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According to the Oxford Dictionary, a society is the community of people living in a particular country or region and having shared

customs, laws, and organizations. 1 Society is also defined by Steven ago as a complex networ! of patterns of relationships in which all members participate in varying degrees." #mile Dur!heim once stated that a person cannot live separately from society as he is a part of it naturally. $ %hen a society exists, rules exist to govern them.

&aw and social change have a reciprocal relationship. 'hanges in either one will bring changes to another. According to %illiam ( )ilgore, law is an instrument of social change. * &awrence +riedman believed that social change lead to changes in law instead. , &aw has impacts on social change in the aspects of human behavior, public attitude, social values and education. - &aw changes according to the re.uirement of the society. /t can improve human behavior. +or example, theoretically, by implementing the 0oad 1raffic Act, the society2s awareness regarding road safety is raised. 3 On the other hand, change in the society can lead to legal innovations. An example of legal innovation is the introduction of traffic rules since cars existed. 4 Society can also change the law through enactment or amendment of statutes passed in parliament. &aw is an instrument of social change. %hen a new law is enacted, the society is bound to obey the law. /ncompliance with the law will bring adverse conse.uences to individuals such as punishments and sanctions. 1he society is compelled to adapt to the change in law and this causes the social change. 5owever, social factors, psychological factors, cultural factors and economic factors are other external factors which also act as the challenges faced in changing the society through legal efforts. /n reality, law

Oxford Advanced &earner2s Dictionary 64th ed.7 . 6"8187 . 9nited )ingdom : Oxford 9niversity ;ress . ago , S . 61<447 . &aw and Society 6"th ed. 7 6pp."$*=$$17 . >ew (ersey : ;rentice 5all . 5aswira , >. ?. 5 . , @ Anida ?. 6"88<7 . &aw , ?orality , (ustice , +reedom and #.uality : 1he underlying

'oncepts 6pp 13,=143 7 . ?alaysia : ?cAraw 5ill 6?alaysia7 Sdn . Bhd.


%illiam (. )ilgore, &egal Orders and Social 'hange, p138

5aswira , >. ?. 5 . , @ Anida ?. 6"88<7 . &aw , ?orality , (ustice , +reedom and #.uality : 1he underlying 'oncepts 6pp 13,=143 7 . ?alaysia : ?cAraw 5ill 6?alaysia7 Sdn . Bhd.

/bid, page 148=141 /bid, page 14" /bid, page 141

Development of law and the changes in female discrimination is often seen as an effective instrument in eliminating obsolete customs and norms, and it2s also used in many areas such as education, race=relation and crime prevention. +or example the #ducation Act 1<-1 < was enacted to improve the standard of education among the citizens whereas the #nvironmental Cuality 6Amendment7 Act "81" was enforced to instill awareness among citizens to protect the environment.

1he development of law in society can be examined through three phases which are the primitive society, the hierarchical societies and the mar!et society. According to ;rofessor Aordon 'hilde, morality is important to control people in the primitive society and punishment will be faced by member of the society who bro!e the social rules of the society. /n 'ustom = An #ssay on Social 'odes by +erdinand 1onnies, the !ing was the authority figure whom people loo! up to. 11 +or the hierarchical societies, when the feudal system was adapted, an order from the !ing is a dominant law. &ast but not least, the mar!et society is the society in which is !nown by the today2s world, it is being ruled by the capitalist system and ideology.1" Steven ago opined the law as having certain privileges in changing the society. 1$ /n his mind,

changes through law is a well=planned, sensible and out of awareness move to change a certain behavior or conduct. Social change through law is perceived as something valid, sensible, trustworthy, and well= established which do not disrupt the relationship between society members. 1he change itself gains support from the mechanisms of implementation and sanction. /n the view towards our society, there is no doubt that women should be given the right to be treated e.ually as men in most aspects. %omen may be physically wea!er and more vulnerable than men, but their abilities in all other fields are no less than men. Aung San Suu )yi, a woman renowned as the Burmese opposition leader had mentioned before that the global education and appointment of women will result in a more caring, tolerant, Dust and peaceful life for everyone. 1* 1hus, it cannot be

Act ,,8 #ducation Act 1<<- . 6"88- 7 .0etrieved >ovember "3 , "81$, from


Act A1**1 #nvironmental Cuality 6Amendment7 Act "81". 6"81"7. 0etreived >ovember "3, "81$ from!tapE"81"841-FA1**1FB/FA1**1G"8B/.pdf

5aswira >or ?ohamad 5ashim and Anida ?ahmood, &aw, ?orality, (ustice, +reedom and #.uality : 1he 9nderlying 'oncepts, page 13$

/bid, page 13, ago , S . 61<447 . &aw and Society 6"th ed. 7 6pp."$*7 . >ew (ersey : ;rentice 5all . %omen2s 0ights Cuotations 6Cuotes7 and +amous %ords. 6n.d7 . 0etrieved >ovember "3 , "81$ , from




Development of law and the changes in female discrimination more obvious that our society should ta!e into account the abilities of individuals and not discriminating any gender when deciding to whom powers should be given to in doing something. 5owever, gender discrimination has been a menace inherited by our society from long ago. ;rior to the development of law eliminating discrimination against women, some of the issues arise when the father had dominant rights over the custody of the children more than the mother. 15 1he second issue arises when marital rape was accepted and condoned by the society. /n "888="88", the All %omen Action ?ovement 6A%A?7 reported that ,"G of wives in domestic violence relationships face marital rape repeatedly. 1he last issue that we are highlighting is the gender discrimination issue at the wor!ing place. 1his problem usually arises when the employers ma!ing discriminating decision towards the female employers by dismissing the employees on the ground of gender.1/n the past, it was accepted for men to be deemed as more superior more than the women in the context of marriage and employment. %hen applying for Dob, women were exposed to discrimination by the employers. Besides, in the past, marital rape was condoned as accepted by the society due to stronger religious and cultural values among the society compared to now. 13 1he progress in ?alaysia to stop discrimination towards women was started in 1<<, when we ratified the 'ommittee on the #limination of Discrimination against %omen 6'#DA%7.14 1he +ederal 'onstitution was amended where the word Hgender2 was added into Article 46"7 of the +ederal 'onstitution as a subDect protected from discrimination.

Section , of the Auardianship of /nfants Act

1<-1 was also amended to enable mother to have the same custody rights as the father "8. Besides that,

?ehrun SiraD. 6"88<7. 5uman 0ight in ?alaysia: 1he &ast ten Iears. 0etrieved >ovember "3, "81$, from http:EEwww.suha!"3@folder/dK-*-"4@nameKD&+#=,*1$.pdf

;olice Statistics on iolence Against %omen "888="81". 6"8117. 0etrieved >ovember "3, "81$, from;oliceLStatisticsLonL iolenceLAgainstL%omenL"888="81"F<<F-F1.htm

ehrun !ira". #2009$. %uman &ight in alaysia' (he )ast ten *ears. &etrieved +ovem,er 27- 2013from htt.'//,rary/get1file2 .1l1id3101274folder5d3646284name36)7895413..df

'onvention on 1he #limination of All +orms of Discrimination Against %omen. 6"88<7. 0etrieved >ovember "3, "81$, from http:EEwww.un.orgEwomenwatchEdawEcedawE

+ederal 'onstitution.6"8187. 0etrieved >ovember "3, "81$, from;ersonalisationEBussEpdfE+ederalG"8'onstiG"86B/G"8text7.pdf


Act $,1 Auardianship of /nfants Act 1<-1. 6"88-7. 0etrieved >ovember "3, "81$, from!taE ol.G"84EActG"8$,1.pdf

Development of law and the changes in female discrimination Section $3,A was introduced by the ;enal 'ode 6Amendment7 Act "88- "1 into the ;enal 'ode to prevent marital rape."" 1hese legal changes have given rise to many non=governmental organizations which fight for women2s rights and gender e.uality. 1oday, discrimination towards women, though still exists, has been reduced through the efforts of legal changes. 1he issue of domestic violence is not a new one. Domestic violence is said to happened when a women is occasionally being hurt, inDured or tortured by the persons among her family members. "$ /n the past, prior to the enactment of the Domestic iolence Act 1<<*, there was no specific law to protect the women against the violence which occurred within the marriage itself. /n a research conducted 1<4<, $<G of women at the age of fifteen and above were found to be physically inDured by their spouses or boyfriends."* 1o ma!e the matter worst, in a research conducted in 1<<8 by 0esearch Survey ?alaysia, only "8G of the public !new that a woman who is abused by their partner is entitled with the right to lodge a police report.", 1his showed that the public awareness regarding the right of a woman in the case of domestic violence were very low. /n fact, in the past, the society believed that domestic violence was a norm rather than an issue which was encapsulated within the private affairs of the spouses. 1hus, other parties need not to intervene with the matter. 5owever, after the enactment of this Act in 1<<*, the rights and the interests of the women in their marriage and relationship are upheld by the Domestic iolence Act 1<<* which is enforced to protect the women against the violence and abuse caused by their partners and to punish the abusive partners."- 1he society is now more aware with this problem and this issue has been continuously voiced out by the local women activist groups such as A%A? and (AA. "3


Act A1"3$ ;enal code 6Amendment7 Act "88-. 6"81$7. 0etrieved >ovember "3, "81$, from http:EEwww.newclDlaw.comEothersElegislationbrowseActresult.aspJaK>9?B#0MA'1G"8A1"3$

A!ta ,3* ;enal 'ode . 6"88-7 . 0etrieved >ovember "3, "81$ , from!taE ol.


(he alaysian :ar.# 14 ;ugust 2006 $.Domestic Violence. &etrieved +ovem,er 27- from htt.'//www.malaysian,

#;,dullah et al.- 1995' 5$ #;,dullah et al.- 1995' 6$ Section ,3* ;enal 'ode . 6"88-7 . 0etrieved >ovember "3, "81$ , from!taE ol.




(he alay ail <nline. Cases of domestic violence spark concern. (August 16, 2013). Retrieved November 20, from 4

Development of law and the changes in female discrimination As it was explained earlier, the law and social changes have a reciprocal relationship. 5ow the law was changed due to a social issue can be seen in the case of >oorfadilla bt Ahmad Sai!in v 'hayed bin Basirun @ Ors."4 1he plaintiff was accepted as Auru Sandaran 1ida! 1erlatih 6AS117 but the placement memo was withdrawn by the defendant because she was three=months pregnant. 1he plaintiff then too! legal action against the defendant. 1he court held that the defendant2s act of revo!ing memo had violated article 46"7 of the +ederal 'onstitution in tandem with ?alaysia2s obligation under the 'onvention on the #limination of All +orms of Discrimination against %omen 6'#DA%7. /n this case, our honorable Dudge, Dato2 Naleha even explicitly amounted the act of the employer terminating a pregnant employee as a discriminative act against women as it is a precise trait of a women to be pregnant."< 1his case bring us a very significant change as now, the employers from the governmental sector are ought to treat all wor!ers e.ually despite of their genders and that the employers are ought to be more careful in forming their decision to terminate the employees. 1he employers from the public sector are also ought to examine that the ground of dismissal was not made on the basis of gender. Another example of social change caused by legal change is seen in the case of Shyam /shta ; uthucheary v 0aDveer Singh Dhaliwal.$8 1he issue of e.uality of rights over custody of the children by the parents was raised in this case. Before the amendment of the Auardianship of /nfants Act 1<-, Section , confers the custody of the children to the father as the father was regarded as the legal guardian of the infant. 5owever, this provision was unpractical and several problems had aroused because of it. Among the problems was the registration department would insist to have the consent from the children2s father for the purpose of registration. 1hus, this Section was amended to provide e.uality for both mother and father over the custody of their children and at the same time, to overcome the said problem. 1his Section was applied in the said case.After the amendmentM single mothers have e.ual rights Dust li!e their former husbands over the custody of their children. 1hey are now not dependent and need not need their former husband2s consent each time they want to register their children for education or other documents. $1


O"81"P 1 /&( $$, =2012> 1 5)? 335 O"811P ?&(9 $<8 ?ehrun SiraD. 6"88<7. 5uman 0ight in ?alaysia: 1he &ast ten Iears. 0etreived >ovember "3, "81$,




fromhttp:EEwww.suha!"3@folder/dK-*-"4@nameKD&+#= ,*1$.pd+

Development of law and the changes in female discrimination /n another case of ;ublic ;rosecutor v 1eng!u Shaiful >izam 1eng!u Abd (alal, the defendant was accused of raping his wife and was charged under Section $3,A ;enal 'ode 6Amendment7 Act. $" 1his section stipulates that marital rape is an offence. $$ %ives are protected by the criminal law against marital rape. >ow, even the husband is subDect to the punishment if he abuses his wife. 1his causes change in the society whereas women are more aware of their rights and they can start to ta!e legal action towards their husband under this law if they are abused and forced to do sex. 1here is significant development of the law eliminating discrimination against women which changes the society. 1he society starts to treat the women as e.ual to men for example more women are treated fairly in their employment and some of them are given the opportunity to be in higher position Dust li!e the men. 'ustoms and religions norms which discriminate women are starting to dissipate such as the principle where the wife is bound to be obedience to their husband despite of the husband2s abusive treatment.$* 5owever there are some loopholes that the legislature has yet to cover such as in the Section 46"7 which only applicable to government servant and not including private employees. Article 46"7 cannot prohibit personal law. +or example, in the cases of Auppy plastic industry @ Beatrice v ?AS the plaintiffs appeal were dismissed as they were suing private companies. $, 1he Dudges in these cases held that Article 46"7 cannot be applied to prohibit personal law i.e. companies policy. On the other hand, the law governing the child marriage phenomena is not ade.uate to protect young girls. +or both ?uslims and non ?uslims, the girls are currently protected by the /slamic +amily &aw and &aw 0eform ?arriage Act. 5owever, these laws merely provide that a minor who wants to get marry is bound to see! for the permission from the authority as provided in the provisions. 5ence, child marriage is still valid and it is not entirely prohibited.$- /t is in our opinion that the law should ma!e child marriage illegal, as it would for of course adversely affecting the future of the girls at the very tender age. A minor would not reasonably !nows what is good or bad for them as they are indeed very vulnerable. +or instance, recently, we can evaluate how a girl at thirteen was severely affected by her marriage life. She was married Dust because she was raped, and a year later after receiving bad treatment from the husband2s family, she was

>asir , A. %. 6"818 , October < 7 . ;eniaga dituduh pa!sa isteri se!s . Berita Harian. 0etrieved from;eniagadituduhpa!saisterise!sEArticle ?alaysian Bar.6"8837.0etrieved >ovember "4, "81$, from http:EEwww.malaysianbar. org.myEbarFnewsEberitaFbadanFpeguamEmixedFreactionFtoFmaritalFrapeFreform.html



Discrimination against %omen in the Developing 'ountries: A 'omparative Study /nternational (ournal of Social Science and 5umanity, ol. ", >o. $, ?ay "81" ",- A. ?. Sultana and >or #rlina Bt ?ohd Nul!efli

%omen Aids Organisation . 6"81"7 . 0etrieved >ovember "4 , "81$ from http:EEwww".ohchr.orgEenglishEissuesEwomenEdocsEOther#ntitiesE%omensAidOrganisation?a laysia.pdf 36 'heong ?ay +ong. 6"8187. 'apacity. 'ontract &aw in ?alaysia 6pp.1"$7. ?alaysia: 1homson 0euters ?alaysia Sdn Bhd.

Development of law and the changes in female discrimination divorced.$3 1hus, there is a need for the child marriage to be strictly allowed in order to protect the best interest of the children. ?oreover, the Domestic iolence Act should be made specialized for women while as for men and children, a different law should be enacted and applied to ma!e it Dust and e.ual to all part of the society. 1he principle of e.uality and Dustice do not wor! in the coherent and similar manner. %hat is e.ual does not guarantee it to be executed Dustly. 1he same goes with the idea to enact separate Domestic iolence Act for women, child and men. 1he women and children should be more protected with the more comprehensive law in line with their nature of being more vulnerable towards violence compared to the men. /n conclusion, women should be treated e.ually as the men as we believe that all humans deserved fair and e.ual treatment. ?oreover, women2s intelligence and ability to do wor! is as good as men, so we do not see the need for them to be differently treated. According to )ofi Annan, the seventh secretary=general of the 9nited >ations, more countries have found out that e.uality for women is a foremost re.uirement for development. $4 5ence, women can provide wor!force of no less importance than men and the involvement of both men and women in every possible area is the best for the nation2s development. 1hrough the changes of law all these years, the problem of gender discrimination has been gradually relieved. >ow is the era when the society starts to treat women and men e.ually. %e must not cease in curbing gender discrimination by promoting gender e.uality while the government should change the law when necessary to effectively ban gender discrimination by educating and changing the society2s attitude. REFERENCES 1. Act 574 Penal Code . #2006$ . &etrieved +ovem,er 27- 2013 - from htt.'//;0ta/@ol.A2012/;ctA20574..df 2. ;ct 550 8ducation ;ct 1996 . #2006 $ .&etrieved +ovem,er 27 - 2013- from htt.'// alaysia/ alaysia18ducation1;ct11996..df

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17.Ahmad - N . *./01 - No#em2er .3+.Dad4 5 agreed to teen daughter6s marriage 2ecause she had 2een raped . +ation . (etrie#ed No#em2er .3 - ./01 - "rom


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