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NL Embassy / Penang Institute: The Hidden Pandemic

September 2, 2020 @ 10:00 am - 11:15 am

The Penang Institute and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands are proud to host a webinar: “The Hidden Pandemic: Domestic Violence in Malaysia in the time of COVID – 19”.

Date:  Wednesday, 2 September 
Time:  10:00 – 11:15 hrs
Webinar Platform: Zoom

The global pandemic of COVID – 19 has resulted in unprecedented means undertaken by governments to contain the virus.  The movement restriction and lockdown orders have been enforced to protect individuals and others from contracting the disease.  Staying at home means staying safe.  However, for victims / survivors of domestic violence, the lockdown orders have exacerbated the dangers of their situation.  Prolonged periods of confinement with their abusers may bring on heightened frequency and severity of abuse, endangering the lives of the often – female victims.  Indeed, domestic violence cases and the volume of distress calls have increased significantly worldwide, and Malaysia is no exception.

In the absence of a vaccine for COVID – 19, there is a strong possibility of repeated lockdowns in the future.  It is, therefore, important to understand the difficulties victims / survivors in Malaysia face in their attempts to seek help under the lockdown measures.  Are the existing interventions in place able to help the victims / survivors and advocates?  What are other urgent interventions and policy solutions that should be advocated to protect the women in overcoming this hidden pandemic?

Prof. Dr. Noraida Endut (Director, Center for Research on Women and Gender (KANITA) – Universiti Sains Malaysia)
Prof. Dr. Noraida Endut is Professor and Director of the Centre for Research on Women and Gender (KANITA), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM).  She is trained in the field of law and embarked on women’s and gender research during postgraduate studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London where she wrote a PhD thesis on the legal aspects of domestic violence in Malaysia.  At a time when gender studies are little known in Malaysia, Dr. Noraida was part of the team that had initiated the establishment of KANITA as a centre of excellence on women’s and gender studies in USM.  She has been on its Academic Board and management team since 2001.  Dr. Noraida researches and writes on violence against women, women and the Syariah law, gender and work, gender and masculinity, gender and sustainable development, and women and technology.

Pn. Siti Hawa (Chair, Education Committee for Reproductive Health Association Kelantan (ReHAK) and the Federation of Reproductive Health Association Malaysia (FRHAM))
Siti Hawa Ali is a trained social work educator and practitioner.  She has been working on the issue of Domestic Violence, Intimate Partner Violence, and child maltreatment as service provider, advocate, and researcher since 1984.  She was part of the founding group of WCC in Penang and has been an active member since.  Siti Hawa transferred to Kota Bharu, Kelantan, in 2001 and continues her volunteer social work service at Reproductive Health Association Kelantan (ReHAK).  She has lectured in USM from late 1983 to 2000 at School of Social Sciences, and from 2001 until 2018 at the School of Health Sciences. In 2019 she took the post of visiting Associate Professor at Research Nexus for Medical and Health Sciences, USM Kubang Krian.   Siti Hawa has been part of the team researching gender, domestic violence issues, as well as leading research on the health impact of intimate partner violence while she was in USM.

Winnie Yee (President, Sabah Women’s Action – Response Group (SAWO)
Winnie Yee is a founding member and current President of the Sabah Women Action Resource Group (SAWO).  A Chevening Scholar, she holds a Master in Gender and Development from Sussex University in the United Kingdom.  As President and Program Director of SAWO, she is responsible for the development and management of the service and advocacy programs at SAWO. She also initiated and implemented a rural outreach program in 2013 to set up local support groups in five districts to take up awareness and networking activities on Gender Based Violence (GBV).   Winnie is also a council member of the Sabah Women Advisory Council, and the inaugural chair of the Gender Awareness Committee.  She helped to institutionalize gender awareness training in orientation training for new state government officers at the State Human Resource Development Department.

Shazana Agha (Head of Research, Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO))
Shazana Agha is Head of Research at Women’s Aid Organisation.  In the last 10 years, she has actively participated in various research, and outreach initiatives on gender equality, children’s participation, and has a keen interest in social development issues of Malaysia.  She graduated from Monash University and obtained a Master of Arts (by research) in the area of Gender Studies from the University of Malaya.

Yeong Pey Jung (Senior Analyst – Socioeconomics and Statistics Programme, Penang Institute)


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Please register via the form below no later than Tuesday, 1 September (17:00 hrs).  By clicking and registering online, you acknowledge the event guidelines.

All registered guests will receive a confirmation latest by Tuesday, 1 September (17:00 hrs) with further details on how to log in for this webinar; Please contact us if you do not receive this acknowledgement or confirmation.

We look forward to your attendance!

With best regards,
MDBC Secretariat



September 2, 2020
10:00 am - 11:15 am
Event Category: