Uphold Gender Equality, Says Chew

Published on Bernama.com, by BERNAMA, June 5, 2009.

KUALA LUMPUR, June 5 (Bernama) — Policies and laws pertaining to foreign spouses, particularly the Immigration Act, must be reviewed and amended to uphold the principle of non-discrimination and gender equality in the country.

Women, Family and Community Development Deputy Minister Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun said foreign spouses of Malaysian men and women faced challenges on several issues.

The issues involved the right to stay, work and rights of their children …  

… “Malaysian women with foreign spouses, who gave birth outside Malaysia did not enjoy similar rights as their Malaysian male counterparts who could confer citizenship to their children, irrespective of their place of birth,” she added.

She said this was a direct discrimination as they (Malaysian women) should enjoy the same rights as the Malaysian men.

MCA Public Service and Complaints Department head Datuk Michael Chong said there were also cases of foreign spouses who could not admit their children in public hospitals, simply because they were not citizens.

“They have to wait for their spouses to come. This is against humanity,” he said.

However, Chong, who is also home ministry advisor, said the current minister (Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein) was very sympathetic towards the situation.

He said that as the forum was the best place to obtain feedback (on the situation), he would be working closely with non-governmental organisations to effectively come to a solution to overcome the problem. (full text).

Links:

Gender discrimination still exists today, June 6, 2009;

Women Bridging Gap in Science Opportunities, June 2, 2009;

Kenya develops policy on gender violence, June 5, 2009;

Gender Equality in Korea, June 5, 2009;

Rwanda: Empower Women to Counter Gender Violence – Speaker, June 5, 2009.

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