Joint Action Group for Gender Equality

The Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG) is the longest-running civil society coalition in Malaysia. Initially named Joint Action Group against Violence against Women (JAG-VAW), it was formed in 1985. In the same year, it held a historic workshop-exhibition on violence against women, calling for law reforms to rape, pornography, rape and domestic violence. The exhibition brought the issue of violence against women into mainstream discourse and kickstarted decades of work on laws and policy reforms.

Since its formation, JAG brought together progressive women’s and feminist organisations to monitor, document, and advocate on all aspects of women’s human rights. Among its milestones were the 1994 Domestic Violence Act (though it took a widely-publicised demonstration by JAG for the law to be implemented, two years after it was passed by Parliament); Malaysia’s ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in 1995; the establishment of One Stop Crisis Centres (OSCC) in hospitals nationwide for women survivors of violence; and the inclusion of “gender” as prohibited grounds for discrimination under Article 8(2) of the Federal Constitution in 2001.