THURSDAY, 14 APRIL – The effort to achieve gender equality in our daily life does not only rests on women alone, but is the responsibility of all parties, from small family units to managing a bigger one such as administrating the government.
This effort can be achieved through an early step of understanding or the awareness of gender and gender perspectives in all levels of society.
This was emphasised by the Minister of Community Development and Consumer Affairs, Datuk Hajah Jainab Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Ahmad Ayid, who stressed that the understanding of the matter was particularly important in making decisions or implement certain policies with regard to the assessment of gender perspective.
“Ordinary people, both men and women, children or adults need to understand that due to the biological and social factors, men and women have obvious differences, as such, each needs and wants are not the same,” she said.
“Thus, when any policy is passed, there should be an understanding on the impact of these policies to the lives of either men or women.
“Only by making the gender issue a a point of reference in the formulation of public policy, then only will we be able to achieve or move a step forward in gender equality issues,” she said.
She said this when officiating at the 2nd International Conference on Asean Women with the theme ‘Gender Mainstreaming and Public Policy’ held at Promenade Hotel yesterday.
She added that in a family for example, gender equality should be practiced in our everyday life, such as equal opportunity or freedom to all boys and girls to choose their interests or voice their opinions.
“Children must be taught to respect each other since childhood, and when they grow up with such practices, they would be more sensitive to gender issues,” she added.
She also hoped that throughout the conference, problems related to this issue would be discussed more thoroughly.
Also present at the opening ceremony were the Assistant Vice-Chancellor of Universiti Utara Malaysia, Associate Professor Dr. Ahmad Basha Wir Hj Ghani; Rector of Universitas Islam Bandung, Professor Dr. M. Thaufiq Boesoirie; Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Heritage Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS), Professor Dato’ Mohd Hamdan Adnan; Chairman of the Seminar, Dr. Rohana Yusuf, and Joint Chairman of the Seminar from the Yayasan Sabah College, Professor Dr. Junea-Nah Sulehan. - MA (fl)