Past Events

Is There a Need for a Women’s University in this Era?

Penang Institute is proud to host a public forum titled “Is There a Need for a Women’s University in this Era?” which is scheduled as follows:

Date: 31 July 2019, Wednesday
Time: 8:00pm – 10:00pm (Doors open at 7:30pm)
Venue: Conference Hall, Penang Institute

In this forum a case is made on the need for a specialised institution of higher education dedicated to the training of women for leadership roles in society. Higher education in Malaysia today is assumed to have provided ample opportunities for social mobility and narrowing the socio-economic gap between races, regions and even gender. But is this the case, where inequality across all spectrums of class, ethnicity and gender have remained, if not widened? In the case of gender, this forum presents some statistics of persistent gender inequality in the fields of employment, education and leadership. Some overview of Penang all-girls schools as producing the best and brightest will also be presented. It will then make a case for the need of an all-women’s university to bridge the gap between gender inequality in society and gender opportunities in education. A university with its own niche-purpose is more relevant today than in the past. Education which stresses on an innovative curriculum which integrates the component of transformative leadership may better prepare young women for the challenges of leadership in society. This forum invites educationists, policy makers, women’s rights activists and all who are interested in educational reform in Malaysia to participate in the debate and contribute constructive ideas on the topic of the forum.

About the Speakers:

Maznah Mohamad is an Associate Professor at the Department of Malay Studies and Department of Southeast Asian Studies at the National University of Singapore. She is a Research Affiliate with the Penang Institute from June to July 2019. Her areas of research are Islamic Marriage and Family, Gender in Muslim Southeast Asia, Women and Politics, and the Bureaucratisation of Religion. Her latest publications are in the Journal of Contemporary Asia (2019) and Southeast Asian Studies (2018). Her forthcoming book, The Divine Bureaucracy and Disenchantment of Social Life will be published by Palgrave-Macmillan. She is also a member of the Steering Committee for the Establishment of the Asian Women’s Leadership University (AWLU) in Malaysia.

Yeong Pey Jung is the Research Projects Advisor of Penang Institute, and a Senior Analyst with the Socioeconomics and Statistics Programme. Gender is one of her main areas of research. She has undertaken research projects on women in the labour force, the political participation of women, and women in education. Her other areas of research interests include poverty, socioeconomic issues in youth development, the politics of state-federal relations and international trade and economics.