Organizers of Malaysia’s women’s march are pushing to protect LGBTI rights alongside equal rights for women.
The first demand of the 9 March event is to ‘end all violence based on gender and sexual orientation’, organizers said at a press conference on Tuesday (12 February).
This year’s theme is ‘stop violence, respect women’.
It comes amid a crackdown on LGBTI citizens and rising violence against trans women in Muslim-majority Malaysia.
In the last three months, at least two trans women were beaten to death.
The country’s prime minister, meanwhile, has said Malaysia ‘cannot accept LGBTI rights’.
Hundreds of protestors took to the streets of the capital Kuala Lumpur in 2018 to march for women’s rights.
A group of men harassed attendees after the march, according to local media.
The 5 demands are:
1. End all violence based on gender and sexual orientation
2. Ban all child marriages
3. Ensure our rights and freedom to make choice over our own body and lives
4. Ensure dignified minimum wage of RM1800
5. Destroy patriarchy and build genuine democracy pic.twitter.com/AsRhMR6YX0
— PELANGI Campaign (@pelangicampaign) February 12, 2019
Malaysia’s anti-LGBTI crackdown
A senior mufti in Malaysia last month became the latest figure to speak out against LGBTI people.
Perlis mufti Asri Zainul Abidin urged the country’s Muslims to treat trans women as males. ‘There are only two recognized genders,’ he said.
Two trans women were killed in less than a month in the city of Klang.
Malaysian transgender activist Nisha Ayub said attacks on the transgender community were on the rise in Malaysia.
Nisha blamed mainstream media, certain religious bodies, some politicians, and government agencies.
’They portray the LGBTI community as deviants’ the activist said. ‘These statements encourage hatred and create the violence that is happening right now’.