Gender Segregation in Terengganu: a Form of Regulation and Control of Women

Terengganu Separate Lines

The PAS obsession to control the dressing and public life of women reflects the medieval attitudes of its leaders that women are defective mentally, physically and spiritually and are dangerous to the moral order of society.

Within this worldview, women therefore must be controlled and segregated, and eventually isolated from the rest of society, as commonly practiced in many backward Muslim countries. At a time when 48 percent of Malaysian women are in the work force, when the majority of university students are women, when girls are outperforming boys in schools, PAS chooses to deny these realities and insist on viewing women as nothing more than sex objects who are best suited to remain at home as mothers and wives.

If at all women are in the public space, their presence must be regulated. The inability of PAS leaders to recognise the realities of women’s lives today and their readiness to resort to laws and regulations to impose their archaic worldview endanger the progress of all Malaysian women and their right to participate fully and equally in the socioeconomic development and public life of this country.

Sisters in Islam
4 May 2000

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