AVPN Global Conference 2023 | 20 - 22 June 2023


Women’s Aid Organisation: Foremost Women’s Advocacy in Malaysia

Women’s Aid Organisation is Malaysia’s foremost provider of crisis services, advocacy and capacity building for women and girls, with the goal of achieving gender equality and ending gender-based violence on women and girls.


Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO)

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Social causes


SDGs covered

Endorsed by

YTL Foundation

Market of Implementation

  • Malaysia


The WEF’s Global Gender Gap Report 2021 ranked Malaysia at 112 (ranked 72 in 2006). The decline must be stemmed. The hidden pandemic of gender-based violence (GBV) has demonstrated critical gaps and immense need for nation-wide crisis GBV support, as well as stronger government and community action.

The surge of GBV throughout COVID-19 has demonstrated the value of Women's Aid Organisation's (WAO's) work, having supported almost 15,000 GBV survivors in various ways from the start of the pandemic in March 2020 to year end 2021.

The immediate need is to make nation-wide crisis GBV support available, which is both localised and relevant to survivors. Yet, GBV response needs a strong anchor in the form of enabling laws and policies, and capacitated local actors, such as government and community. Additionally, research done in 2021 by WAO has found that Malaysians are generally unsupportive of gender equality. This hinders survivors' access to rights and justice mechanisms, resulting in vulnerabilities in safety, health and livelihoods, and going down a vicious cycle and normalises discrimination.


At Women's Aid Organisation, we are tackling the issue of nation-wide Gender-Based Violence (GBV) on three approaches.

Our solution has 3 limbs:

  • Effective legal frameworks with local implementation mechanisms;
  • Coordinated and capacitated localised community action; and
  • Societal intolerance for gender inequality.

Our solution is built upon immediate access to localised support for women through improving the State’s response, increasing public awareness and building local capacities to support women and girls. Through identifying, capacitating and sustaining partnerships with women, girls and women-led and girls-led groups, our expertise and proven models motivate them to take ownership of WAO programme models, replicate, upscale and modify the model within their localised context.

Building their capacity encourages women to see themselves as active participants and change-makers. Grounding the advocacy and policy work in the women’s respective localities lowers the barriers for participation. Leveraging evidence from women’s lived realities provides material for impact assessment and public awareness.

For more information on our work, do refer to our Slide Deck.

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