Sunday, January 23

SWFI continues empowering women of S’wak — Awang Tengah

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LAWAS: Sarawak Federation of Women Institute (SWFI) remains a significant platform when it comes to empowering women for greater participation in society and economy.

Second Resource Planning and Environment Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan said the changing environment had dictated women to be more in tune with the borderless world.

“Their role as a key figure in the family institution has definitely become more challenging, with children being exposed to many things – all accessible within a click of a button,” he said after officiating at the ceremony to unveil SFWI Lawas’ new building here yesterday.

Awang Tengah said the establishment of SWFI in 1962, had always been instilling in members the spirit of unity in diversity – one that cuts through racial, religious and cultural barriers – and one that welcomes women from all over Sarawak; ‘from the mountains to the rivers’.

“The rising number of women in universities, as well as in government, private and political organisations is proof of the achievements made by Sarawak women.”

Awang Tengah, moreover, called on more local women to take up entrepreneurship here, assuring them that SFWI Lawas had an array of programmes available.

The minister, who is also Bukit Sari assemblyman, asked SFWI Lawas to consider holding literacy courses for adults, comprising those from the older generation who needed to keep up-to-date with the communication skills of today’s Internet age.

“It’s a different world now. The phrase ‘thank you’ is now simply ‘tq’ on social media and text messages,” he said.

On infrastructure development, Awang Tengah said the government had approved RM 1 million for road upgrading works here.

Earlier, SFWI chairwoman Norjanah Razali said the institution must adopt new approaches towards achieving its objectives.

“We need to reach out to the younger generation in our membership drive. We will be working closely with the Chief Minister’s Office in terms of development programmes for entrepreneurs and marketing of products,” she said, adding that Lawas had many products that could be value-added and marketed outside this district , even in Peninsular Malaysia.

“Tahai (smoked) fish is synonymous with Lawas, it’s bottled with ‘acar’ (pickles) and marketed in Pahang. This is an example of what we could do here.”

The function was also attended by Lawas MP Datuk Henry Sum Agong, acting Limbang Resident Selamat Jati, Lawas District Officer Hussaini Hakim and Lawas SFWI chairwoman Jamilah Pangkat.