Newly-launched book chronicles struggles, success of women in academia


Dr Sim, flanked by his wife Datin Sri Enn Ong (third left) and Fatimah, browses through the pages of the newly-launched book. Looking on are (from right) Len Talif, Fatimah’s husband Datu Dr Adi Badiozaman Tuah, Asfia and Rosey. — Photo by Muhammad Rais Sanusi

KUCHING (May 3): A newly-launched book highlights stories of struggles and success from a diverse group of women in academia.

The book titled ‘Women Practicing Resilience, Self-Care and Wellbeing in Academia: International Stories from Lived Experience’ describes how these women mitigated and overcame various barriers as part of their academic trajectory and at the same time, outlines practical strategies for maintaining self-care and wellbeing.

With Prof Ida Fatimawati Adi Badiozaman, Dr Voon Mung Ling and Kiran Deep Sandhu as the authors and editors, the book represents a collection of 21 female authors located in nine countries: Malaysia, Brunei, Japan, Pakistan, Australia, Canada, the UK and South Africa.

Deputy Premier Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian unveiled the book during a ceremony that took place at Tegas Digital village in Sama Jaya Free Industrial Zone here, yesterday.

In his speech, he hailed the book as ‘something close to everyone’s heart’ as it talks about women and education, their success stories and embracing gender equality.

“This book is a true reflection of the authors’ passion and creativity, and I am sure that it will be enjoyed by readers.

“The stories of various representations of female academics navigating the demands of higher education also put a spotlight on issues that are often not discussed – career life balance, as well as multiple informal and invisible barriers in juggling personal and professional responsibilities in a hypercompetitive culture.

“These collected chapters allow a better understanding of the obstacles and processes of career decision-making for women in academia and illustrate the need for higher education institutions to be more accommodating to the needs of women,” he said.

Also present was Minister for Women, Childhood and Community Wellbeing Development Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah who, in her remarks, spoke about prioritising self-care and wellbeing being crucial in leading a happy and healthy life.

“By taking care of ourselves and making our wellbeing a priority, we can better manage stress, prevent burnout, and maintain a sense of balance and happiness in our lives.

“This is applicable not only for women in academia, but also for women engaged in entrepreneurship, corporate bodies, and politics.

Among others present at the event were State Legislative Assembly Speaker Tan Sri Datuk Amar Mohamad Asfia Awang Nassar, as well as state deputy ministers Datuk Len Talif Salleh, Datuk Rosey Yunus, Mohamad Razi Sitam and Jefferson Jamit Unyat who is also a Tabung Ekonomi Gagasan Anak Sarawak (Tegas) Board of Trustees member.