Posts Tagged 'Women'

Obedience-driven fraternity

Driven by the desire to obey and fulfill their husbands’ sexual needs, a group of married women has launched the Malaysian chapter of the Obedient Wives’ Club. They figured that this strategy would curb social ills by reining in wayward husbands.

So far there’s no report of husbands wanting to set up an Obedient Husbands’ Club as a result of this women’s initiative.

See here for relevant story.


Seeking Kartika

Busting bras for that ‘natural look’

Somali women who wore bras were reportedly whipped by hardline Islamist group al Shabaab for being ‘deceptive’ about their natural physique.

Apparently rattled by the sight of a firm bust, the al Shabaab men rounded up women and then ordered them ‘to remove their bras and shake their breasts’.

Such a practice suggests a warped sense of morality.

The Malaysian Insider reports:

MOGADISHU, Oct 17 — Somalia’s hardline Islamist group al Shabaab has publicly whipped women for wearing bras they say violate Islam by constituting a deception, north Mogadishu residents yesterday.

The insurgent group, which seeks to impose a strict form of sharia Islamic law throughout Somalia, amputated a foot and a hand each from two young men accused of robbery earlier this month. They have also banned movies, musical ringtones, dancing at wedding ceremonies and playing or watching soccer.

Residents said gunmen had been rounding up any woman seen with a firm bust and then had them publicly whipped by masked men. The women were then told to remove their bras and shake their breasts.

“Al shabaab forced us to wear their type of veil and now they order us to shake our breasts,” a resident, Halima, told Reuters, adding that her daughters had been whipped Thursday.

“They first banned the former veil and introduced a hard fabric which stands stiffly on women’s chests. They are now saying that breasts should be firm naturally, or just flat.”

The struggle for gender equality and justice

A video clip about the struggle for equality and justice in the Muslim family across the Islamic world. The global movement Musawah (‘Equality’ in Arabic) is associated with this struggle.

International Women’s Day

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International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8 every year all over the world. Hundreds of events occur not just on this day but throughout the month of March to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women.

Body politics and morality in Malaysia

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A lot has been said of the politician Eli Wong photo controversy in much of the mainstream media as well as the new media. This is because not only has this issue been considered as something of ‘public interest’ by certain quarters, it also has the potential of being sensationalised and, eventually, capitalised to the hilt by these people and certain sections of the media.

That this Eli issue, and particularly the much-sought after photos, have aroused, and rather passionately at that, the interests of many people also bare the kind of society we live in Malaysia.

For one thing, the subject of morality has time and again been reduced to all things sexual, especially – in the Malaysian context – those pertaining to women’s sexuality.

Often, the professed concern for women’s sexuality is stressed so much by certain quarters in society to the extent that it overrides other equally, if not more, important issues of morality, such as trustworthiness of politicians, professional ethics of journalists, fairness and sterling integrity of judges, etc.

One explanation for this is the unequal power relations between men and women in society so that quite often the latter get discriminated and exploited by the former. Hence, it is relatively difficult enough for women to climb up the political ladder, and it is even harder if they happen to be on the ‘wrong side’ of the political and ideological divide.

At times you wonder why, for instance, those who pontificate and moralise about woman’s body, or at least what are considered to be the ‘sexually attractive’ parts of her body that have been exposed, do not seem to publicly display the same degree of moral outrage when it comes to the reported cases of dead bodies in police custody.

Many Malaysians get excited to know about who jumps with whom into bed more than about politicians who jump from one party to another (and, at times, back to the original party) without a blink of an eye.

A woman rape victim receives not only the enrapt attention of certain sections of the media but also becomes the talk of town. The rape of the environment, essentially caused by predatory developers in cohort with unethical politicians and professionals, does not get as much public interest.

The social cleavage that shows the stark contrast between the rich and the poor in regard to access to resources within the society often does not command the attention and excitement of people as compared to the response to the body cleavage of a woman.

Holding hands between loving couple in public places gets much more flak from many members of the public compared to public reaction to the act of clutching packets of ringgit notes by certain government officials and politicians in the most illicit fashion. This is to say that some people are ever ready to close one eye to the conscious blurring of the line between private interests and public positions.

Thus, stripped of all official religious pronouncements and moral posturing, are we really a nation with scruples?

Say NO to Violence against Women

Just received this note from a friend in Indonesia. Please pass the word around and at the same time make known your stand on this matter to the people concerned.




UNIFEM, led by Goodwill Ambassador Nicole Kidman, has launched a campaign urging the public to Say NO to Violence against Women. This advocacy campaign has its roots in the fact that one in three women may suffer from abuse and violence in her lifetime. And we can help to put a stop to this by lending our names and voices to Say NO to violence against women.


UNIFEM East and Southeast Asia Regional Office is actively promoting the campaign to show that we in this part of the world do care for survivors of violence around the world. Add your name at to demonstrate that you are among an ever-growing movement of people who demand that ending violence against women be a top priority.


Please send this email to all your contacts. UNIFEM will handover the signatures to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in conjunction with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, 25 November 2008, to support his efforts.

Thank You for YOUR support