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'Instil gender equality when young' advice
Published on: Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: Awareness of gender equality must be instilled at a young age while children are still at home, said Professor Dato' Dr Rashidah Shuib speaker at "Gender Inclusiveness and Equality Conference" held in the state capital, recently, she said both genders are equally crucial in promoting economy, sustaining developments, making decision towards building a better nation.

'We are no longer in the age where women just sit at home looking after their children while men go out to work to earn a living.

In today's demand and requirement, women too could contribute strength, constructive ideas and empowerment to climb the ladder of success.

Therefore, there should not be any far gap between men and women when come to contribution of work force," she insisted. Gender inclusive spelled out as open to everyone, does not exclude anyone regardless of race, creed, physical state, economic status. While gender equality means all women and men have equal opportunities for realising their full rights and potential.

She pointed out that under the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goal No 5, gender equality was clearly stated where it is not only a fundamental human rights, but also a good foundation for peace, prosperous and sustainable world, she said. While gender is determined biologically, in society it is constructed socially.

"Because it is constructed socially where its roles – men and women being assumed or played based on gender, therefore, we can change its needs to fit in the current society and the present environment that we are living in.

For example, doing household chores is no longer the work of a woman or a girl, but both genders can play their part in carrying out house errands like sweeping the floor, cooking, looking after children, laundry, gardening and so on.

Children must be told and educated about this where both sexes - boys or girls can take up the task of doing house errands and there is no issue of gender bias in this case," she reiterated. On the other hand, women could play an active role in corporate world contributing ideas and services where it was once used to be just man-dominated area of work.

One of the topics highlighted was going towards gender inclusiveness development, where 4 points were elaborated such as, accessibility, usability, availability and participatory.

Accessible to education, healthcare and workforce to women would benefit the nation as a whole where both genders could work side by side in decision making and implementing work.

'With such facilities easily accessible to women (apart from men), the services contributed by women and their participatory in any implementation of workforce will be realised, hence would add or increase better economy to the country," she pointed.

One of the speakers also highlighted the needs to address the following 5 dimensions holistically – legal empowerment, political participation, economic resources, human development and social protection.

"In providing women and girls with equal rights to education, health care, and representation in political and economic decision-making processes will benefit and sustain economies as well as in the societies and humanity overall. Implementing and outlining legal frameworks in regards to female equality in the workplace s crucial at this time.

Not forgetting to end the gender-based discrimination which was practised in the early days, as today we are in a borderless countries with one another, a click away we are able to gain access to any information on the other side of the world,". She said it is crucial to include all the 4 points in order for a better development of a nation as the saying goes no one is to be left behind.

The conference was organised by Sabah Women's Advisory Council (MPWS)) and in collaboration with Departments of Women Affairs Sabah (JHEWA).

Among speakers who contributed their paper presentations on the first session of the day were Dr. Ayesha UY Abu Bakar spoke about "Gender Equality and Human Rights; Professor Dato" Dr Rashida Ramli on "Gender and Security" and Professor Dato Dr. Rashidah Shuib on 'Gender and Health'.

Moderator for the first session was Datin Dr. Lungkiam Dambul Dumpiring, deputy chairperson of MPWS.

The objectives of the conference was to share, learn and exchange experience and knowledge in gender development; to highlight the importance of women inclusion and gender equality and to explore opportunities and collaboration in further advancing gender inclusion in the development.

Some 300 participations attended from various non-governmental organizations, political parties, government departments (agencies), academicians, private sectors, universities among others.

Also in attendance were Moyog constituency Assemblywoman Jenifer Lasimbang, Kepayan constituency assemblywoman Janie Lasimbang and MPWS Chairperson Datuk Dr. Tarsiah Taman.

State Minister of Health and Wellbeing, Stephen Wong made the closing ceremony on the second session of the day.

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