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Rock, Soul & Blues – 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence

From 25th November to 10th December, the KLCC PUTRA LRT stations became an active platform for musicians, actors and performers to vocalise their stand against gender-based violence through their art.

Posters with the following messages bedecked PUTRA & STAR LRT line trains and stations throughout the 16 days in resonance with this public education campaign:

§ “Plunging Rock Bottom from Violence? – Musical Expressions Against Gender Violence. Call Women’s Aid Organisation to lend your support”
§ “Violence Shattering Your Soul?” – Musical Expressions Against Gender Violence. Call Women’s Aid Organisation to lend your support”
§ “Hit by the Blues?” – Musical Expressions Against Gender Violence. Call Women’s Aid Organisation to lend your support”

Joining the global campaign, Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) in collaboration with Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd. (formerly PUTRA & STAR LRT) and Levi Strauss (M) Sdn Bhd brings the language of music this year to reach out to the public on violence against women.

Violence against women is a real threat that women and girls face all over the world today. It cuts across lines of race, religion, income, class and culture. Embedded so deeply in all cultures, millions of women consider it a way of life. In 2001, there were 246 reported cases of incest, 3107 reported cases of domestic violence and 1386 reported cases of rape (source: Royal Police Malaysia, Bukit Aman). Even then, the dynamics surrounding violence against women make it one of the most underreported forms of crime. In example, studies have shown that for every rape that is reported, nine goes unreported. It is pervasive in every community, and WAO is urging all members of the society to take action and make a positive difference in eliminating violence against women.

Continuing from last year’s campaign theme, “Don’t Turn Your Back on Violence”, the breadth of voices that speak out against gender-based violence is extended this year to include the voices of street musicians and performers. Borne out of the idea of busking, music and art is given a platform to engage members of the public and the community on the issue of violence against women.

Performers were at the KLCC PUTRA LRT stations from 12.00pm to 2.00pm everyday from 25th November to 10th December making their stand; while WAO volunteers handed out informational brochures and interacted with the public on violence against women.

Violence against women is unacceptable is any community. Add your voice to the musical expressions against gender violence.

This is the second campaign with the support of PUTRA LRT (now Syarikat Prasarana Negara Berhad), and the LRT stations have been an ideal platform to reach out to the masses from all walks of life with the myriad of commuters that use this form of public transportation daily. Sponsoring 20 advertisement panels in the trains, notice board space at the STAR & PUTRA line LRT stations, as well as the venue and infrastructure for this year’s distinctive campaign, Syarikat Prasarana Negara Berhad’s assistance has been instrumental in giving the 16 Days visibility and access.

Levi Strauss (M) Sdn. Bhd. is also our partner for the second year, with their generous sponsorship of the campaign’s public education materials. This includes the production of the campaign’s “Rock, Soul & Blues” posters and T-shirts.

OgilvyOne Worldwide conceptualised the theme of this year’s campaign and designed the posters. This is also the second campaign that they have extended their expertise in the area of creative thought in mass education to vociferate the language of violence against women.

3R on World AIDS DayAs an artiste, Ferhad has always been dedicated to lending his distinctive blend of music to issues that affect the community. With our collaboration with him to bring visibility to the issue, it sends out the message that everyone can play an important role in ending gender-based violence in a multitude of ways.

The hosts of 3R are no stranger to WAO and our work. Through consistent mutual support, we have found 3R to be a key ally in bringing the issue of violence against women and women’s rights to Malaysia’s young minds.

WAO is grateful and proud to have such strong and committed partners in support of this important public education campaign, and extends our greatest appreciation for all their assistance.


The 16 Days of Activism is an international campaign which developed from the First Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991 in the USA. Participants of the Institute chose the dates in order to symbolically link violence against women with human rights.

The 16 days highlights four significant dates:

25th November commemorates the anniversary of the murder of the Mirabal sisters who were brutally murdered by the Trujillo dictatorship in the Dominican Republic in 1960. Since 1999, it has been recognised by the United Nations officially as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

1st December is World AIDS Day to mark the global effort to face the challenges of the AIDS pandemic. Furthermore, the link between violence against women and their vulnerability to HIV infection is indisputable.

6th December marks the Montreal Massacre where a gunman who hated feminists shot fourteen young female engineering students dead at Montreal University in Canada in 1989. He ordered all the men to leave before opening fire, and then he shouted, “You are all feminists and I hate feminists!”

10th December is International Human Rights Day, which celebrates the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, proclaimed in 1948. All governments acknowledged that everyone is entitled to all rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration without distinction of any kind such as race, colour, sex…”

To find out more about the event, log onto: Global Center of Women’s Leadership

In Malaysia, Women’s Aid Organisation has organised public education series with the media to be part of the 16 Days of Activism:

  • In 1998, WAO worked with The Star to produce a 16 Days series on Violence Against Women.
  • In 1999, WAO worked with ERA radio with public announcements on Violence Against Women.
  • In 2000, WAO worked with Sin Chew Jit Poh to highlight International Day Against Violence Against Women with a 5-day series. WAO also produced its own 16 day series on the WAO website.
  • In 2001, the theme was “Do Not Turn Your Back on Violence” involving distribution of helpline cards at PUTRA LRT stations. These helpline cards were also distributed at Levi Strauss outlets.

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