Biawak Gemok Zine Distro 2017 – 2018
Biawak Gemok sources, stocks, and sells zines and donates almost all its profits to raise funds for Justice For Sisters (a legal fund for Malaysia’s persecuted transwomen), and Chow Kit drop-in centre PBKS (Pusat Bantuan Khidmat Sosial) run by non-profit SEED Foundation. The rest goes to covering operation costs and supporting zinemakers. Biawak Gemok was started in 2015; I was part of the collective from 2017 – 2018.
The distro carries zines on migration, religion, assimilation, sex work, life in the diaspora, alt history, lives affected by -isms and phobias, LGBT communities, feminism, mental health, and more in an effort to center voices that are typically silenced or just aren’t mainstream. Biawak Gemok also wants to make reading cheap and accessible, so our community can access non-profit knowledge, share experiences, and build solidarity through zine life. You can find out more on their Twitter and Instagram.
Politicization of Ethnicity & Religion training 2015 – 2018
The Politicization of Ethnicity and Religion (PER) programme is run by the All Women’s Action Society of Malaysia (AWAM). From their website: “The objective of the PER programme is to promote a better understanding of how the politicisation of ethnicity and religion impacts on society, particularly women, and how AWAM can address concerns around this. AWAM hopes to create safe spaces where we can dialogue with each other in a constructive manner. Through PER’s work, we hope to create alternative understandings and narratives on ethnicity and religion in Malaysia, one that embraces and celebrates diversity and adheres to human rights principles, rather than seeking to punish or persecute difference.” I observed and facilitated PER trainings with university students and young people from late 2015 to late 2018.
Young Women Making Change Malaysia 2014 – 2016
Young Women Making Change Malaysia (YWMC) was a collective of young women and people in Malaysia formed under a two-year gender equality advocacy and empowerment program run by International Women’s Rights Action Watch (IWRAW) Asia Pacific and funded by UN Women. YWMC was formed in August 2014, united by a mission to increase dialogue, raise awareness and build capacity in society to deal with sexual harassment as experienced by young women (and all levels of society). The collective also advocated for a standalone sexual harassment bill in Malaysian law to bring justice to those who’ve experienced sexual harassment and curb its prevalence.
From 2014 – 2016 I was the collective’s coordinator. I was one of the Malaysian representatives from YWMC at the Asian and Pacific Conference on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment: Beijing+20 Review in Bangkok, and one of the coordinators for the #TauTak social media campaign against sexual harassment (which collected stories and published infographics and a video).
PopDevRights or Population Development Rights Malaysia was an initiative to boost dialogue and raise awareness on sexual and reproductive health and rights in Malaysia. I acted as administrative coordinator for the initiative in 2014. One of our projects was producing short, catchy videos on topics like gender equality within the family, child marriage, universal access to healthcare, discrimination against minority groups, and also sex and sexuality education in Malaysia. You can check out what PopDevRights did on Twitter, Tumblr and YouTube.