International Women's Day 2022 #BreakTheBias

International Women's Day 2022 #BreakTheBias

International Women’s Day is celebrated every year on March 8th to celebrate achievements of women all around and to spread the message of gender equality and female empowerment across.

 

Consider a world in which men and women are treated equally. A world without bias, stereotypes, or discrimination. A world in which diversity is valued and celebrated. Together, we can all #BreakTheBias.

 

In conjunction with the upcoming IWD this year, we have had the honor to speak to 3 incredible women who are actively breaking the bias, stereotypes and discrimination.

Jihin Radzuan

Jihin Radzuan

Mixed Martial Arts athlete [Nickname: Shadowcat]

1. What drove you to pursue your passion?

Since I was a kid I always believe I am destined to be special and I know I am not going to settle to be a normal person. I know I want to become someone special.

 

2. Why is it important to celebrate International Women’s Day?

It is important to celebrate International Women Day to appreciate the contribution and effort to the society, to keep our society running. There is a word in chinese proverb, behind every successful man there stands a women.

 

3. Can you share with us some of the challenges you faced due to bias and discrimination?

I won’t say it is entirely bias or discrimination anyway, it is just a perspective of people. For example, people always say, as a women I not suppose to involve in competing in fight sports. To me, it's simply a lack of understanding and difference in perspective from them. Sometimes they are just worried, as a women, we might easily injure ourselves when involved in certain type of activities/job.

 

4. How do you deal with gender stereotypes and overcome them?

I just prove them they were wrong. many things men can do women also can do and might able to do better than men.

 

5. In your opinion, why is it important that more women pursue their passions?

Women should pursue their passion and live the life they want. It is basic human right.

 

6. On International Women’s Day, what is the most important message you have that can embolden all young women out there?

Chase your dream, formulate a plan, pursue it, work towards it, be discipline, always believe you can.

Kim May Chee

Founder of COCOdry - Malaysia’s first blowdry bar

1. What drove you to pursue your passion?

Simple! Life’s short, and as cliché as this may sound, you need to live life to the fullest and pursue what you love doing! It’s my inability to take ‘no’ for an answer and the thought of me living in regrets motivates me. Also, when you do it out of passion, you’re driven to pursue it, not something you have to push yourself to do.

 

2. Why is it important to celebrate International Women’s Day?

International Women's Day is a reminder of where we've been and where we want to go. Honestly, we still have so much to do in terms of progress! Other than celebrating achievements of women around the world, it’s important to acknowledge that we are far from gender equality and we need to continue to celebrate until we are on equal footing as man.

 

3. Can you share with us some of the challenges you faced due to bias and discrimination?

Yes, many times! I worked in a production company when I was 21, and was told to attend a meeting looking ‘pretty’ & dress more ‘provocatively’ to help win clients because it’s more visually pleasing to them. I felt really objectified. Another one was, you are too ambitious for a girl and it’s not meant as a compliment. I was told that I will be eaten alive by the big fish in the industry and I’m not going to make it!

 

4. How do you deal with gender stereotypes and overcome them?

Step up, lean in and have a voice! Let’s be real, stereotypes won’t disappear unless people understand they are harmful. I know sometimes voicing out means putting our job at stake, hence it’s important to know when to call out rude and sexist language and when to have an open conversation about stereotypes. Also, in order to avoid gender bias, don’t be part of the problem.

 

5. In your opinion, why is it important that more women pursue their passions?

I’ve met many women who give up their dreams and passion because of ‘women duty’. When more women challenge norms and pursue their dreams, it sets the tone and inspire change for the next generation of young women, encourage their ambitions, expands what they see as possible for themselves and sets them on a course to becoming a role model themselves, eventually so they can continue to challenge norms and blaze their own trails!

 

6. On International Women’s Day, what is the most important message you have that can embolden all young women out there?

Define success on your own terms and be brave enough to dream BIG! I know it may seem scary at first but believe in yourself and that you can make your way through any challenges that come your way.

Siti Shahkirah Binti Shaharul

Motorsport athlete, manager for Seven Racing & Formula Karting and personal coach in karting

1. What drove you to pursue your passion?

I really like to do things that can challenge my capability. And motorsport is one of many things that I challenged myself and actually fell in love with it. From the first time I drove the kart, I knew I wanted to be a racer. I really like the speed, the adrenaline rush. I am myself when I wear the helmet. I am lucky to be getting endless support from my parents. They have been there for me since the first day I started karting. Their endless support got me to pursue my passion in motorsport. Up until now, I am still involved in motorsports but am mostly behind the scene, more on coaching and also managing a go-kart track.

 

2. Why is it important to celebrate International Women’s Day?

In 2019, I had the chance to participate in International Women's Day rally in KL. In my opinion, it is important to celebrate International Women's Day as a celebration for gender parity. International Women's Day is about creating awareness and celebrating people in regards to their backgrounds, status, and etc. I believe not many people actually know the real meaning of Women's day. They always think that Women's day only associates with women. But the truth is, it is not. I am really glad that Christy Ng is doing this initiative to create awareness and let people know what the real meaning of International Women's Day.

 

3. Can you share with us some of the challenges you faced due to bias and discrimination?

Can't deny being in male-dominated sport is never easy. But that didn't stop me from being in this sport. I have faced multiple challenges that some are questioning whether I can be as competitive among the guys. Some people have doubted my ability and even some would take me out of the track just because they wouldn't want to lose to a girl. On the other hand, being a Muslim and active in motorsport, some people (and even relatives) would question me and my parents for allowing me to be involved in this sport as I cannot wear tudung (Headscarf). Hence, those are the challenges that I have to face when I am on track and also out of track.

 

4. How do you deal with gender stereotypes and overcome them?

For me, I will ignore what they said and continue doing what I love as I want to make myself happy, I want to make my parents proud and at the same time, I want to do something that can give back to society. I want my knowledge and experiences gained to be shared to the younger kids, especially young girls. I want all the young girls in Malaysia to have the mindset of "if they can, then I can do too". Hopefully one day I can aspire to young girls that limitation can only be set by them not the people around them.

 

5. In your opinion, why is it important that more women pursue their passions?

Many women give up on their passion because they do not have time, energy, and encouragement to sustain their passion. Women are more inclined to take care of their loved ones and also, women often reclaim their life and are met with resistance. In my opinion, women should continue doing what they love as passion can turn into a great opportunity in life, either in daily activities or even work-wise. For me, my passion for this sport has opened up many new doors, especially in my studies. Not only that, I have the opportunity to meet a lot of inspirational female racers when I travel for my races. I have some knowledge about cars which really helps in my daily life. I encourage all women to pursue their passion because it can be useful in your academic motivation, opening new doors and also broadening your horizons.

 

6. On International Women’s Day, what is the most important message you have that can embolden all young women out there?

Empower other women and support each other in any way! Then this can be a good way for us (women) to break barriers and stigma about what people think women can't do this, women can't do that. And I really hope that one day I can be a role model to other women to break barriers and stigma and also, encourage more women to be involved in motorsports.

Read more

Every Modern Woman Needs This Tote Bag In Their Lives

Every Modern Woman Needs This Tote Bag In Their Lives

Christy Ng x MBFW 2021 Editorial

Christy Ng x MBFW 2021 Editorial

5 Essential Reasons Why You Must Add a Tote Bag to Your Closet in 2022

5 Essential Reasons Why You Must Add a Tote Bag to Your Closet in 2022