Orang Asli, Dayaks and Native peoples

Organization: Jaringan Orang Asal Semalaysia (JOAS), Indigenous Women’s Wing

Official name: Pertubuhan Wanita Orang Asal Malaysia (PWOAM), Malaysian Indigenous Women’s Association

Country: Malaysia

The project galvanized a network of Indigenous Women’s organizations to promote a common forum for Indigenous Women in Malaysia and their institutional strengthening across three regions: Peninsular Malaysia, Sarawak and Sabah. As a result, Pertubuhan Wanita Orang Asal Malaysia (PWOAM), or the Malaysian Indigenous Women’s Association, has established itself as a common platform for sharing ideas and for defending and promoting the rights of Indigenous Women. The PWOAM has thus identified the following key areas of focus: women’s participation in decision-making at all levels; strengthening of traditional and innovative subsistence systems for the indigenous communities; protecting land rights; and solidarity with other women’s organizations.

As part of the project, a campaign to raise awareness and collect data was carried out across different communities of the three regions. The database was created to identify key issues in the consolidation of the Indigenous Women’s movement in Malaysia. Furthermore, a three-year strategic plan is being finalized with the intention of addressing these core issues and challenges.