| Opinion | 1 Aug 2017 | Asia Samachar |
By Dr Daleleer Kaur Randawar
Why is it important for a woman to be empowered? The need for empowerment is not to campaign for woman’s justice but rather to prompt a sense of self-worth and gratification for all women. Women have made great advancements which should not be overlooked or overshadowed by issues of gender or even emotional sentiments. The empowerment of a woman does not in any way demean the importance and need of a man. Every man has his life impacted by some woman or another. A woman is a mother, wife, daughter, sister and even a friend.
Empowering a woman is not only important but equally necessary and crucial. One way of creating such empowerment is by specifically creating awareness about women in selected areas such as the law, social, economics etc. Creating awareness on these issues will create empowerment and targeted outcomes.
Hence, giving the women legal awareness in turn creates empowerment. Such vital information and understanding will allow every woman to make safe and better choices for themselves and their families. Under Article 8(1) of the Malaysian Federal Constitution, all persons are equal before the law and entitled to the equal protection of the law. Every person in the society has the right to information as to their legal rights. As such, it is important to impart practical legal awareness to women regarding their rights. With the proper knowledge, a woman cannot be subjected to any form of double standards, discrimination and suffering. Moreover, to any lay person, law may be complex and intricate. Some basic awareness may create a big difference to a woman who may indeed be seeking justice for herself or her family.
Some common legal issues faced by women usually relate to marriage, separation, divorce, child custody, property rights and domestic violence. Women who are career-minded and employed too have concerns on gender discrimination and sexual harassment at the workplace. Rape, sexual assault, battery, abuse, sexual harassment are also some common threats to women.
Therefore, it is necessary to create the consciousness about these issues and educate members of society, be it a man or woman, regarding women’s legal issues. No one can improve the status of women unless the women themselves decide to be responsive and mindful of their own honour and pride.
According to Sikh ideology, all men and women possess equal status. However, merely acknowledging this Sikh ideology, will not reflect the true practices and teachings of God. Every person needs to look beyond and practice every basic tenet of the Sikh faith and teaching to create harmony between men and women. A woman should never be tied with limitation but rather be inspired with courage and strength.
Dr Daleleer Kaur Randawar is a senior lecturer at the Faculty of Law, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) in Malaysia. She was a speaker at the Ipoh, Perak, seminar on ‘Managing Issues and Challenges of the Malaysia Sikh Community’ in July 2017
[ASIA SAMACHAR is an online newspaper for Sikhs in Southeast Asia and surrounding countries. We have a Facebook page, do give it a LIKE! Visit our website: www.asiasamachar.com]
Gurdwaras must adopt changes, marriage counselling badly needed, Ipoh Sikh seminar told (Asia Samachar, 23 July 2017)
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Kaur Project: Recognising and celebrating Sikh women (Asia Samachar, 2 May 2017)
Empowering women through SWAN (Asia Samachar, 20 July 2016)
Women: ‘Property’ of Men – Part 1 (Asia Samachar, 30 Jan 2016)