Women in KL: A guide

Featuring female-friendly gyms, self-defence classes, useful helplines and more

Illustration: Goderuna/iStock

Stay active and empowered with this guide to the best self-defence classes, female-friendly gyms, women’s welfare NGOs, and more. But don’t stop at that. Arm yourself with useful knowledge on laws and women’s rights – they will come in handy.

The best female-friendly gyms in KL
Sport and fitness

The best female-friendly gyms in KL

If you want to get through workouts without having someone chat you up or just prefer exercising in a women-only environment, here are the best female-friendly gyms in KL to help you stay fit.

The best self-defence classes for women
Sport and fitness

The best self-defence classes for women

It's always best to know what to do in unwanted physical confrontations. At these self-defence classes, you'll be shown methods to avoid aggression, improve your reflexes and how to escape without injury. RECOMMENDED: Female-friendly gyms in KL

Eight local women we should celebrate
Things to do

Eight local women we should celebrate

You might know their cause but you probably have never seen their faces. Here are the eight women who are pushing through incredible initiatives, changing social norms, enforcing environmental priorities and breaking down gender barriers – all in an effort to make the world a better place.

Guide to women's rights in KL
Things to do

Guide to women's rights in KL

Know your rights with our guide to free legal aid and services, NGOs and charities that improve women's welfare, community clinics, HIV screenings, shelters, as well as useful helplines.

Op-ed: Surviving KL as a woman
Things to do

Op-ed: Surviving KL as a woman

‘How are you doing?’ People ask me that a lot. My one-word answer would be: surviving. It’s an answer I give earnestly, frankly. Yet they laugh and think I’m being droll. Being a woman in KL to me feels a whole lot like a matter of survival. Concrete façades aside, the city to me has always felt like a jungle. Stop moving, let your guard down, and something will get you. I moved to West Malaysia from East Malaysia in the late ’90s and though my homeland is less developed, I’ve always found this side of the South China Sea far more savage. To survive in KL (as a woman) you need more than a set of outfits – you need a wide array of personas, masks you change out for different situations. Ah, how different is that from being a man? From being professional in the workplace to being a man’s man with the guys? Men for one don’t get asked at job interviews if and when they plan to reproduce. I never can quite get over it – being asked the same overtly personal and sexist questions at interviews. Am I married? Do I plan to be? Will I choose to stay home once I have kids? Will late nights be a problem once I’m a mother? Men don’t get asked if their virility will affect their work performance nor will their testicles determine their career progression. Malaysia’s women are pretty educated – there are far more women in our universities and a very high percentage finish, at the very least, the basic 12 years of schooling. Yet women workers don’t even number half of our workforc

Women in film
Film

Women in film

Welcome to the prestigious 88th Academy Awards, where no woman has been nominated for directing since Kathryn Bigelow bagged the best director award for ‘The Hurt Locker’ in 2010, which also won best picture. Also, no people of colour were nominated for best actor, best actress, best supporting actor or best supporting actress; and no films featuring African-American actors were nominated in the best picture category. The damning #OscarsSoWhite hashtag that made the rounds last year has been regrettably revived for the second successive year. So Michael Jackson was wrong; it does matter if you’re black or white. A more staggering problem about the Oscars, however, is the perpetuating, explicit institutional bias against female directors, screenwriters and actors. To put things into perspective, only four female directors – Lina Wertmüller (1976), Jane Campion (1993), Sofia Coppola (2003) and Kathryn Bigelow (2010) – were nominated for the best director category in the entire 88 years of Oscars history. What about the grave injustice to the women who were systematically discriminated? What about Sarah Gavron (‘Suffragette’), Amy Schumer (‘Trainwreck’) and the most egregious snub of the decade, ‘Selma’s Ava DuVernay, who ended up in the rejection bin? The academy is only addressing the issue now, attempting to double the number of women and diverse members by 2020. Female directors are just not celebrated the same way. So are actresses who are trying to break away from a mach

The top 10 essential feminist books for beginners
Shopping

The top 10 essential feminist books for beginners

For your bookshelves: noteworthy feminist writing from bell hooks to Roxane Gay, from essays to fiction.

Malaysian women in numbers
News

Malaysian women in numbers

In conjunction with International Women’s Day, we take a closer look at the women living in Malaysia.  Statistics sourced from: Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development publication; Department of Statistics Malaysia; All Women’s Action Society (AWAM); Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO); Ministry of Health Malaysia; Royal Malaysia Police; Commonwealth Games Federation. RECOMMENDED: The eight local women we should celebrate

Malls with the best ladies' parking
Things to do

Malls with the best ladies' parking

If all you want is the security of knowing that you've parked at a safe spot, these malls in town with the best ladies' parking have your safety in mind. Bonus: We've also listed malls with family-friendly toilets for mothers.   RECOMMENDED: The ultimate guide for women in KL

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