An Overview of Women’s Organisations in Penang


Women’s groups weave a vital pattern in the rich tapestry of modern society. In an undeniably patriarchal world order, women’s organisations have not only filled the gaps in civil society to address the unmet needs of women, but have also been a powerful galvanising force in pushing forward the march towards equality for all.
In Penang, this is particularly true. As the functions, presence and significance of women’s organisations have evolved over time, so have the women’s organisations themselves. It is interesting to note that while a large proportion of these organisations are colloquially recognised by their acronyms, a number of them have actually changed their names to reflect the changes undergone within the organisation themselves.


The Women’s Centre for Change Penang (formerly the Women’s Crisis Centre), better known as WCC, was registered as a society in 1985, assisting women at a time when the existence of domestic violence was hidden under the fabric of society. When the idea of setting up WCC was first mooted in 1982, the organisation started without any funds or even a physical office.

Its name change in 2002 to Women’s Centre for Change reflected the growth in the services offered by the organisation. Today, WCC is one of the most widely recognised women’s organisations in Penang due to its multi-tiered and wideranging activities and programmes.

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