Women Against the Flow

By Nicole Phung Weng Kay

September 2017 WINDOW INTO HISTORY
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Chinese women working in a tin mine.
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Chinese women in Penang – be they Straits-born or newly immigrated – fought for equality during an era dominated by men.Women in colonial Malaya lived under unquestionable patriarchy – inequality was prevalent, and very few women were fortunate enough to make a difference in society, let alone the world.To make ends meet, most worked in tin mines, rubber estates, oil palm plantations, and as domestic helpers, prostitutes or dancers at nightclubs.1 Gender roles limited these women to the household; society...

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PM
Nicole Phung Weng Kay

is a proud feminist and was an intern in the History and Heritage Studies Department, Penang Institute.


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