Breaking the Silence: Gender-Based Violence and Inequality in Malaysia

George Town Festival







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Duration: 120 minutes without intermission

Featuring two distinguished speakers, this panel discussion sheds light on the pervasive issues of gender-based violence and inequality in Malaysia.




Jul 2024

4:00PM (GMT+8)


This panel discussion seeks to shed light on the pervasive issues of gender-based violence and inequality in Malaysia. Featuring two distinguished speakers, this illuminating conversation underscores the pressing need for societal and policy changes.

Karen Lai, Programme Director of the Women’s Centre for Change (WCC), will delve into the complexities of violence against women in Malaysia. Her presentation, titled “Understanding Violence Against Women and How to Help”, explores the root causes of such violence, its various forms and the support mechanisms necessary to assist survivors and create a safe environment.

Wong Su Zane, Case Manager of the International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC), will share insights on the “Lived Experience of Refugees Experiencing Gender-Based Violence in Malaysia”. She will highlight the unique vulnerabilities faced by refugee women in the country, drawing on real-life cases to illustrate the profound impact of gender-based violence.


Satnam Kaur, Director of Operations at Digital Penang

Additional & Accessibility Info

  • Age Suitability: All ages are welcome.
  • Language: This panel discussion will be conducted in English.

Artist Bio

Karen Lai - Speaker

Karen Lai has been the Programme Director of WCC since 2018. Prior to that, from 2017 to 2018, she served as the Chief Operating Officer of the Selangor Women’s Empowerment Institute. She was also Programme Manager for Women’s Empowerment and Leadership at the Penang Women’s Development Corporation from 2012 to 2017.

A lawyer by training with seven years of legal practice, Karen possesses nearly two decades of experience as a women’s rights advocate, focusing on various gender issues.

Wong Su Zane - Speaker

Wong Su Zane has been the Case Manager of ICMC since 2016. Before that, she was the social work manager of the Women’s Aid Organisation from 2009 to 2016. For over 20 years, she has been a frontliner in responding to gender-based violence issues, especially among the Mandarin-speaking community.

Since 2020, she has conducted workshops and supervisions to train new practitioners (social workers and counsellors) in responding to domestic violence and sexual crimes. Su Zane is also volunteering at the Life Line Association Malaysia (LLAM) as hotline volunteer and supervisor and currently serves as their Vice President.

Satnam Kaur - Moderator

Satnam Kaur possesses over 20 years of experience in corporate, NGO, and government sectors, working on various issues that impact the lives of women and children, as well as the environment. She is passionate about empowering women to pursue their career aspirations and achieve a work-life balance.

As the current Director of Operations at Digital Penang, a state-owned corporation established to drive the state’s digital transformation, Satnam oversees the strategic planning, implementation, and monitoring of various initiatives and programs that aim to enhance the digital skills, literacy, and inclusion of Penangites.

She is especially keen to see more girls and women participate and thrive in the tech sector, and she ensures that Digital Penang provides them with the necessary opportunities and resources to shine.

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