One of the most significant women-oriented publishing projects in Malaysia has been carried out by the Women in Development unit of the Asian and Pacific Development Centre (APDC). Apart from the documentation project on women's health which was done in coordination with three organisations in Latin America and the Boston Women's Health Book Collective, APDC has also produced a large number of research and project based books. To find out about APDC publications email:
The other active women's organisation in Kuala Lumpur is Asian-Pacific Resource & Research Centre for Women. It was established in January 1993 as a regional non-governmental, non-profit group. The current programme focus is on women and health, in particular reproductive health. Since 1993, ARROW has produced a number of innovative publications including its thematic bulletin, an information package series and an annotated bibliography series to assist in its aims of re-orientation of health and population policies and programmes and capacity-building of women NGOs.
It has also established a computerised Documentation Centre with a specialised collection on Women and health which has promoted information services and other outputs. In the area of research, ARROW has carried out a grassroots research project which 'listens to women's voices' on their health and rights as part of a seven-country study project and another research on changes that have taken place in population policies and programmes after the 1994 International Conference in Cairo.
ARROW could be reached at:
Asian-Pacific Resource & Research Centre for Women
Malaysia also has a women's group called Sisters in Islam which brings out its own publications. This group was formed in 1987 primarily to address complaints about the interpretation of Islamic law as disadvantaging women. Sisters in Islam organises conferences and symposiums, networks with grassroots women and meets politicians and decision makers to represent women's views on legal matters.
Strikingly different from many existing writing on Islam, their publications critique the religion from within. How should an Islamic state be run? How can modern-day Islamic people commited to both their religious heritage and to a vision of progress for its inheritors, interpret the essentials of the Medinan model? How are they to understand and realise the Quranic ideals of equality, justice and political sovereignty of the umma? These are some of the questions explored in Sharia Law and Modern Islam (ed.Norani Othman). Based on a symposium organised by the Sisters in Islam this is an extremely relevant book that looks at the emerging religious fundamentalism in Asia from within. Sisters in Islam can be contacted at:
Post Box: 8334