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Gone are the days when the dreams of breaking through the glass ceiling and reaching the topmost rung in the corporate ladder were next to impossible for women.

Today, the women of our country have come a long way from being just a homemaker and are an equal match to some of the most powerful men in the corporate world.

International Women’s Day falls on March 8, a global day where the achievements of women and how far they have come in the fight for their rights within the political, cultural, and social spheres are celebrated. It is a day observed in support of acting against gender inequality around the world. It is a day to appreciate their efforts where organizations large and small come together to show women just how valuable they are today.

This year, the theme for the International Women`s Day on 8 March is #BreakTheBias. Imagine a world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination, a world that's diverse, equitable, and inclusive, where differences are valued and celebrated.  Together we can forge women's equality and collectively we can all #BreakTheBias together.

Women play an extraordinary role in shaping the world, and as the world celebrates International Women's Day to honour and celebrate strong women, let’s pay homage our own Malaysian women who’ve roared and made themselves heard. Here are a few the achievements chalked by these dynamic women who put Malaysia on the world map: 


  1. Datuk Nicole David
    The Penang-born5-time Squash world champion has won 49 Women’s International Squash Players’ Association (WISPA) titles since 2000. She is the 1st Asian sportswoman to achieve this ranking and the 1st Asian ever to be crowned as the world number 1 in sports.     

  2. Datuk Dr Ambiga Sreenevasan
    This iconic Malaysian woman who was lauded for pursuing judicial reform and good governance, standing up for religious tolerance, and advocating women’s equality and their full political participation. In 2009, she became one of eight recipients of the US Secretary of State’s “International Women of Courage” Award by the then Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.

  3. Marina Mahathir
    The daughter of former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad, a feisty lady who never stopped expressing her thoughts and ideas through various NGOs including the Malaysian AIDS Foundation, where she was the President for more than a decade. She changed the negative perception towards HIV/AIDS victims and has won worldwide praise for her activism in dealing with this stigma in Malaysia. In 2010, Marina was placed 57th in a New York based advocacy’s list of the 100 most inspirational women around the world for championing the rights of women and children.

  4. Michelle Yeoh
    The first Malaysian woman to make it big in Hollywood, she starred in the James Bond film "Tomorrow Never Dies".  A four-time Oscar winner, she became one of Hong Kong's biggest action star. She had the honour to be the first Malaysian to join the star-studded panel of voters to decide the Oscar winners of the 2013 Academy Awards.


Whilst women have excelled in many ways, there are still challenges that women face. The top 3 issues facing women all over the world are sexual harassment, sexual violence, and physical violence. Malaysians agree with the same issues however balancing work, caring responsibilities and gender stereotyping and a proposed ban on child marriages are more pressing issues for Malaysians compared to the global audience. Most Malaysian women feel that achieving gender equality is important to them personally and it won’t happen unless men take actions to support them.

Yes - women can perform just as well, or even better than their male counterparts in almost any field of work or profession. All they need is a level playing field and equal opportunity, and with a little encouragement, they will surely go a long way. Equal pay and tougher laws to end violence and harassment against women are seen as the key to helping achieve gender equality.

Beyond equality, 4 out of 10 Malaysians believe sexual harassment is the biggest and the number one issue facing women in Malaysia. However, people underestimate its prevalence and most still think that reports of sexual harassment are ignored. However, there is strong support for a zero-tolerance policy on sexual harassment; Most Malaysians feel that this is essential to bring about change in society indicating that much is to be done and we shouldn't overestimate our achievements.

International Women’s Day is all about unity, celebration, reflection, advocacy, and action.  Life is never easy but working hard and setting clear goals will bring success ultimately. Empowering women is a great responsibility, and it is necessary for gender equality. Today, women have started realizing their strengths and abilities and are ready to step out of their homes, contributing to the success of their home and the entire society.

We all have come across strong and dynamic women in our daily lives who have broken the glass ceiling and barriers to reach to top in their careers and lives. Have you anyone in mind that you feel needs that special mention and be appreciated? Give us a shout out and check out those special gifts we have for these worthy, incredible women.  

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