If you picked up a copy of our May 2011 and June 2011 issues this year, it's likely that you would have read all about Marie Claire Malaysia's Anti-Snatch Theft Campaign, which highlighted the ongoing issue of snatch thefts in our country. We ran a petition drive as well as a celebrity-studded photo spread to raise awareness about every woman's right to carry their handbag without facing the threat of being robbed, assaulted and traumatised.
Well, what's happened to the campaign, we hear you ask? We're pleased to report that our words had enough impact to spark an Outside In View session hosted by Pemandu (The Performance Management & Delivery Unit belonging to the Prime Minister's Department), to which Marie Claire Malaysia's Editor, Mindy Teh, was invited to speak at on Tuesday 20th September.
The session, which focused specifically on addressing 'crime matters pertaining to women', aimed to gather feedback from 'various women opinion leaders as well as women's organizations' about why women fear crime more consistently than men, and the possible steps that can be taken to help women in Malaysia feel more safe.
While attending the Outside In View roundtable discussion, our Editor got to speak alongside Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir and Ivy Josiah, Executive Director of the Women's Aid Organisation – two truly impressive women. The discussion covered the various crimes that women felt directly threatened by, steps to be taken within the current Crime NKRA (National Key Result Areas) that focus on women, and how to make women more aware about crime prevention.
Speaking from the platform of our recent Anti-Snatch Theft Campaign, Mindy made the point that it was not fair to continue blaming women for crimes committed against them, including having their bags snatched: "The onus is still on the woman," she said, "Which we find disturbing."
Ivy Josiah also stated that Malaysia had far to go in combatting attitudes which promoted "Disrespect for women", while Marina Mahathir added that, "Crime needs to be analysed from a gender perspective" in order to identify the actual cause of gender-based crimes.