PETALING JAYA: Women, we hear you roar! This International Women’s Day, Star Media Group continues to celebrate Malaysian women for the difference they make in society, with a Women’s Fiesta this weekend.
AirAsia and Mah Sing are the main partners of The Star’s WOW-Women do Wonders campaign, with SASA as co-sponsor.
In her campaign launch speech, The Star editor-in-chief Datuk Leanne Goh reiterated the importance of marking the occasion, even over a century since it was first observed.
“This is because we’ve yet to achieve full gender equality for women. There is still the gender pay gap,” said Goh at the ceremony in Menara Star on Wednesday.
Due to the gap, women effectively worked for free for 51 days in 2017. Despite making up half the population, women are still far from being equally represented in business or politics.
“However, we are definitely making progress today,” she added.
According to Goh, there needs to be greater awareness about the need for more equal opportunities. She also hoped that women would help other womenfolk to “give ourselves a leg up”.
“We have to join the workforce because we can contribute, we can do so much. And we must do everything we can to keep women in the workforce, because we shouldn’t need to stay home to manage the demands of the home,” she said.
Apart from governmental aid, another way to help women is to have companies set up creches (daycare) so they can work with peace of mind.
“Otherwise, we’d be losing more and more women. In Malaysia, we have women leaving the workforce in their late 20s and even 30s. Highly educated women.
“In Japan and Korea, they leave the workforce but they come back in their 30s and 40s. We don’t have that, and that’s why it’s dangerous. We’re losing out on this very valuable source of talent and more has to be done about that,” said Goh.
Thus, the campaign is a call to action for women to make conscious efforts to maximise their potential, help each other, and to stand up and be counted.
“There’s so much that women have achieved. But at least once a year, we must acknowledge that more needs to be done for women and to recognise what women can do and are highly capable of doing,” she added.
Guests at the launch were also treated to an uplifting performance by 3-A-Part’s Teresa Goh, who belted out a mash up of songs by Demi Lovato and Keala Settle, both titled This is Me.
Attendees got to browse through a small bazaar that hosted bra-maker Zarina Craft, handmade accessories courtesy of Kanzashi Handmade by Suzana, organic candles and handmade gifts by Lillie Giftkulture, Oleh Elona handmade natural products for eczema and sensitive skin management by Tengku Elona, cakes from Juwita Bakery and colourful woven plastic bags.
Check out these vendors and more at the Women’s Fiesta from March 10 and 11 at The Starling Mall, Damansara Uptown, happening from 10am to 8pm.