Womens March Malaysia: Rise, Resist & Rest

Womens March Malaysia: Rise, Resist & Rest

Two years have passed and we are moving towards a new (pandemic) normal. Yet, the oppression of the marginalised in Malaysia remains the same.

Resistance of those oppressed remains the same. The demand for better rights, access, safety and protection, remains the same.

This year, in conjunction with International Women’s Day, Women’s March Malaysia held a picnic protest on Sunday, 6th March 2022. The picnic protest was held in-person for the first time in two years at Tasik Taman Jaya, and brought close to 200 members of the public, including artists and activists, to stand together in solidarity for a Malaysia that is fair, just, and inclusive of everyone.

The protest this year was aptly themed Rise:Resist and is a nod towards the perseverance and commitment to speak truth to power and fight for their human rights – despite an extraordinarily difficult two years that have impacted all in Malaysia personally, professionally and politically.

Why a picnic protest?The Women’s March Malaysia picnic protest is a reclamation of space and an acknowledgment that rest is a form of resistance, and a right of oppressed genders and sexual identities to rest despite constantly having to fight for equality and freedom of expression. Participants were guided through a placard-making session followed by a live performance and speeches on each one of the nine demands.

The manifesto released during the march lists nine clear demands to achieve equal rights. As such, we call on the government to commit to the following:

● Ensure the right to our bodily autonomy and freedom of choice

● Ensure equal pay for work of equal value

● To ban child marriage

● Declare climate crisis and formulate national plan to mitigate it

● Equal political participation of oppressed genders and sexual identities at all levels

● To establish and ensure accessible and safer spaces for oppressed gender and sexual identities offline and online

● To enact legislative reform to realise gender equality

● To prioritise gender mainstreaming in healthcare

● To end all forms of violence based on gender and sexual identities

Women’s March Malaysia calls for all of us to Rise, Resist & Rest

Women’s March Malaysia calls for all of us to Rise, Resist & Rest Until and unless these nine demands are achieved, the government will remain at odds with its international obligations and in its commitment as a member to the United Nations Human Rights Council. And, until and unless these demands are met, we will continue to rise and resist!

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