聯合國《消除對婦女一切形式歧視公約》委員會（UN CEDAW Committee）於2017年7月28日就馬來西亞女性權益現況，向馬來西亞政府提出一連串措辭強硬的疑問，因大馬政府提呈給CEDAW委員會的報告中並未提及相關資料。 委員會提及的疑問中包括政府在制定國內法律（如透過性別平等法律）時納入CEDAW公約條款的進展、政府保護女同性戀、雙性戀與跨性別群體免受於暴力對待所採取的措施，例如由國家資助的“康復”營等、提供予遭受雇主虐待的外籍女傭的保護、就民事法與伊斯蘭教法在婚姻與家庭關係上的不一致性所採取的調和措施，以及確保所有女性，包括無國籍或被扣留者可獲得醫療保健的方案。 政府必須在6週內就這些疑問回覆委員會，而這些回覆也將在2018年2月在日內瓦舉辦的CEDAW委員會大馬審查環節中討論。 大馬婦女權活躍分子兼前CEDAW委員會成員珊蒂黛麗安表示：“CEDAW審查是一項國際性機制，以監督政是否按國際準則實踐婦女平權。按時提呈CEDAW報告予聯合國，以及報告的素質皆能顯示政府在履行對國內婦女義務上的承諾。” 馬來西亞的2018年審查將以公開方式進行，並在最後由CEDAW委員會列出一系列建議予馬來西亞政府，包括消除大馬所有女性遭受的歧視並確保她們享有人權的特定措施。 黛麗安強調這些建議的重要性，她指出：“必須認真看待和記錄CEDAW委員會的專業發現，因這將會顯示國內婦女的發展。” 37個馬來西亞非政府組織聯合提呈書面報告予CEDAW委員會，並於今年7月24日出席日內瓦會議時，在向委員會成員簡報中，特別提出一些關鍵議題。 有份出席在日內瓦舉辦的非政府組織簡報的女性律師協會主席譚蕙瑩表示：“CEDAW提供重要機制，確保政府負起保護和提升婦女權益的責任。我們也感到欣慰，因為我們向委員會點出的一些課題，包括馬來西亞一直未把婚內強姦指定為刑事罪，以及逐漸增長的童婚問題等，皆在委員會向政府提出的疑問中獲得關注。” 聯合國《消除對婦女一切形式歧視公約》是婦女人權國際法的主要基礎，也提供政府在落實法律和政策時，在不分文化、國籍和宗教下維護性別平等的指引。 ### 性別平等聯合行動聯盟（JAG） Women’s Aid…
Persatuan Sahabat Wanita Selangor on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of IWD wishes to draw the attention of the Malaysian public and the Malaysian government regarding two current issues. Firstly we want to begin by saying that IWD was declared in memory of the women workers in a garment factory who died in a fire in New York in March 1911. Hundred years on women workers from many sectors in Malaysia face similar problems. Today we want to highlight the plight of two sectors – domestic workers and informal workers.
Malaysian domestic workers are exempted from almost rights accorded to workers in the Employment Act, 1955. Half century later the Malaysian government has still not shed its patriarchal attitude towards these workers. In Report IV (2A) of the International Labour Conference which is a document in preparation for the 100th session the Malaysian government has made the following stand:
Domestic work is not seen as ordinary employment. The rights of householders should also be considered. A Recommendation would be more suitable than a Convention.
This remark was made in connection to a call for governments’ comments about a proposed text for a Convention on Domestic Workers. Malaysia was not among 39 countries that welcomed the text in preparation for a discussion on the above proposed Convention.
We are disappointed that our government thinks the relationship between a worker and an employer in a private home does not constitute normal work and thus does not warrant any protection. We urge the Minister of Human Resources and the Minister of Women and Family Affairs to review this archaic stand and take a more professional view of domestic workers.
The second issue we wish to highlight is that 100 years after attention was drawn to the sorry plight of women workers things have not improved much for women workers here in Malaysia. While there is an Employment Act and other legislation to protect the rights of workers these are currently being violated in many ways. One way is that workers, especially women, are employed by contractors and subcontractors who ignore their legal duty as employers (as warranted under the Employment Act) and say that they are labour agents who supply labour to workplaces. Whatever they choose to call themselves they should be made to comply with the Employment Act and provide for their workers as the Act requires. We condemn the current penchant to do away with all duties as Employers by employing workers indirectly and claiming that they are not employers. We call upon the government to take this issue seriously as it affects large sections of the Malaysian Labour force be they local or migrant. The government cannot choose to think only of the interests of the Employers in this regard.
In conjunction with this 100th year of International Women’s Day we call upon the government and the people of Malaysia to protect and defend the rights of women workers especially those in precarious employment like domestic and informal workers.
Persatuan Sahabat Wanita, Selangor
(A grassroots women workers organisation since 1984)
Published on March 11, 2011