Celebrating Our Own on International Women’s Day
Mothers. Sisters. Daughters.
Co-workers. Nurturers. Leaders.
Athletes. Artists. High-Achievers.
Every year, we celebrate International Women’s Day; a day where we reinstate our commitment to a gender-equal world. With this year’s theme to #BreakTheBias, Women’s Day 2022 is an opportunity to challenge the stereotypes and preconceived notions of the roles women play in society, including ideas socially and widely accepted by fellow women.
Women’s Day is also an opportunity to celebrate achievements, and acknowledge the many contributions women make to every industry and field, as well as their own communities.
Inspiring others to go further than they dare to dream, this year, we celebrate the amazing Malaysian women who have made Malaysia proud on a global stage.
Malaysia’s own Hollywood icon, Michelle Yeoh is a national treasure. Born in Ipoh, Perak in 1962, she is a true movie icon, having starred in international films since the 90s. Not only a trained dancer but also experienced in martial arts, she has acted in various genres of films including action, period dramas, comedy and sci-fi.
In addition to having been nominated in numerous prestigious acting awards, she has also racked up a number of awards all over the globe. She has been awarded multiple Légion d’honneur (Legion of Honour), the highest French order of merit; a plaque on the Hong Kong Avenue of Stars (Asia’s equivalent to the Hollywood Walk of Fame); and at home in Malaysia, received a Darjah Datuk Paduka Mahkota Perak and Darjah Seri Paduka Mahkota Perak from the Sultan of her home state of Perak, and later received a Panglima Setia Mahkota from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, giving her the title of Tan Sri.
With her high profile as an active actress, she has also been active in numerous good causes including being a patron to a programme dedicated to protecting Chinese tigers, and was even appointed a Goodwill Ambassador by the United Nations Development Programme.
Born in Alor Setar, Kedah in 1986, Yuna is a firm-footed presence on the global music stage. Having written music since her teens and with influences from multiple genres of music, her unique musical style caught the attention of the American music scene, as she moved to the states to pursue bigger avenues in 2011.
As the artist that she is today, Yuna has collaborated with some of the biggest names in urban music including Usher, Pharrell Williams and rapper G-Eazy, to name a few. As unique as her light lyric soprano voice, Yuna has also become somewhat of a style icon, having created her own brand of clothing and scarves.
During the height of the pandemic, Yuna sadly lost a cousin to the virus. Since then, she has been very active in promoting awareness about the importance of vaccinations, as well as managing Covid-19 as an illness, and even personally sent oximeters to B40 families who could not afford them.
Though retired since 2019, it will be a long time before Malaysia will see another athlete like Nicol David. An 8-time world champion in the sport of squash, Nicol was voted the greatest squash player of all time in the women’s category in a poll conducted by the Professional Squash Association (PSA), a global governing body for professional squash.
Born in Penang in 1983, Nicol obtained 8 world titles between the years 2005 to 2014, and until September 2015 held the title of number one player in the world for a record 108 consecutive months. In 2004, she was the torchbearer for the Malaysian contingent at the Athens Olympics, and also had the honour of being appointed a UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) National Goodwill Ambassador.
In her home state, she was awarded a Darjah Setia Pangkuan Negeri in 2005, at the time making her the youngest person ever to be conferred Datukship in Penang. Famed Penang university USM (Universiti Sains Malaysia) also bestowed her with an honorary doctorate in Sports Science in 2019.
Now the proud founder of the Nicol David Foundation, the organization aims to promote the participation of children in sports, as well as promoting sports as a way to empower disadvantaged children.
For more about International Women’s Day 2022, go to https://www.internationalwomensday.com/