the opportunity to speak with the press and to mail copies of the manifesto together with a pair of gloves symbolising the call for clean government to members of each state assembly in the country. We followed this up with a visit to Parliament on March 13 to hand more manifestos and gloves out, this time to the MPs. You can see a video of that event here. And on March 18, 4000 to 5000 persons (the vast majority of them women) marched the streets of Petaling Jaya, singing and chanting and clapping for change before gathering at Padang Astaka for speeches from the organising team, an orang asli woman, and a female politician, and more singing, chanting, and dancing.

MAN.V and the White Ribbon Campaign
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Men’s Action Network Against Violence (MAN.V) & The White Ribbon Campaign – 2004-2010

AWAM initiated the formation of MAN.V as the first men’s group working towards the elimination of violence against women in Malaysia in 2004 after a series of workshops with Dr. Michael Kaufman, the noted Canadian advocate of engaging men and boys in promoting gender equality.

MAN.V was formed with the aim of fostering a society where all persons value and respect each other’s humanity, equality, and right to be free from all forms of violence and discrimination. Members of MAN.V believed that men have participated in the development of a culture of violence that dehumanises women (and men), and should instead be part of the solution towards ending violence and discrimination.

In 2005, MAN.V undertook a major project to design and conduct a training programme “Men Working in Partnership with Women to End Violence Against Women” targeting young men and aimed at encouraging them to become advocates against violence against women. Workshops were conducted in Johor, Malacca, and Terengganu with an approximate total of 300 youth participating. This programme was supported by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

MAN.V’s flagship public event was the annual White Ribbon Campaign, part of a global campaign towards confronting men’s violence against women. Since 2005, the campaign was held each year on or around November 25th, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. The campaigns were held in popular shopping malls in the Klang Valley for maximum visibility, and members of the public were asked to show their support to ending violence against women by wearing a white ribbon. The white ribbon is a personal pledge not to commit violence against women, not to condone acts of violence, not to make excuses for the perpetrators of violence, and not to be silent in the face of violence. The campaign was well received, with supporters including local celebrities and public figures.