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No Laughing Matter: Nancy Shukri's Stand Against Harassment.

No Laughing Matter: Nancy Shukri's Stand Against Harassment.

KOTA KINABALU, Sept 23 — Minister of Women, Family and Community Development, Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri, underscores the significance of not overlooking or making light of sexual harassment behaviours in society.

She emphatically stated that any form of sexual harassment, whether direct or masked as humour, is unacceptable.

"There are those who might see their actions as mere jests or misinterpretations. Such attitudes cannot be treated as ordinary.

"While the topic of sexual harassment isn't a recent development, it's paramount that we amplify discussions surrounding it," she expressed during her inaugural address at the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry's @ Anti-Sexual Harassment Advocacy roadshow on Monday (Sept 25).

Nancy highlighted a slight drop in recorded sexual harassment incidents in 2022, with 477 cases, in contrast to 506 in the previous year, based on police data.

She revealed that an overwhelming 90% of these incidents targeted women, documenting 416 cases in 2022 and 446 in 2021.

Furthermore, she voiced concerns over child victims, pointing to 35 cases across the nation, of which four were in Sabah, just last year.

"Sabah ranks third in the nation's list of highest sexual harassment incidents, following Selangor and Kuala Lumpur. Disturbingly, this includes cases with child victims," she disclosed.

Nancy touched on the Anti-Sexual Harassment Act 2022, initiated progressively since March 28, anticipating it will encourage more victims to report offenses.

The purpose of the roadshow, she explained, is to elevate community understanding about sexual harassment and assure victims that support systems exist.

"Our goal is a society deeply aware of anti-sexual harassment principles, leveraging the newly implemented Act, and cultivating an environment where victims feel confident to discuss incidents with trusted individuals," she elaborated.

She also highlighted the pivotal role non-governmental organizations play, urging them to collaborate with the ministry to boost awareness of sexual harassment across urban and rural settings. - Bernama

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