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Four Women Honoured with Coveted Tokoh Wanita Award

October 2, 2012

Four honoured with Tokoh Wanita award

By Ili Liyana Mokhtar and Emilia Gazali, New Straits Times – October 2, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR: Four outstanding women were honoured with the Tokoh Wanita award for their contributions towards championing social causes yesterday.

The recipients were Professor Datuk Dr Fatimah Hamid Don, Puan Seri Sukumari Sekhar, Datuk Rasammah Bhupalan and Tun Fatimah Hashim, the first woman minister, who received her award posthumously.

The awards were presented by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who is also women, family and community development minister, at the National Women’s Day celebration yesterday.

Fatimah, who was the first Malay woman to obtain a PhD in education and first Malay woman to be a professor in Universiti Malaya in 1983, urged women to grab all the opportunities available to improve their lives.

A champion of women empowerment, the feisty 79-year-old said the government had provided many programmes to uplift women’s economic and social conditions.

Sukumari, 79, who was a founding member of the National Council of Women’s Organisations, said the struggles of women today were different from their counterparts 50 years ago.

“I had to quit my job as an English teacher because I had no one to take care of my young family.

“Now, mothers can send their children to babysitters or even work from home. Their careers can continue to flourish.”

Bhupalan, 85, said family must be the first priority for women.

“Family should be our core. What we do is to benefit them. So, why should we neglect our family when pursuing our respective careers?

“Women are famed with their ability to multitask. As long as you remember your core, you will be fine,” said the mother of three who is a former teacher and a renowned social activist.

The event also saw six women entrepreneurs under the 1Azam programme being honoured.

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