AOHD & CLS Co-Organise Women Empowerment Symposium

The Women’s Desk of the Archdiocesan Office for Human Development and the Catholic Lawyers Society organised the inaugural ‘Women’s Empowerment Symposium’ at Premiere Hotel, Klang.

The symposium began with Mass which was celebrated by Fr. Jestus Pereira.

After a brief tea break, the first session of the symposium entitled ‘Am I a Malaysian by law?’ took place.

Ms Viola de Cruz gave an informative  presentation on issues of citizenship and statelessness. The session was moderated by Datin Shashi Peters.

The second session saw Fr. Jesus Pereira and Mr. Francis Pereira (no relation to each other) talk about mixed marriages. Fr. Jestus presented the perspective of the Church while Francis explained the legal aspects of mixed marriages. Mr. Allen Miranda was moderator for this session.

After a sumptuous lunch, the symposium resumed with a panel discussion on ‘When do you need a lawyer?. Among the topics covered by the panel were employment law and conveyancing. Mr. Eugene Roy moderated and helped collate the questions from the floor while the panel was represented by Mr. Joachim Xavier, Mr. Francis Pereira, Ms.Viola de Cruz, Datin Shashi, Mr. Allen Miranda, Mr. Joseph Lourdesamy and Ms. Petrina Tan. The question and answer session was both lively and engaging.

Finally, the last session dealt with the vulnerable members of society – refugees and victims of domestic violence. Mr. Joachim Xavier drew on his 10 years’ experience of working with refugees and migrant workers to share with the audience on this topic. The final speaker, Mr. Raymund spoke passionately about domestic violence, and his presentation was filled with memorable anecdotes. Ms. Karen Tai was the moderator for this session.

All in, the symposium met its objective of educating and empowering women and we were heartened by the large turnout of 300 plus participants. We hope that the participants will continue to be aware and empowered to help themselves and those around them. 

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