Women — inspiring and empowering one another

The Archdiocesan Office for Human Development (AOHD) hosted an evening of fellowship and networking to honour the fairer sex.

Mar 24, 2023

YB Teresa Kok sharing on how far the nation has come in pushing for equity for women.

By Gwen Manickam
The Archdiocesan Office for Human Development (AOHD) hosted an evening of fellowship and networking to honour the fairer sex.

Held at the Archdiocesan Pastoral Centre on March 9, to mark International Women’s Day, saw more than 100 women from all walks of life and faiths, gather to celebrate each other.

AOHD director, Teo Kar Im and team, worked diligently to pull the event together on short notice. Close at hand to offer assistance were members from the Archdiocesan Single Adults and Youth Office.

Archbishop Julian Leow and YB Teresa Kok were present for a short while to render support and briefly address the guest, before leaving for their respective commitments.

The archbishop thanked the AOHD team and their helpers for quickly making the event a reality. He also acknowledged YB Teresa’s presence and the Sikh women’s group, who came from Ipoh to support the event.

On this year’s IWD theme, Embracing Equity, the prelate said, “Back in the day, everyone was clamouring for equality with men, today we want equity. Equality, for example, gives everyone a pair of shoes, regardless of shape, colour, size or fit to their need. Equity, on the other hand, gives everyone shoes that fits their needs. We all need different things, and equity looks into one’s specific needs.

“Moving forward, I hope the government will be sensitive to these two words. I also hope AOHD will be able to provide assistance and support where needed.”

YB Teresa’s brief address touched on how far the nation has come, although it has a long way to go.

“Malaysia has broken several records. She has seen her first female Deputy Prime Minister. We have also have a female Governor of Bank Negara, Auditor General, Attorney General, and Deputy Chief Police Officer Kuala Lumpur, to name a few.

“We are in a time when anything can happen. So, we need to keep campaigning to see other changes,” she added.

While enjoying a generous high-tea spread, guests listened to several women who came forward to share their struggles and success stories, giving inspiration to others fighting their own battles.

Booths were set up for graduates of the GIFT-MED (Generating Income from Talents-Micro Entrepreneurship Development) training programme to showcase their goods and skills including henna drawing. There were also four blind masseuse from Brickfields offering shoulder massages.

Curator of the GIFT-MEDS programme, 3E Training & Education Sdn Bhd’s Founder and Managing Director, Sandra Ghouse, said, “The GIFT MED graduates, Yvette & Bernadette, have proven that despite the challenges many women face in life, if they believe in themselves, focus and are willing to change and improve, becoming a woman business owner is not impossible.

“It was a wonderful event, pampering and showcasing the women who have been supporting the diocese. More women should come forward with their God given talents to help inspire and empower other women,” she added.

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