Role Of Feminism In Malaysia

967 Words4 Pages
LATE 20TH AND 21ST CENTURY
Ask any feminist today and the rights that they are fighting for are mostly similar; equal opportunities in the workplace, equal pay, the rights to one’s own body and the likes. While these themes are recurring in feminist groups across societies, the extra dimension in Malaysia to consider is the supposed discrimination due to added influences from Islam, with the government backing such a stand. Furthermore, after colonial period, women were more aware of their rights to fight for a greater role in society and also due to greater levels of education. This can be seen in the increase in percentage of female enrolment in higher learning institutions from 38.6% in 1980 to 47.5% in 1993 (Ariffin, 2009, p. 168).

It is believed that the feminist movement in Malaysia started to come into picture after Malaysia’s independence in 1957 (Amar 2015). Rosemarie Tong established that feminism has three main categories; liberal, socialist and radical (as cited in Brym, Lie 2007). While these strands of feminism are common, the more pressing strand, in addition to the three is the movement for feminism with the basis of Islam. The role of women and their rights took another turn as Malaysia turned into an Islamic state, which brought great changes to society 's views and norms. The strong influence of religion on society can be seen in Malaysia especially because of political implications from the influence of religious beliefs. Gradual governmental changes

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