Kota Kinabalu, Sabah; 7th November 2016 – Women representatives from local NGOs; government representatives and university experts gathered in WWF Sabah, Malaysia office to attend the first Malaysian Women Leaders’ Forum (WLF) under the auspices of the Coral Triangle Initiative for Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security (CTI-CFF).
Following the Sustainable Development Goal 5 (SDG-5) – “to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls” , the WLF Malaysia meeting aimed towards the finalization of its Terms of Reference. With the formal establishment of the WLF in Malaysia, it is hoped that more support from the public, government agencies, international initiatives and private organizations could be pooled together and combat gender bias at all levels. Importantly, as mandated by the CTI-CFF Council of Senior Officers during the 11th and 12th Senior Officials’ Meeting, gender issues have been identified and actions have been identified to ensure gender mainstreaming into decision-making processes at all levels.
The meeting was chaired by the interim Chair of WLF, Prof. Dato’ Dr. Nor Aieni Hj Mokhtar, the Vice Chancellor of Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, previously the Under-Secretary of the National Oceanographic Directorate, Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) serving as the Malaysian National Secretariat for CTI-CFF. Participants from various organizations attended this meeting including Dr. Norasma Dacho from the Department of Fisheries Sabah who is also the Project Management Coordinator for the Asian Development Bank RETA 7813 Project; representatives from Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) as the CTI Sabah branch; local NGO representatives and representative from the CTI-CFF Regional Secretariat.
Other agenda during the meeting include: (i) Introduction of CTI-CFF by the Regional Secretariat and Regional WLF current status since SOM-12; (ii) Briefing by WWF Sabah on its activities both in Sabah and Melaka in Peninsular Malaysia; (iii) presentations by local organizations led by women leaders — Kudat Turtle Conservation Society, Padang Kemunting Turtle Friendly Village, Wanita Pulau Omadal and Green Semporna.
The meeting has agreed for the WLF Interim National Secretariat to be undertaken by WWF Sabah, Malaysia and led by current Chair or the WLF Malaysia until the next meeting for further discussion on the establishment of the WLF Malaysia National Secretariat and its work plan.