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Gender Discrimination

Essay by   •  July 8, 2010  •  Essay  •  480 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,935 Views

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It has become obvious that our Government cares nothing for the welfare and rights of Malaysian women - abroad or local. Just today, I received a confirmation on something that I've known about for a long time but didn't seem important until now.

I am on my way to becoming a first time mother and as such as interested to know what the Government thought of me wanting Malaysian citizenship for my child. The Malaysian embassy in Bern, Switzerland confirmed my thoughts and they were shocking as well as shameful.

In today, the 21st century, it is widely accepted that women have equal opportunities and rights as men - the opportunity to participate in the workforce, political and social arena and basically be included in what used to be deemed as "solely for men". So what was I to think when I was told that my child cannot be a citizen because I'm a woman but if I was a man, it wouldn't be an issue?

In much of Europe, citizenship is given to a child with at least one parent who is a citizen IRRESPECTIVE of gender. However, according to Malaysian law, a child born abroad can only be registered as a citizen if the father is a Malaysian. Well, what about the mothers? Aren't we citizens as well? Do we not have the same value as men?

Or is the Government trying to solidify the Asian (specifically Chinese) notion that when a woman marries, she "belongs" to her husband and not her own family anymore? That she is just an "object"? That she would embrace her husband's new home without any qualms and forget all about her own home?

Is that how we women are thought of in reality - socially and politically? Do we really forget about our home country even though we've married foreign men and gone overseas? Perhaps this is just the opinions of shallow-minded people but it should NOT be taken as a reflection of reality.

There are many women out there who are living abroad with their husbands and families yet still hold onto their citizenship and return on a regular basis, as tourists or just to visit their loved ones in Malaysia. There are others like myself who go around sharing and telling people about the beauty of my beloved country, encouraging people who have never left Europe to brave a trip halfway across the world just to experience what I have growing up as an Anak Malaysia.

Much has

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