SWWS: Be wary of sexual predators lurking online

  • The Borneo Post
  • 4 Aug 2020
SWWS provides online safety information on its Facebook page.

KUCHING: Sarawak Women for Women Society ( SWWS) reminds Internet users to be more cautious when surfing over cyberspace.

In a recent Facebook post entitled ‘ Online Safety’, SWWS noted that amidst the Covid19 pandemic, many people had switched their communications onto online platforms.

“Be it work meetings, school or just communicating with peers, we are strongly adapting to and engaging with technology. The online realm is a large space, providing both opportunities and harm.

“During this time, there has been an increase in online sexual violence cases. Let’s all learn how to tackle these instances as individuals so we are be er equipped to help ourselves and others,” it said.

SWWS highlighted three ways Internet users could be subjected to online sexual violence – ‘catfishing’, ‘grooming’ and ‘sexting’.

‘Catfishing’ means Internet predators who fabricate online identities and entire social circles to trick people into emotional or romantic relationships over a long period of time.

‘ Grooming’ is the criminal activity of becoming friends with a minor, especially over the Internet, to persuade the child into a sexual relationship.

‘ Sexting’ is using technology to send or receive sexual pictures, videos or texts.

SWWS urged all Internet users to be smart users, as people would look to connect with others online, with physical distancing being in force.

“Online sexual predators take advantage of the way people use social media and respond to innocent requests for connection with comments that flatter and encourage further communication.

“Therefore we need to be especially cautious when talking to strangers online,” it said.

In the post, SWWS also reminded parents, relationship partners and friends to take appropriate actions in combating online sexual violence.

The SWWS has an ongoing #bukansalahkamek (It Is Not My Fault) campaign that speaks out against victim-blaming in sexual violence.

The non-governmental, nonprofit organisation is dedicated to the promotion of women’s equality and elimination of violence against women and children. For more updates, follow SWWS on Facebook via https:// www.facebook.com/sarawakwomen/.

  • The Borneo Post
  • 9 Apr 2020

KUCHING: The Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG) has called on the federal Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development (MWFCD) to unconditionally apologise for the Women’s Development Department’s (JPW) now infamous e-posters asking women to wear make-up at home and speak like Doraemon to please their husbands.

In a press statement yesterday, JAG expressed deep disappointment, frustration, and concern over the “grave missteps of the ministry and the department”.

“The ministry’s response to the backlash is merely a conditional apology for offending the ‘sensitivities’ of certain quarters, which sadly shows its total failure to understand how gender stereotyping in society can demean women.

“We call on the ministry to issue an unconditional apology over the content of JPW’s e-posters, which is not only offensive but also has far-reaching implications and consequences to women’s dignity and well-being, and to ensure that all the MWFCD’s public communications henceforth steer clear of such pitfalls,” said JAG.

The group pointed out that given the current Covid-19 crisis, many countries are witnessing an alarming trend of a global spike in domestic violence directed at women and girls, as warned by the United Nations Secretary-General.

“In Malaysia, there is still no announcement to help abused women and children nor, for instance, any kind of policy to support poor women who are expected to be more vulnerable in times of crisis.

“We wish to remind the MWFCD that Article 5 of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), ratified by Malaysia in 1995, requires our government to take all appropriate measures in order to eliminate discriminatory stereotyping of sex roles between women and men,” JAG said.

The group called on the ministry to step up and provide the necessary leadership which women, families, and communities need to get through this crisis and beyond.

“It includes valuing women’s unpaid care work, recognising their vulnerability to genderbased violence and economic hardship in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, and so many other pressing issues that deserve our time, a ention, and practical solutions,” said JAG.

Also endorsed by 27 other civil society organisations, the statement said JAG recognises that the overwhelming circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic and the movement control order (MCO) have made it difficult for civil society to engage meaningfully with the ministry.

“We therefore urge the MWFCD to initiate such engagement, especially with women’s and children’s organisations, as soon as practicable in order to explore constructive ways forward for the empowerment of women, families and communities, in line with the government’s existing obligations to promote women’s human rights and gender equality as enshrined in United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and our Federal Constitution,” said JAG.

JAG is a coalition of 14 women’s rights organisations in

Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah, and Sarawak.

The organisations are Women’s Centre for Change (WCC), Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO), Sisters in Islam (SIS), Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (Empower), All Women’s Action Society (Awam), Perak Women for Women (PWW), Association of Women Lawyers (AWL), Justice for Sisters (JFS), Tenaganita, Foreign Spouses Support Group (FSSG), Sabah Women’s Action-Resource Group (Sawo), Sarawak Women for Women Society (SWWS), Persatuan Sahabat Wanita Selangor (PSWS), and Knowledge and Rights with Young People through Safer Spaces (KRYSS).

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