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YSD and WAO develop toolkit for corporate training on gender-based issues

Module was developed for pilot programme aimed at Sime Darby Plantation estate staff

Kuala Lumpur, 14 June 2018 – The Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO), with support from Yayasan Sime Darby (YSD), has developed a toolkit that could be used by companies to train employees on appropriate ways to respond to gender-based issues. 

The module empowers management staff and employees with knowledge about prevalent gender-based issues such as domestic violence and sexual harassment, the rights of victims enshrined in various laws and subsequently, their available recourse. 

 WAO Acting Executive Director Yu Ren Chung said the organisation is open to work with companies that are interested in holding a workshop using the module for its employees. 

“As an NGO, one of the things we want to do is to work with other partners or entities that want to improve or further develop their internal systems and awareness among their own communities on gender and violence against women issues."

 “We have conducted talks at the request of companies but this is more comprehensive. Trainings like these are important because it is really the only way we can realise progress – with people on the ground who have the knowledge, capacity and resources to respond to issues. “To any company or organisation that is interested in exploring this kind of training, we will be happy to work with them,” he said. 

WAO is a long-time partner of YSD. Since 2010, the Foundation has committed RM4.3 million to WAO until 2019. YSD Chief Executive Officer Puan Hajjah Yatela Zainal Abidin said although the workshop’s toolkit was developed for a pilot programme involving Sime Darby Plantation Berhad estate employees, it can be easily adapted to suit the needs of any company. 

“The objective of the workshop is to equip Sime Darby Plantation’s employees with the necessary knowledge and skills to respond effectively to gender-based issues. Later, these trained individuals are expected to train and mentor other Estate Managers and Sime Darby Plantation employees by utilising the module and acquired knowledge."

“This initiative has the potential to spur change within the corporate sphere in Malaysia as the workshop’s module can be customised according to other companies’ needs. We sincerely hope that other companies will engage with WAO to hold this workshop for the benefit of their employees to truly bring about positive change within Malaysian industries,” she said.

Puan Yatela said YSD had first mooted the idea for a workshop on gender-based issues to be conducted by WAO for estate employees to Sime Darby Plantation Berhad in February 2015. After more than two years of discussions, WAO began to work with YSD in August 2017 to develop a module for the workshop, which was finalised in late 2017, she added. 

The workshop with 65 Sime Darby Plantation estate employees was carried out in April at Sime Darby Plantation’s Merlimau Training Centre in Melaka. It received positive responses from participants.

Sime Darby Tanah Merah Estate employee Letchumy Arumugam, 43, said the workshop was beneficial to her as she is a member of the estate’s Gender Committee. “Almost all of what I had learned was useful, especially on the laws and ways in which we can further assist victims. I will definitely try to implement everything that I had learned here,” she said. Sime Darby Plantation Sustainability Executive Nor Atikah Mohd Hassan, 30, said the estates have a standard mechanism to report social issues to Gender Committees before it is escalated to the estate’s management or Sime Darby Plantation headquarters.

She said during the workshop, participants were able to apply the knowledge on laws applicable to domestic violence to case studies that were provided under the module.“We could really integrate all the knowledge we had gained and apply it to the case studies. They could address these issues more effectively,” she said. 

Sungai Sebaling Estate Hospital Assistant Md Yunus Rajab, 56, said the workshop has given him knowledge to be more effective at his job. “At the moment, we focus on treatment of a patient. Now we know that if a patient’s case is related to a gender-based issue like domestic violence, there are organisations that we can refer the patient to for help,” he said. 

Under the Community & Health pillar, YSD has committed a total of RM132 million towards initiatives that support programmes and initiatives that promote the well-being and health of disadvantaged people, reduce socio-economic disparities as well as enhance the welfare of neglected children and senior citizens, vulnerable women, people with disabilities and other marginalised groups. 

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Last Updated:
16 Aug 2018
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