Zainah Anwar Interview on Fighting Violence Against Women in Multi-Ethnic Societies

Zainah Anwar Interview on Fighting Violence Against Women in Multi-Ethnic Societies

Resource Type
Topical Interview
Publication Year
2010
Author(s)
Language
English (US)

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Part of a series of interviews recorded in conjunction with WLP public event, 'Challenges of Change: Religion, Secularism, and Rights'.

In this interview founding member of Sisters In Islam (SIS) describes the challenges of fighting violence against women in multi-ethnic societies with detail of multi-pronged approach to campaign which led to the Domestic Violence Act. Discusses subsequent problems in actual implementation, the time needed for a shift in cultural attitudes. Describes training of Police force, women not forthcoming to file report, problems when welfare officer involved. Discusses the benefits of having a law from which to work from. Describes the importance of public education, experience of running campaigns in shopping complexes, the critical role of media in influencing the mindset of seeing domestic violence as a family matter to understanding that a criminal offense. Describes empowering women in shelters to share experiences in media to reach policymakers. Discusses common challenges between Muslim and non-Muslim communities, data-dependent on ethnic group and access therefore not accurate. Discusses the importance of engaging with religious groups and authorities, women's groups campaigning that law applicable to all citizens. Begins to discuss SIS strategy on childhood marriage, data revealed through existing compulsory HIV testing before marriage.