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Beginnings of Gender Apartheid Evident In Malaysia

Terengganu, Malaysia’s leading Pan-Malaysian Islamic party is imposing fundamentalist edicts tantamount to state-sponsored sex discrimination. Last week, government officials announced that they would require men and women to use separate swimming pool facilities. Tourism minister Wan Hassan Mohammad Ramli also directed hotels and holiday resorts to impose dress codes on women, including non-Muslims, which would bar them from wearing bikinis “in accordance with local cultural norms.” The Pan-Malaysian Islamic party committed itself to enforcing “Islamic law” within the Malaysian state when it came to power in 1999. Earlier, the government mandated different cash register lines for men and women in supermarkets. Wan Hassan explained to Malaysian newspapers that the separation of sexes is “in the interest of Muslims.”

Sources:

Associated Press, 4/20/02

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