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