Fresh fury over caning of three women in Malaysia

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Kuala Lumpur, Feb 21(ANI): Malaysian Women's Aid Organisation (WAO) executive director Ivy Josiah has said that the recent caning of three women is the extent to which moral policing will go.

They were sentenced to be whipped under Section 23(2) of the Federal Territory Shariah Criminal Offences Act 1997 (Illicit Sex) for engaging in illicit sex.

The three, aged between 18 and mid-20s, had each delivered a child out of wedlock, and had surrendered themselves to the Federal Territory Religious Department.

"How far is this supposed to go? Do we want the moral police in our bedrooms, our living rooms and our kitchens?" The New Strait Times quoted Josiah, as saying.

She said that it was the poor and the marginalized, who would be victims of this moral policing, as they are the more easily caught.

Josiah further said that rather than concentrating on moral policing, the religious authorities should focus on education and counseling.

"They should spend time eradicating poverty and illiteracy among women, and teach them about values," Josiah said.

"A lot of these women, who have engaged in illicit sex, usually end up alone, abandoned by their partners and family, and pregnant. Then, the government inflicts violence on them," she added.

She also highlighted that a more compassionate approach is needed in such cases, as caning is a form of violence.

"This violence is objectionable regardless of gender. Caning is objectionable, whether for women or men," Josiah said. (ANI)

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