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More than 50 years ago, the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) of Malaya mooted the idea of an umbrella organisation for women’s groups in the country. The main focus was to integrate women into the national mainstream of development as equal partners.

Eight women’s organisations responded to the idea. They were the Women Teachers’ Union (WTU), Federation of Malaya; YWCA; National Association of Women’s Institutes (NAWIM), Federation of Malaya; Malayan Trained Nurses Association; Girl Guides Association, Federation of Malaya; Muslim Women’s Welfare Council, Federation of Malaya; Pan Pacific South East Asia Women’s Association (PPSEAWA); and Women’s International Club.

That number has since grown to 116. These affiliates cover the whole spectrum of interests that are of concern to Malaysian women irrespective of ethnicity, religion and age. It can be said that it was and still is the shining example of the government’s 1Malaysia philosophy of “People First, Performance Now”.

NCWO actively advocates for the mainstreaming of women’s full and equal participation in all areas of development. Our advocacy is strongly rooted in the principles of equality and human rights and guided by International frameworks such as CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women), Beijing Platform for Action (BPfA) and our National Policy on Women.

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