Malaysia Women & Girls Forum Schedule

10 AM


Welcome address by Emcee, Ms. Tehmina Kaoosji, Independent Broadcast Journalist & Gender Activist

10:05 AM

Welcome Address

Mr. Stefan Priesner, United Nations Resident Coordinator for Malaysia, Singapore & Brunei Darussalam

10:10 AM

Opening Remarks

Mr. Najib Assifi, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Malaysia Representative

10:15 AM

Keynote Address

YB Senator Ras Adiba Radzi, OKU Representative , Upper House, Malaysian Parliament & BERNAMA Chairperson

10:25 AM

MWGF Launch Video

Official launch of the Inaugural Malaysia Women & Girls Forum

10:30 AM

Guidelines and Overview

Overall format, concept and Mechanism of MWGF by Ms. Tehmina Kaoosji

10:30 AM - 11:30 AM

Plenary Session 1 -Driving The Economic Potential of Malaysian Women & Girls via key legislation and social reform

In the face of and aftershocks of the COVID-19 Pandemic how can Malaysia keep to its promise of “No one left behind”.  Without necessary legislation and resource allocation, Malaysian women’s labor force participation rate (LFPR) will continue to lag behind and hinder national development. Currently Malaysia is placed 104th on the Global Gender Gap Report 2020, behind most of its regional neighbours.  What can be done to close the gaps and what is Malaysia missing out on? This session will focus on:  

- Sexual Harassment Bill ,

- Labour Act amendments for Women in the workplace and  

- Bridging socio-economic gender gaps. 


  • Dr. Melati Nungsari - Assistant Professor of Economics at  Asia School of Business and Research Affiliate at MIT Sloan School of Management


  • Nisha Sabanayagam - Program & Operations Manager, All Women's Action Society (AWAM)

  • Sumitra Visvanathan -  Executive Director, Women's Aid Organisation (WAO)

  • Mei Ling Tan -  Country Operations Officer and Gender Country Focal Point, World Bank Inclusive Growth & Sustainable Finance Hub in Malaysia

11:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Keynote  Session 2 - Young Women & Girls’ realities of online gender-based violence

The digital sphere has become an essential part of our daily social realities, particularly during COVID-19 lockdowns. In tandem, gender-based violence has also found a fertile ground. The impact of online GBV on the lived realities of women and girls is harsh, impacting their physical, emotional, psychosocial, educational and economic realities. What solutions, approaches and legislative countermeasures are needed to ensure online GBV does not hinder the growth potential of Malaysia’s women & girls?

Keynote by: 

  • Natalie Hussain - Multimedia Journalist at R.AGE (The Star) and TV Host

12:00 PM - 12:15 PM


A short recess

12:15 PM - 1:15 PM

Plenary Session 2: CSE and SRHR, where are we today? Women’s health as a barometer for Malaysia’s development

Ensuring women’s rights through comprehensive Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) – a key premise of the landmark Programme of Action that stems from the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo, the precursor to the SDGs. Malaysia’s primary health care system for all its achievements to date, is still wrestling with a lack of strategic implementation for SRHR, which ultimately hinders Malaysia’s full potential. 

This session will concentrate on these issues: 

- SRHR - Paving the path towards the SDGs’ 

- CSE Progress and initiatives in the pipeline 

- SRHR in the face of the COVID-19 Pandemic  


  • Jasmine Rajah - Sexual Health Educator and Advocate. 


  • Dr. Hamizah Mohd. Hassan - Head of Reproductive Health Unit, National Population & Family Development Board (LPPKN), Malaysia

  • Dr. Mike Penkunas - Research Fellow at the United Nations University International Institute for Global Health

  • Siti Aishah Hassan Hasri - Founder, Spot Community Programme

1:15 PM - 1:45 PM

KEYNOTE 3: Case Study – Families on the Edge -  A perspective on the plight of Female Headed & Vulnerable Households during the Pandemic

Taking into account how female headed households have endured the economic and social limitations of the lockdown. How their plight and challenges are a reflection of a lack of gender equality in Malaysia and what can we learn from it.

Keynote by: 

  • Dr Muhammed Abdul Khalid - Managing Director and Chief Economist,  DM Analytics Malaysia

1:45 PM - 2:45 PM

Plenary Session 3:  Gender Equality - The role of Malaysian Men & Boys and the Media

For the current generation of young Malaysians. What does it take to remove socio-cultural barriers that are stemming the potential of Malaysian women & girls? How do we proactively address unhealthy masculinity especially in socio-political spheres? How can Malaysian Media help to shift the narrative towards a more egalitarian perspective when it comes to the socio-cultural depiction of women and girls? What does it take for  Malaysian society begin to proactively address everyday sexism?


  • Aina Fadzil - Head of Public Relations, dearHer


  • Zurairi A.R., Assistant News Editor
    Malay Mail

  • Dr. Nurul Haq Shahrir - Expert Consultant on Religion and Interlocutor for Inter-religious Dialogue, UNFPA Malaysia

  • Nailah Huda - Broadcast Journalist, Astro Awani 

  • Tharma Pillai - Co-Founder & Advocacy Director, UNDI18

  • Rizal Rozhan - Organiser, Men Against Toxic Masculinity (MAT) 

2:50 PM - 3:00 PM


A nominated representative from the Secretariat will present 10 key recommendations to be compiled into the MWGF 2020 Summary and presented to both relevant ministries as well as the Special Select Committee on Women and Children Affairs and Social Development.

3:00 PM


End of MWGF 2020