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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

'Ensure no room-sharing for male, female guides'

The Malaysian Women Tourist Guides Association wants the Tourism Ministry to ensure that its circular, prohibiting male and female travel guides from sharing rooms, be strictly adhered to.

Its President, Erina Loo, said although the circular was enforced two weeks ago, the association found that most travel guides did not take it seriously, with some even ignoring it.

She said the association wanted a healthy and safe working environment for female travel guides because room-sharing had always been a major problem for them.

"We are prone to discrimination, sexual harassment, and the list goes on... a clear violation of our (women's) rights.

"But when we request for separate rooms, we are usually sidelined when assignments are given," she told reporters at a press conference, here, Saturday.

Loo urged hoteliers to provide separate dormitories according to gender, as practised in other countries like Vietnam, China, Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia and Japan, as it would be an ideal solution.

Women's Aid Organisation President Meera Samanther, who was also present at the conference, said it was the Ministry and the state's responsibility to ensure women enjoyed equality in law and in fact.

She said they (ministry and state) had disappointed the travel guides in this respect.


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