International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated on the 8th of March every year in many countries around the world. It is a day when women are recognized for their achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, language, cultural, economic or political.
Last year, on International Women’s Day, MARVEL’s first female-led superhero was released all around the world. Captain Marvel, played by Oscar-winner Brie Larson, is a heroin that anyone can look up to. She’s powerful, funny and confident, which embodies and represents every facet of a women’s personality. One cannot help but wonder, why it took so long for the most successful movie franchise in the world to have a woman take the lead in one of their movies. This shows that, in 70 years, a lot has been achieved, but much more must be done, not just in popular culture, but in other areas such as politics, business, education and government.
Malaysian women’s role used to just orient more towards family matters rather than self-fulfillment implying that when faced with having to choose between career and family, a family is always top priority. In a way, women are caught in a dilemma between the modern challenges of life and traditions. While many are now employed, they are still expected to be responsible for the family and to maintain the traditional perception of a woman.
In Malaysia, only 17% of businesses have a female Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and only 14% in parliamentary roles despite a female population of 49% in Malaysia.
In Wellness Concept, we are proud to acknowledge that we are helmed by a successful entrepreneur, Vivian Tan. She sets an example, that women can take on leadership roles in business, inspiring her two daughters to do the same.
Nowadays, Malaysian women are shaping Malaysia to prove to other women that they too can be successful in any field despite lacking opportunity in a traditionally patriarchal system. Below are some of the aspiring Malaysian women that have paved the way for girls in the future to do the same.
Datin Vivy Yusof - Nominated by Forbes as one of Asia’s Top 30 Under 30, founder of Duck Scarf
Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir - Founder of Zafigo.com: a platform offering travel guides and hacks specifically for female traveller to Asia
Noor Neelofa - Named by Forbes as one of Asia’s Top 30 Under 30, host TV, actress, founder of Naelofar Hijab
Yang Berbahagia Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Michelle Yeoh – International actress, starring in Hollywood movies
Datuk Nicol David - World champion in the sport of squash, holding the World Open title for a record 8 times
Yuna - Awarded by Malaysian Book of Records for the most successful Malaysian Singer in 2016
Dr. Amalina Bakri - Awarded Darzi Academic Clinical Fellowship from the Imperial College London, 2019
Dr. Mazlan Othman - Director of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), an international expert unit contributing toward global cooperation in the use and exploration of space and related technology.