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International Women’s Day 2021 @ Kuala Lumpur & Sabah

March 8 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

“Women in Leadership : Achieving an Equal Future in a Covid-19 World”
International Women’s Day 8th March 2021 – Kuala Lumpur

Women in Leadership in a Covid-19 world, the theme also aligns with the 65th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW65), calling for “Women’s full and effective participation and decision making in public life”.
What it points to is enhancing women’s position in leadership and women’s rights; and equal sharing of unpaid care and domestic work, leading to the second part of CSW65 theme – “elimination of violence, for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls”.
In this Covid-19 world, whilst many women are leading the frontlines, both in public as well as at home and within their communities, there are those who are facing increased domestic violence, unemployment and poverty; finding themselves in unsafe home environments and unable to escape.
As many as there are women who are successful, the pandemic has added to the pre-existing systemic and social barriers to women’s participation and leadership, and women are still at a disproportionate disadvantage.
With that in mind, International Women’s Day celebrations at the women’s shelters aimed to promote the #choosetochallenge mindset toward gender inequality practices. The objective was to create awareness of women’s rights to create an equal future, and empower the women by showcasing achievements of other women in overcoming gender inequality.

 Source: UN Women

Women’s Day celebrations was held at Global Shepherds KL shelter and the two government-run Rumah Perlindungan Wanita (RPW) (Women’s Safe House).
Through a series of slide and video presentations, the women were briefed on the meaning of gender equality, its causes and effects, and how they could empower themselves to overcome it. The group activities that followed had the women reflecting on their respective cultures followed by lively discussions on what they could do to achieve gender equality within their families and communities. Although coming from different countries and backgrounds, many confessed their feelings of inferiority to men, accepting their culture of submission and discrimination of their gender as long-held tradition.

Group activity : “Generation equality practices (or not!) and how I can make a change”

Breakout sessions & presentation – shelter staff participated as well

The women soon realised they were indeed capable of making the change to create an equal generation – one of no discrimination ergo no violence against women.
The programme further augmented their understanding of gender equality, and also drove their desire and built up their confidence to take a step in the right direction for themselves and their family, as can be seen in their illustrations below:



Due to Movement Control Order restrictions, Women’s Day programme at the government shelters, RPW, were held via zoom.

It was not all serious work stuff – each programme started with the women introducing themselves and where they came from, followed by some fun stretching and a Laughter Yoga class, which was a great hit !
Residents of the Global Shepherds KL women’s shelter got an added treat – hair wash & blowdry treat and facial spa, perfect afternoon for any woman! For safety reasons, we are unable to show pictures but rest assured, the women truly enjoyed the pampering and were very happy with the result!

Written by Michele Rozells
Communications & Monitoring and Evaluation Officer
Global Shepherds Berhad, Kuala Lumpur


International Women’s Day – Refugee Community

Women and children in refugee communities remain vulnerable to abusive and harmful situations.  Their situation was made worse during the Covid19 pandemic where women and children were forced to remain in their houses, most often with the perpetrator of the abuses.

Within the country, they also face  xenophobia, child marriage, loss of  livelihoods and mental health issues that remained unattended.

Global Shepherds, in collaboration with UNHCR, continue to work with a group of refugee women on creating sustainable safe placements for women and children at risk.  We aim to empower them with the appropriate knowledge and skills to be able to find solutions and overcome their vulnerability. Training sessions included identifying the risk factors, shelter operations and case management as well as child safeguarding and child protection.

On International Women’s Day, we speak to three of the participants –
women who have discovered their leadership capabilities who are on the path to achieving an equal future in a Covid-19 world.

Video link : https://drive.google.com/file/d/1JPG3HbsV2BirUvwAwoW2DiFZbRE14_NJ/view?usp=sharing

                              Written by Ms Michele Rozells                                                Video content provided by Dion David

Communications & Monitoring and Evaluation Officer                                         Case Officer

Global Shepherds Berhad, Kuala Lumpur

Sabah Pictures: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1qiDUFE_bhD2R4f5-avTCfVUbJBpv7hPa


International Women’s Day celebrations
– CLC Budi Luhur, Biah & ALC Hope, Keningau
– 6th and 7th March 2021

Sabah is a state in Malaysia and located in the north of Borneo. It is home to a diverse population of people mostly indigenous to the region. It is also home to a large population of migrants from Indonesia and the Philippines who have been traversing the borders of the country for many decades due to its physical proximity as well as cultural similarities of its people to Sabahans. The migrant population are mostly undocumented and can be found in both the urban and rural landscape of Sabah.

During the Covid19 pandemic, Sabah was subject to multiple full lockdowns also known as the Movement Control Order (MCO) in Malaysia. Recoveries from the MCO were short-lived due to clusters of covid19 outbreaks in and around several areas.

Many programmes and activities were delayed and Global Shepherds’ were no exception. Global Shepherds had started a partnership with UNICEF Malaysia under the cross-regional European Union-UNICEF Protecting children affected by migration in Southeast, South, and Central Asia project1 in February 2020 in the interior of Sabah known as Keningau. The project objective is to Strengthen Community-based Protection Mechanisms for migrant children in 6 community learning centres in the Keningau district. Despite the lockdowns there were opportunities to meet up with the learning centres using devices online and face-to-face interactions in between full MCO.

Thus, there were two learning centres who took on the challenge of celebrating the International Women’s Day so that they did not lose the opportunity to reach out to the children with the messages that are so relevant to all women and girls – ““Women in Leadership: Achieving Equal Future in Covid 19 World”

The learning centres were the Alternative Learning Centre Home of Persuaded Education (ALC Hope) and Community Learning Cennter Budi Luhur Biah (CLC Budi Luhur).

The main event on the second day was organized by the ALC Hope child advocate group, known as the Youth of HOPE. The Youth of HOPE group is a result of the UNICEF sponsored project where children learn leadership and the meaning of a community-based protection for children. The group is made up of mainly children who had undergone the Keeping Me Safe programme run by Global Shepherds. As in most significant celebration, there were two days of events, 6th and 7th March 2021.

Day 1 – 6th March

The first day was a pre-launch of the IWD at the venue of the CLC Luhur Biah. The main participants were female teachers who were introduced to the purpose for the IWD celebration and to give recognition to their leadership and sacrifices for the children in the community, especially during the Covid 19 MCO.

Teachers from the two learning centres and staff from Global Shepherds

For many it was the first time that they learned of the IWD. The teachers were given the opportunity to acknowledge each other and were given the space to express their appreciation and gratitude for each other and their presence in the mission of educating children in their communities.

Teachers busy writing their words of appreciation to their colleagues

Some examples of words of appreciation written by the participants
















Token appreciation to the CLC Luhur Budi, Biah

Two teachers shared how they started the learning centres which was inspirational for all to hear. One of the teachers, Bibiana Pulo said “saya ketuk setiap pintu dan bertanya jika ada
anak-anak mahu sekolah dan belajar” (I knocked on every door to ask the parents if they wanted their child to get an education).




Above are the principal and founder of CLC Biah and ALC HOPE sharing their stories.




Community dance “gemu famire” lead by CLC Biah teachers


 The event brought together two communities of Philippines and Indonesian origins. The most significant remark was reflected in their banner “terima kasih kerana telah menjadi luar biasa,
dengan semua cinta, kasih sayang, hak asasi manusia, hak adalah hak perempuan dan hak perempuan adalah hak asasi manusia”. (thank you for being special, for your love; human rights is women right and women right are human rights).
The best outcome from the day for Global Shepherds was when the principal of CLC Biah Luhur approached the staff to volunteer for the next International Women’s Day celebration 2022.

Day 2- 7th March

The event was organized by the Youth of Hope and was held at ALC HOPE. There were 28 attendees from the communities comprising 15 women, 11 children and 2 men. In conjunction with the theme, there were several messages for the women present with a speech from the men, poem read by the children and a game expressing gratitude for the participants. Each woman were presented with a souvenir in appreciation for their leadership as teachers, mothers, community members and for being each others’ support system.







ALC Hope & CLC Biah

Photos are also available in google link:


Footnote: 1 Protecting children affected by migration in Southeast, South, and Central Asia – a project, implemented by UNICEF and Global Shepherds Berhad, and co-funded by the European Union and UNICEF.

Written by :
Willa Mowe
Executive Director, Global Shepherds Berhad, Malaysia


March 8
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Event Category: