Find Out, Speak Up, Take Action!
International Women’s Day – 8 March – is an occasion marked by women’s groups all around the world, where their voices are gathered in a celebratory shout in recognition of the struggles and victories of the women’s movement for equality, justice, peace and development. It is also a day to plan for future strategies in eliminating all forms of discrimination against women. This date has been commemorated at the United Nations and is designated in many countries as a national holiday.
Following the success of last year’s International Women’s Day celebrations, together with 3R and AWAM, WAO will be holding this year’s celebration on 8th March at the Waterfront, Kuching Sarawak. Taking on a proactive stand to stop violence against women, this year’s theme is Find Out, Speak Up & Take Action!
What’s Gonna Be Happening?
Fun & Fund-raising Activity!
Members of the public are urged to bring along a Kotex polybag to the Kotex booth and for every polybag that they bring, Kotex will donate RM1 to WAO, AWAM & SWWS. In return, members of the public will spin a wheel prizes and win a gift for themselves. These NGOs which rely on public donations to fund their services and projects will benefit from the pubic’s generosity via a simple act of collecting as many Kotex polybags and exchanging them for gifts at the booth.
For the very first time ever in East Malaysia, 3R together with Kotex brings the popular sport of cheerleading to secondary school girls in Kuching. Trainers from Kuala Lumpur have been brought over to Kuching specially to train teams of secondary school girls from St. Theresa and St. Mary for this competition. Sarawakians will also get to see a performance by Sri Bintang School KL, last year’s champion cheerleading team from Kuala Lumpur.
NGO booths from Kuala Lumpur and Kuching will be set up all along the Waterfront area from 2.00pm to 6.00pm offering informational brochures, self-help booklets and assistance by staff and volunteers on issues of violence against women, as well as the services provided. This is a useful avenue for members of the public who want to find out more about the issue and how they can help.
AWAM Clothesline Project
Newspaper articles about rape cases as well as items from rape survivors will be hung from a clothesline at the Waterfront, Kuching to bring visibility to the stories of rape survivors. It is to enable the public to realise that they can do something individually to to make a difference in stopping rape. Women and men can respond by making a stand and signing the “Speak Out Against Rape” banner. The Clothesline project will be displayed between 2.00pm – 6.00pm at the event.
Stop Rape Workshops (to be held on 7th March)
Organised by AWAM and supported by WAO, there will be four-hour workshops on raising the awareness on rape will be held at schools and universities in Kuching. The 3R hosts will also play an active role as co-trainers as participants gain more understanding on the issue of sex roles and stereotyping, myths and facts about rape, date rape and protecting themselves from rape.
WAO Legal Clinic
The Legal Clinic will be set up at WAO Booth, with placement of 2 lawyers from Sarawak Women for Women (SWWS) and WAO staff members to answer basic legal queries from members on the public on violence against women, especially on domestic violence. The WAO self help guide ” A life free from violence”‘ will be available to the public.
Members of the public are urged to support the effort in amending the laws related to rape by joining the signature campaign at the AWAM booth.
Palm Prints Against Rape
Members of the public are invited to make their mark against rape and violence against women by making their palm prints using paint onto a white banner. This collage of prints will be suspended against a wall throughout the day.
“Stamp Out Violence” Scrapbook
There will also be a scrapbook at the AWAM booth where members of the public can sign their names, write messages or comments on the issue of violence against women and have their say. Rubber stamps with the shape of a hand will be provided to the public where they can stamp the book and sign their names within the hand.
A concert featuring popular young upcoming artists like VE, Deja Moss, Hazami, Syafinaz and Elyana will take place from 8:00pm onwards. Popular local indigenous band Tuku Kame will also join the performance. For the very first time ever, the 3R hosts – Azah, Yuen and Kartini – will perform a sing for the audiences. In keeping with the theme of Stop Violence Against Women, the song will reflect the spirit of 3R, which calls young women to respect yourself, take time off to relax and respond to the surroundings. A fun night to end a day of empowerment for women!