ORANG ASLI WOMEN OF MALAYSIA Perceptions, Situations & Aspirations


Adela Baer / Karen Endicott / Rosemary Gianno / Signe Howell

Barbara S. Nowak / Cornelia van der Sluys

Published September 2006
ISBN 983-43248-0-4

168 + xiv pp, 92 plates
6in x 9in / 15cm x 22.8cm, soft-cover
Price: RM20.00


Adela Baer: Orang Asli women in history: Part I.
Adela Baer: Orang Asli women in history: Part II.
Cornelia van der Sluys: Are the Jahai a non-violent people?
Karen Endicott: Under her wing: Portrait of a Batek leader.
Signe Howell: Chewong women in transition: The effects of monetization 
on a hunter-gatherer society in Malaysia.
Rosemary Gianno: What happened to the female midwives' Gender, 
childbirth, and change in Semelai society.
Adela Baer: The health of Orang Asli women.
Barbara S. Nowak: A story of Hma' Btsisi' women in marriage and the household.

Orang Asli women once had important responsibilities and functions that are now labeled 'male-only'. This discrimination spread throughout Orang Asli society during the last few centuries as Orang Asli came into contact with male-dominated cultures and internalized these alien norms for gender roles.

It is the stealthy, relentless erosion of Orang Asli life in general, and the life of Orang Asli women in particular, that provides a true account of the problems of Orang Asli life today.

This book provides the context in which the 'ordinary' problems of Orang Asli women can be seen to be, in reality, severe. These problems are not only meaningful to them. When we think carefully about this issue, we may safely conclude that the problems of Orang Asli women, while extreme, highlight problems that can beset other women in Malaysia, and indeed elsewhere. These problems typically arise from a failure to achieve needed reforms in old institutions.

The views of a variety of writers on Orang Asli women are presented in this book. From these writings, and also from what Orang Asli women themselves have said, we can explore key features of Orang Asli women's lives in the past, the present, and what this means for the future.