Women ‘acting like men’ face cane, jail under Malaysia state law

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12/15/2022

(Bloomberg) — A recent move by a Malaysian state to punish Muslim women for out-of-wedlock pregnancies and donning men’s clothing has drawn the ire of human rights activists. As many as 14 rights groups, including the All Women’s Action Society, said the legislative changes by the northeastern state of Terengganu violate the right to freedom of expression, equality and non-discrimination. The laws, which were passed by the state assembly, also worsen “existing harmful impact on women, young people, LGBTQ persons, among others,” according to a Dec. 3 statement. Terengganu, which is governed by Parti Islam Se-Malaysia, also outlawed witchcraft and sorcery under the amendments. The offenses are punishable by a fine of up to 5,000 ringgit ($1,134), a three-year jail term and six lashes, or any combination of the three, Bernama reported Dec. 1, citing state religious official Satiful Bahari Mamat.

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