Advocacy & Legal Reform

JAGWCC’s advocacy and legal reform was set up in late nineties to expand WCC’s scope of work into various areas of advocacy, through lobbying and campaign activities. Today, this work has become an integral component of the Centre.  Today, WCC advocacy work is found in two main areas:

a)  advocating for victims’ rights especially in sexual crimes cases.

This includes giving support to the clients from the start of the police report all the way to the court trial. WCC gives emotional support when the victim’s case goes to court trial.

b) lobbying and campaign for policy and legal reforms related to women and children.

There is an need to advocate policy reforms to ensure that procedures are adhered to ensure victim’s rights are guaranteed. Also, legal reforms are needed to effect better laws and policies for Malaysian women and children’s rights.

WCC is a member of the Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG) (formerly the Joint Action Group Against Violence Against Women), a coalition of women’s groups which aims to eliminate gender-based violence and discrimination against women as well as to promote gender equality in Malaysia. Much of WCC advocacy work takes place within the context of JAG’s lobbying and campaigns on gender violence and gender equality.

In terms of specific activities, much of our advocacy work involves the drafting and submission of memorandums, reports and letters to the government and other interested parties on key issues. WCC as part of JAG, has issued memorandums pertaining to the Domestic Violence Act and the sexual assault provisions of the Penal Code (especially rape and incest), family law, children’s rights, and various areas of the law which discriminate against women.

In 2000, WCC headed a nationwide campaign for a sexual harassment law which is still ongoing. In 2005 the Malaysian women’s groups came up with an NGO Shadow Report to the CEDAW (United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women) Committee and also formed a shadow delegation to report to the Committee in New York in 2006.

We have also held dialogues with Attorney-General Chambers, relevant Ministries and government agencies to highlight existing gaps in the system and the laws affecting women and children recommend changes needed to improve their situations. Various talks and presentations are conducted from time to time to raise public awareness of our efforts. Many of WCC and JAG’s lobbying efforts have been highlighted by the media through the publication of our letters and press statements as well as through memorandas as below.

Memorandum

The documents on this page are memoranda and research papers addressed to the government and lawmakers on specific issues.

Domestic Violence

WCC Memorandum (Revised) on Review and Proposals for Amendments to the Domestic Violence Act 1994(December 1999)

WCC Memorandum on Prioritisation of the Proposed Amendments (To the Domestic Violence Act 1994)

Rape/Sexual Assault/Incest

WCC Memorandum on Proposed Amendments to the Penal Code and Criminal Procedure Code
(June 2006
)

JAG Memorandum to the Special Select Committee on the Penal Code and Criminal Procedure Code
(August 2005)

JAG Memorandum to the Special Select Committee on Penal Code (Amendment) 2004 and Criminal Procedure Code (Amendment) 2004 (28 October 2004)

Anti-Rape Task Force Memorandum on Laws Related to Rape(September 2003)

WCC Memorandum on Laws Against Incest(May 2002)

WCC Response to the New Incest Provision and other Penal Code Amendments dated(August 2001)

Sexual Harassment

JAG’s Memorandum on the Government’s Proposal to Amend Existing Labour Laws and Penal Code to Combat Sexual Harassment dated 25 April 2005

JAG’s Briefing Notes to the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development on “Sexual Harassment and the Need for Legislation”, March 2002

JAG’s Proposed Sexual Harassment Bill, May 2002

JAG’s Executive Summary of the Proposed Sexual Harassment Bill, June 2002

JAG Memorandum on Proposed Sexual Harassment Bill, 30 March 2001

Speech by Zarizana Abdul Aziz during the Handover Ceremony of the Signature Petition on Stop Sexual Harassment by JAG, 30 June 2000

JAG Memorandum on “Stop Sexual Harassment”, 30 June 2000