NIEW Gender Series – Women’s Role in Nation Building

NIEW Gender Series

The great Y.A.Bhg. Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohammed was to speak at the NIEW Gender Series on the 10th of November. The thrill of hearing the former Prime Minister of Malaysia delivering his noble speech on Women’s Role in Nation Building was a great opportunity that I could have barely missed. Being a foreign student and getting the opportunity to see and hear the former Prime Minister of my host country was a golden opportunity. So on 10th November, I attended the invitation at the JW Marriot Hotel, KL with my colleague to hear him speak on Women’s Role in Nation building.

At 12.35pm silence swept the magnificent Mayan Sari Grand Ballroom of JW Marriot Hotel. All guests rose to welcome the arrival of Y.A.Bhg. Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohammed along with fellow dignitaries for the third NIEW Series held By NIEW (NAM Institute for the Empowerment of Women). The NIEW Gender Series was one of its third series since it started in 2007.

He delivered a very lively, humourous speech that everybody certainly enjoyed. Being his audiences, we simply couldn’t afford to get bored! Along his humorous lines, he mentioned about his govern ship in 1981 with a population of close to 30 million. Here 6.5 million were women compared to the 70 million est. total population now. Along those years, many development and empowerment programmes were started. He believes that women’s roles in society have proved that women take their roles seriously and have aimed to improve the quality of their lives. Currently according to new statistics, women in are earning higher revenue than men. Whereas compared to the former prime ministers university years, women only made up to 10% of university studies.

Over the years it can be noticed that women have shown their dedication to take more challenges. This is evident from their self-empowerment of getting educated and to gain new skills which have led to higher domestic markets of many countries by the hardworking women. One of he highlights of this event was when he flourished his female audiences by enlightening them that women make up to numbers of a countries population because ‘women gave birth to civilization’. This made the entire crowd burst into 'claps' for all female audiences who nodded their heads with absolute pride by complimenting his noble words.

We were made to realize that it’s not only a man’s world nowadays. Women have gained gender equality and have done great contribution in community which is good for society as they are now playing role in public sector such as army, police and vice chancellor universities. For example, Datuk Rafiah Salim- former Vice Chancellor of Universiti of Malaya is now the leader of NIEW Malaysia.

Y.A.Bhg. Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohammed in his speech also mentioned that if both genders contribute highly to their countries development, there will be much higher numbers of successes. Being a firm believer of gender equality, he believes that women are in-dispensable and he would like to see women preserved rather than participating in wars.

As a matter of fact, under his leadership, Malaysia’s growth rate was high. From 13million to 26million. He was a supporter of women’s fleet because he saw the need to educate and promote them to gain new skills in order to contribute much more to nation building. He still believes that if any nation that segregates gender-women, the Nation would not perform as better since women use their natural talents, dedication towards nation building in every aspect.

According to him, women have better performance in business management and have lead to significant development of the country since they want to do well in their career and wouldn’t fall for anything less and would continue to work harder. Interestingly, our women are not only ‘tea-ladies’ anymore. After having moderating effect on NGO”s; the amendment of good discriminatory practices has been introduced for women. Moreover, the first women’s movement was established in 1957 to 2001 and a Separate ministry of women called ‘Wanita 2000’ was introduced to announce that Gender equality has became reality.

To the former Prime Minister, the slogan” leadership by example’ carries a lot of significance because women role contributes so much to nation building. From his talk on this issue, it was remarkable to realize the extensive role women have played and are continuing to play in society. Despite acquiring higher education, it has not affected their personal life since they still manage their families well, bring up their child, and are successfully contributing to nation building in all countries.

Shaz Kamal, Nov 09.


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