Malaysia

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To celebrate this One Billion Rising's theme on SOLIDARITY, we asked activists from our community to share their reflections.

If there is one thing we can say about this past year, it is that 2017 was the year of women. We were in the streets in dozens of countries – wearing pink hats, no less! We reclaimed our time and we broke the silence.

Violence against women activists continues to rise. Unfortunately, despite considerable effort, responses to this violence are coming up short. Given the urgency of the situation, JASS and allies are questioning the underlying assumptions guiding activist safety, and bringing a feminist and movement building perspective to rethinking the approach.

“When a woman goes to a police station to report domestic violence in Malaysia, the police ask questions such as ‘how many children do you have?’ or ‘do you love your husband?’ Then she is told to go back home,” says Manohara Subramaniam of JASS Southeast Asia. This situation is so familiar. It happens in Malaysia, in all countries of Southeast Asia and in many places across the globe.

“One fight, One Voice: Women, Assert Your Rights” was the overarching theme of JASS Southeast Asia’s 2nd annual One Day, One Voice regional campaign. Commemorating the global 16 Days of Activism to End Violence against Women, during the first week of December, Southeast Asian women from Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia & the Philippines took to the street to denounce the increasingly alarming rate of state-sponsored gender-based violence.