Sarawak Women in Education: Shaping Mind, Body and Spirit
By Jude Toyat
The state-level Women’s Day celebration this year will be held at Stadium Perpaduan Negeri Sarawak on Nov 5.
This year, the theme for the celebration is ‘Sarawak Women in Education: Shaping Mind, Body and Spirit’.
“It aims to portray and highlight Sarawak’s women contribution in education, both formal and informal,” said Minister of Welfare, Women and Community Wellbeing Datuk Fatimah Abdullah in a press conference held at her office in Bangunan Baitul Makmur, Petra Jaya.
The event is expected to be attended by some 6, 000 women and men including ministers, assistant ministers, political secretaries, heads of departments, state and federal government departments, non-governmental organisations, schools and universities students, Sarawak Women’s and Family Department strategic partners.
“The major highlights of the celebration is the launching of the state-level Women’s Day 2016 celebration, and the launching of the ‘Sarawak Women in Education: Shaping Mind, Body & Spirit’ coffee table book,” she added.
“The committee members for the book were given one year to search for eminent personalities in the education field and with the criterias that were set up, we will then feature 41 personalities in the ‘Sarawak Women in Education: Shaping Mind, Body & Spirit’ book.
“I wish to emphasise that the book however does not highlight every Sarawak woman that has also been contributing towards the development of education in the state. As it is a coffee table book -not an encyclopedia -we are only able to capture some of the renowned figures in education so that it will not be too thick. If there is a need, we will then come up with another volume of it,” said Fatimah of the 200-plus page coffee table book.
Fatimah added that the eminent personalities will be revealed to the general public a week before the state-level Women’s Day 2016 celebration.
Other highlights include the presentation of awards to deserving women and women organisation in the state for contributing to the community and country.
The awards categories include Datuk Patinggi Laila Taib Award, Chief Minister’s Woman Entrepreneur Award, Chief Minister’s Woman Social Activist Award, Chief Minister’s Woman Leadership Award, Excellent Woman Organisation Award, and Chief Minister’s Special Award honouring an outstanding contribution by a woman in education.
“We will be honouring educators, in many fields including academic, sports, music, religions and it does not deals only with formal education but also informal education system as long as they played major roles in educating the community.
“Apart from that, we must also remember that roles of mothers as our first educators are also very important and we will pay tribute to mothers as educators as well,” she added.
Celebrated every year to recognise and appreciate women for their contributions and involvement in the state and country development, the Women’s Day came up with various themes over the years which include Wanita Penjana Ekonomi Negara (2008), Menghadapi Realiti Baru (2009), Sarawak Women – Treading the Path of Post Independence Years (2010), Wanita Penjalin Perpaduan (2011), Wanita Pencetus Ekonomi Baru, Pendokong Semangat Kesukarelawan (2012), Wanita Sarawak – Menyusuri Denai Pasca Kemerdekaan (2013), Sarawak Women in Volunteerism – Caring Hearts, Touching Lives (2014), and Sarawak Women in the Arts in 2015.
The celebration will be attended by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem, accompanied by his wife Datin Patinggi Datuk Amar Jamilah Anu.