Wednesday, March 22, 2017

United Nation CSW!!!!!

I truly appreciated the opportunity to attend CSW in New York not only because it was a chance to expand 
my horizon, but also because it helped me to see more possibilities and responsibilities now and in future. 
Everything I experienced and learned throughout those five days is more than I could list down or express
through words. I am thankful for all the meaningful conversations I had with people I met or with my teammates 
during meal times because they helped me developed my thoughts with much more depth. Through all these 
conversations, God reminds me of His plan for me, His promises, and His grace which never leaves me. Through 
the preparation for CSW, I learned how shallow my knowledge was, and I realized I had stayed in a comfort
 zone for such a long time. I thought that I knew what was going on in my country, but I realized I was 
unaware of a lot the issues going on there. I realized that my country women's status in the family is the 
second worst in Southeast Asia, it has the second highest “discriminatory family code” in the region (meaning
women's status are undervalued), women have less than 10% political representation, marital rape is not 
considered a crime in my country, and the government has no plans to change it. Not only that, according 
to the WEF Global Gender Gap study in 2014 shows that my country has the worst gender gap in Southeast 
Asia, and perhaps a lot of this stems from the country's view of women. I realized that things like marital rape 
and other major issues may not be happening in my community, all the aforementioned issues are happening in 
my country. So, this left me with the question: what can I do?

This trip has helped me reflect and start thinking what my church back home can do so that we can reach 
both indigenous and Muslim women and young girls. These are sensitive topics in a Muslim majority country 
because of the many legal restrictions and limitations enforced by the government. So, providing 
government funded education, expecting new government policy, or giving out resources are not likely to 
happen. Also, it isn't efficient or a long-term solution for the church back in Malaysia to simply supply 
economic resources in cases where the government care for women might be lacking. It’s easier to say 
that I'm going to be a part of changing the status quo then to actually take steps to make it happen, but 
attending the conference has motivated me to start planning so that this is not just a unilateral resource 
assistance, but a two-sided cooperation and management, that ensures a healthy relationship between 
church and community that can last to the next generations. This is a never-ending-learning 
process, and I wish that I could have stayed a few more days to learn and absorb. But I think it is more 
valuable to begin implementing the knowledge I do have in my church and community, and to begin writing 
down a real plan and share it with my pastors and church leaders.

Lastly, I am reminded of a quote from Thomas King, “Don’t say in the years to come that you would have 
lived your life differently if only you had heard this story. You’ve heard it now.” We are each confronted 
by pressing issues within our culture and society, instead of simply turning a blind eye, we must each 
identify our role in shaping the future and the change we hope to see.  
10th March - 15th March 2017 record

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