Recently, Malaysia got its first ever female Deputy Prime Minister, Wan Azizah Wan Ismail. Along with it, Wan Azizah also holds portfolio of the ministry of women, family and community development. She has proposed to tighten existing laws protecting children against sexual violence. The deputy PM also emphasized on holding guardians and teachers accountable for ignoring visible signs of abuse on children.

Previous laws

Last year, the former Najib Razak government passed an Act of sexual offences against children and their protection. The Act aims to protect minors below 18 years. In addition, it also makes child pornography and sexually communicating with a child an offence.

However, Wan Azizah noted that there is still some room for tightening these laws. “Ultimately there have to be laws to hold primary caregivers ignoring child abuse incidences accountable,” Wan Azizah, who has nine grandchildren, said in an interview at her office in Putrajaya, Straits Times reported.

“They are supposed to be the guardians of it, you have to sensitise them to look for telltale signs or be aware and be more attentive,” Wan Azizah said. “I’ve been told horror stories.”

On taking the portfolio of women, family and community development, she made her vision clear. Wan Azizah said the ministry will work on strengthening regulations against domestic violence and sexual harassment. Additionally, it will be focused on promoting gender equality in the country.

About Wan Azizah

Wan Azizah is a trained eye surgeon and the wife of former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim. After Anwar was jailed, Wan Azizah joined politics. She then went on to establish the People’s Justice Party – Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) – of which she is currently president.

She is a Member of Parliament since 12 May, 2018, after the cabinet under newly appointed Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was formed. Wan Azizah was honoured in 2008 with the Darjah Panglima Pangkuan Negeri (Order of the Defender of the State).

Picture Credit: The Star

Read: For the first time: Malaysia’s Islamic Shariah High Court appoints two female judges

Nimisha Is An Intern With SheThePeople.TV

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