MARUDI: The newly-formed Penan Women’s Association (PWA) Baram branch has slammed misleading reports in the media regarding the community.
PWA Baram branch chairperson Jonita Ayat said many reports, particularly on incest being condoned in the community, were unfounded.
“Penan women have rights. Articles such as ‘Ibuku isteriku, bapaku suamiku’ (My mother my wife, my father my husband) are totally wrong,” she said during the branch’s first annual general meeting recently.
“There is no such law or tradition in the Penan community as was described in the article. It is just because some irresponsible people want to tarnish the reputation of Penan women.”
She appealed for all to be more responsible and to stop creating issues which would bring unhappiness to the Penan community.
Jonita, who is from Long Nen, was elected during the meeting which was held under the guidance of the Sarawak Women for Women Society (SWWS).
The other office bearers are vice-chairperson Rabika Kalang (Long Belok), secretary Rajian Ubang (Long Win), assistant secretary Siti Pulut (Long Nen), treasurer Yem Alat (Long Kevok) and assistant treasurer Mujan Wan (Long Nen).
Also on the committee are Suku Wan (Long Kevok), Sarina Ayat (Long Nen), Sulina Bujang (Long Bangan), Mori Ayat (Long Nen), Mariam Panai (Long Kevok), Cecelia Wan (Long Kelangan), Unyang Yok (Long Daloh) and Jeane Senli (Long Daloh).
The association hopes to help Penan women succeed financially, promote health and the benefits of education, as well as give each other moral support.
It also intends to educate Penan women on their rights in the home, place of employment and the community.