Tuesday, June 2, 2009

No Room-Share Campaign

SPEECH BY YB DATIN PADUKA CHEW MEI FUN, Deputy Minister of Women, Family and Community Development, National Chairman of Wanita MCA and Advisor of MWTGA @ “NO ROOM-SHARE” CAMPAIGN
on 1 JUNE 2009

photo by CFL

As the Advisor of MWTGA since their AGM last March, I would like to commend MWTGA under the leadership of its Chairwoman Erina Loo for their active and relentless efforts in advocating for a safe and healthy working environment since day 1 of their set up back in February 2007.

They persevere through challenging times and continue in their struggle to protect and promote the rights of women tourist guides.

Ladies and Gentlemen:
Wanita MCA has been walking with MWTGA on the road to gender equality and non-discrimination for women tour guides since late last year when they approached us.

MWTGA’s enduring efforts in advocating for the rights of women tourist guides has reaped some rewards to date- from being recognised as an autonomous organisation where its members could renew their licenses independent of affiliation with the Malaysia Tour Guide Council (MTGC) to stern warning by the present Minister of Tourism Dato’ Sri Dr Ng Yen Yen where licenses of errant tour operators who condone practice of room sharing will be revoked as of today 1st June 2009.

MWTGA’s awareness raising campaign on “No Room Share” today is timely as it coincides with implementation of the policy announced by Dato’ Sri Dr Ng Yen Yen that licenses of errant tour operators would be revoked with effect from today onwards. This campaign of “No Room Share” in effect brings us a step closer towards upholding every woman’s right to a safe working environment in line with our national and international pledge in promoting non-discrimination and gender equality for women.

Thus, we would like to extend our thanks to the Ministry of Tourism under the leadership of Dato’ Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen for their commitment in ending unethical and discriminatory practice of room-sharing amongst tour guides, tour drivers and tour leaders. This policy is reflective of the government’s sincere effort in creating a safe working environment for all tour guides, tour bus drivers and tour leaders irrespective of their gender.

photo by CFL
Ladies and Gentlemen:
We strongly believe that the government policy of “no room sharing” will not only safeguard rights of women tourist guides to safe working environment and personal safety. Such policy may also in effect translates that women tourist guides may no longer have to pay for an extra room at their own expense in exchange of personal security. This means that women tourist guides may not have to face salary or pay disparity in comparison to their male counterparts where they do not have to think about parting with their wages to rent another room.

We urge tour operators to adhere to this policy of “no room sharing” and other key stakeholders to support this campaign. Let us work together as a collective towards creating an enabling environment for women tourist guides and all tourist guides.

Thank you.

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