Irene Fernandez, 57, is the director of Tenaganita, a woman・s organisation in Malaysia that devotes itself to the issues of migrants, sex workers and female factory and plantation workers in primarily the areas of health, domestic violence, the rights of workers, family law and economic empowerment. In its work with migrant workers, which sparked the seven-year court case, Tenaganita・s activities involve the arrest and detention of migrants, the violation of their labour rights, their health and HIV/AIDS, education and training about labour and immigration laws, occupational health and adapting to life in Malaysia.
AWARDS AND RECOGNITION RECEIVED BY IRENE FERNANDES
- Honorary Doctorate in Social Medicine from Vrije Universitiet, Amsterdam, Holland., October 2000
- International PEN and International Women Writers Association Award for International Women・s Day, March 2000
- Amnesty International Human Rights Defenders Recognition on 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1998
- Human Rights Monitor Award by Human Rights Watch, October 1996
Ms. Fernandez was selected to deliver the prestigious Jonathan Mann memorial lecture at the XVI International AIDS Conference in Barcelona, Spain, in July 2002.
In addition to being the director of Tenaganita, Ms. Fernandez is the chairperson of Coordination of Action Research on Aids and Mobility in Asia (CARAM-Asia), chairperson of Pesticide Action Network Asia and the Pacific (PAN AP) and board member of the International Council of Aids Service Organisations (ICASO). She was the founding member of Asia Pacific Forum on Law and Development, former executive member of Committee on Asian Women (CAW) and a founding member of Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM), All Women・s Action Movement (AWAM) and Women・s Development Collective (WDC).
Posted on 2004-01-09