Friday, September 25, 2009

Profile: Tenaganita and Dr Irene Fernandez

Tenaganita - Malaysia
Speaker: Dr Irene Fernandez

Tenaganita, which means "Women's Force", is one of PAN AP’s key partner organizations. Based in Kuala Lumpur, it works to protect the rights of women and migrant workers as well as marginalized sectors like single mothers, trafficked women, domestic workers, sex workers, migrant workers and those living with HIV/AIDS. Additionally, it aims to create an “enabling environment and empower workers to achieve their full potential in society.” (taken from Tenaganita’s Mission Statement). Programs include: Anti-Trafficking in Persons, Migrant Rights Protection, and Health & HIV/AIDS.

Dr Irene Fernandez is one of Malaysia's most prominent Human Rights activists. Her activism in Human Rights issues, especially women's rights, began early in her career as chair or founder of numerous organizations and networks tackling issues such as infant feeding, violence against women, women's development and the National Policy for Women. She is one of the founders of SUARAM (Suara Rakyat Malaysia - Voice of the Malaysian People), a non-governmental human rights organization working for a free, equal, just and sustainable society. Dr Fernandez is currently the Director of Tenaganita and is Chair of the Board and Steering Council of PAN AP. She is also a founding member of the Asia Pacific Forum on Women Law and Development (APFWLD) and CaramASIA. She was conferred an honourary doctorate in Social Medicine by Virj University of Amsterdam in 2000. She is also the recipient of the Jonathan Mann award for Health Rights of People, conferred by the International Aids Society in 2002, and was awarded the Human Rights Monitor award by Human Rights Watch in 1996. In 2005, she was awarded the Right Livelihood Award.

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