Our Allies

We don’t walk alone, thank goodness!


EMPOWER works closely with a number of civil society coalitions who advocate for women’s rights, human rights, development justice, good governance and democracy.


Joint Action Group For Gender Equality (JAG)

JAG was set up in the mid-1980s, and has successfully lobbied and advocated for many legal reforms on women’s right, such as the Domestic Violence Act and the inclusion of gender as a recognised form of discrimination within the Federal Constitution. JAG continues to work on developing bills that will advance gender equality and non-discrimination in Malaysia. This includes the development of the Gender Equality Bill and the Sexual Harassment Bill. As a watchdog coalition for women’s rights, gender equality and non-discrimination, JAG also produces Shadow Reports to Malaysia’s CEDAW report to identify areas of discrimination where women and transgender people cannot access their rights. EMPOWER is a member of JAG.


Coalition of Malaysian NGOs in the UPR Process (COMANGO)


As its name suggests, COMANGO is a coalition of 54 civil society organisations who monitor the state of human rights in Malaysia and submits its stakeholder report every five years to the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process. As the co-secretariat of COMANGO along with Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM), EMPOWER has helped ensure that civil society actors have a seat at the table in discussing the Malaysian Government’s accountability in promoting and protecting human rights based on internationally accepted standards of the United Nations. COMANGO shares a seat with JAG on the Malaysian government’s National Steering Committee on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Updates from COMANGO can be accessed on COMANGO.


Net Merdeka Coalition


Net Merdeka advocates for internet rights and freedom of expression in Malaysia since February 2016, in response to Internet regulation, to halt the tabling of discriminatory and punitive amendments to the Communications and Multimedia Act and to engage civil society on any proposed amendments to the Act. Net Merdeka is also looking for greater discussion on Internet rights and freedom amongst Malaysians. EMPOWER is a member of the Net Merdeka Coalition. More information on the Net Merdeka Coalition can be accessed on their Net Merdeka, and on social media by searching for the hashtag #NetMerdeka.


Coalition for Clean & Fair Elections (BERSIH 2.0)


BERSIH started out as the Joint Action Committee for Electoral Reform in July 2005, and was launched in the Malaysian Parliament in 2006 with endorsements by various political leaders. BERSIH launched a massive rally in 2007 to educate and advocate for electoral reforms, and continued on with several other more successful rallies. EMPOWER is one of the 93 organizations who endorses BERSIH. Updates from BERSIH 2.0 can be accessed through their Bersih website, Bersih Facebook, Bersih Twitter and Instagram.


Gerakan Hapus Akta Hasutan (GHAH)


Gerakan Hapus Akta Hasutan (GHAH) is a movement supported by over 132 civil society organisations in Malaysia, led by SUARAM, Lawyers for Liberty, Amnesty International Malaysia and IKRAM, among others. GHAH organises a national campaign to end threats posed by the colonial-era Sedition Act against the right to freedom of speech, academic freedom, and press freedom. EMPOWER is one of the supporters of GHAH. News and updates from GHAH can be accessed on their Facebook and Twitter.


ASEAN People’s Forum


ASEAN People’s Forum (APF) is an annual forum of civil society organizations (CSOs) in an ASEAN member state, held as a parallel meeting to the ASEAN Summit of Heads of State. This meeting features broad issues from different sectors and concerns, such as human rights, development, trade, environment, youth and culture. EMPOWER was one of the organizing committee members of APF 2015 in Malaysia. More information on APF can be accessed on their website, Facebook and Twitter account.


Association for Progressive Communications (APC)


The APC is an organisation and a civil society network empowering and supporting organisations, social movements and individuals in and through the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs), to build strategic communities and initiatives for the purpose of making meaningful contributions to equitable human development, social justice, participatory political processes and environmental sustainability.


EMPOWER is a member of APC, and a project partner for the APC-IMPACT (India, Malaysia, Pakistan Advocacy for Change through Technology) project.


South East Asia Women’s Caucus on ASEAN


The Southeast Asia Women’s Caucus on ASEAN, otherwise known as the Women’s Caucus is a network of more than 100 organizations and networks that engage the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to advance women’s human rights. Its membership is spread across 11 countries including East Timor. The Women’s Caucus is co-convened by the Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD) and the International Women’s Rights Action Watch-Asia Pacific (IWRAW-AP), with the secretariat in APWLD in Chiang Mai, Thailand. EMPOWER is a member of the Women’s Caucus. Information and updates on the Women’s Caucus can be accessed on their website and Facebook.


Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD)


APWLD is the leading network of feminist organisations and individual advocates in Asia Pacific, with 211 members from 26 countries in the region over the past 30 years. It is an independent, non-governmental, non-profit organisation and hold consultative status with the United Nations Economics and Social Council. APWLD fosters feminist movements in Asia Pacific to influence laws, policies and practices at the local, national, regional and international levels – through capacity development, advocacy and networking. EMPOWER is a member of APWLD. Updates and information on APWLD can be accessed on their website, Facebook and Twitter account.