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KOTA KINABALU: The Institute for Development Studies (Sabah), in partnership with Konrad-Adenaur Stiftung (KAS), and in collaboration with University Malaysia Sabah (UMS) is organising a seminar on Gender and Literacy in Sabah: Eliminating the Gaps in The Pacific Sutera, Kota Kinabalu on Thursday 21 February 2019. Assistant Minister, Ministry of Law and Native Affairs YB Madam Jannie Lasimbang has been invited to be the guest of honour at this seminar.

In a statement today, Chief Executive Officer of IDS, Datuk Dr Johan Arriffin Samad said this seminar aims to tackle Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 which seeks to provide quality education, SDG 5 that promotes gender equality, and SDG 10 which purports to reduce inequalities.

“It is a widely known fact that disparity in gender is largely due to lack of access to education which ultimately affects level of literacy. Even though in Malaysia, youth literacy as well as adult literacy has significantly improved over the years, there are still concerns on literacy in legal, social and cultural issues,” said Dr Johan.

Datuk Dr Johan elaborated that awareness of rights should also include literacy. Lack of knowledge or literacy in legal, social and cultural issues would ultimately lead to disparity in achievement between genders. Therefore, he said we need to find ways to eliminate or reduce these inequalities as this is crucial for Malaysia to achieve the status of a developed nation.

The seminar will start with a key panelist forum with a theme of Gender Mainstreaming. The key panellists include the guest of honour YB Madam Jannie Lasimbang, YBhg Tan Sri Simon Sipaun, Chairman of Institute of Development Studies (Sabah), Mr Wolfgang Hruschka, Representative of Konrad Adeneur-Stiftung Office Malaysia and Dr Dayang Suria Hj Mulia, Senior Lecturer of Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Heritage, UMS. IDS CEO, Datuk Dr Johan Arriffin Abd Samad will be the moderator for this session.

Prof Dr Noraida Endut, Director of Centre for Research on Women and Gender (KANITA), Universiti Sains Malaysia will be delivering the seminar’s keynote address. There are seven working papers to be presented by speakers from institutions, government department and NGOs. The papers are Legal Literacy and Gender Inequalities: Tilting the Balance, by Madam Marja Azlima Omar, Senior Lecturer of Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Heritage, UMS; Women Rights under Syariah Law: Towards Achieving Gender Parity by Madam Nor Azah Abd Rahman, President of Sabah Muslim Women Lawyers Association (SALWA); Literacy in Health: The Need to Empower Rural Women in Sabah for Better Healthcare by Dr Haryati Abd Karim, Senior Lecturer of Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Heritage, UMS; Gender Gaps in Cultural Studies: Tilting the Balance by Prof. Dr Mohd Anis Md. Nor, Adjunct Professor of Faculty of Music and Performing Arts, Sultan Idris Education University, UPSI; Entrepreneurial Literacy in Empowering Women in Rural Areas: Drawing on Experience of Local Champion by Assoc. Prof Dr Sivapalan Selvadurai, Senior Lecturer of School of Social, Development and Environmental Studies, The National University of Malaysia, UKM; Literacy in Inclusions of Ethnic Minority in Sabah by Prof. Dr Junaenah Sulehan, Director of Institute of Borneo Studies, University College Sabah Foundation, UCSF and Legal Literacy and the Labour Rights of Women Workers in Sabah by Madam Morian Paidal from Enforcement Unit, Department of Labour Sabah. Prof Dr Hajah Arsiah Haji Bahron, Dean of Centre for Postgraduate Studies (UMS) and Prof. Dr Hashim Awang, Fellow of Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Heritage, UMS will be the moderators of the seminar.

About one hundred eighty participants from both the public and private sectors are expected to participate in this seminar.

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