Dec. 2, 3: Hamzah to discuss Muslim women, advocacy in Malaysia
Women from Sisters in Islam protest polygamy in Malaysia.

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12 p.m., Nov. 30, 2010---- Masjaliza Hamzah, a social activist and program manager of the research and publications unit of Sisters in Islam (SIS), a nongovernmental Muslim professional women's group in Malaysia, will discuss the organization's efforts to promote the rights of women in that nation during events Thursday, Dec. 2, and Friday, Dec. 3, at the University of Delaware.

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SIS has been involved in raising awareness about discriminatory practices towards Malaysian women, especially Muslim women. These include issues of gender and sexual orientation, the caning of Muslim women for extramarital sex, Islamic family law, and gender parity in the syariah court system.

Efforts to ban their book, Muslim Women and the Challenge of Extremism, were overturned by the courts earlier this year.

Hamzah will speak as part of the Imagining Global Citizenship lecture series from 4-5:15 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 2, in Room 103 of Gore Hall. The series is sponsored by the University's Area Studies Programs. Her topic will be “Sisters in Islam: Muslim Women Advocating for Change.”

She will also speak at a roundtable discussion at 12:15 p.m., Friday, Dec. 3, in Room 103 of Munroe Hall, discussing an SIS study on the culture of polygamy and the effects of that practice on the family in Malaysia. The study has been characterized as the largest of its kind in that nation.

Before joining SIS, Hamzah was a journalist for 10 years with a Malaysian daily newspaper.

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