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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: