Angkatan Wanita Sedar

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Angkatan Wanita Sedar (AWAS; Conscious Women's Front) was the first nationalist women's organisation in Malaysia. It was established in late 1945 as women's wing of the Malay Nationalist Party (Malay: Partai Kebangsaan Melayu Malaya, PKMM). Aishah Ghani was the first president of AWAS.[1] The organisation was also led by Shamsiah Fakeh. At its peak, AWAS had a membership of 2000 women. The group organised, held discussions and hosted Indonesian women visitors. AWAS members, led by Sakinah Junid,[2] participated in a six-mile protest march against the British prohibition disallowing the use of motorised vehicles in processions.[3]

Anthropologist Wazir Jahan Karim attributes the impetus for the creation of AWAS to the core leaders of the organisation: Aishah Ghani, Sakinah Junid and Shamsiah Fakeh.[4]

On 22 February 1947, AWAS joined the People's Action Centre (PRINCE), a coalition of six left-wing political parties led by Ishak Haji Muhammad (Pak Sako). Following the defeat of Japan, the British Military Administration resumed control of Malaya and banned AWAS in 1948 together with several other political parties like PKMM and Hisbul Muslimin, accusing for having connection with Malayan Communist Party.[2]


  1. ^ Heng, Geraldine (1997). "A Great Way to Fly". Feminist Genealogies, Colonial Legacies, Democratic Futures. New York: Routledge. pp. 36–37. ISBN 978-0-415-91212-9. 
  2. ^ a b Mohamad, Maznah; Ng, Cecilia; Hui, tan beng (2013). Feminism and the Women's Movement in Malaysia: An Unsung (R)evolution. Routledge. pp. 17–18. ISBN 978-1-134-18883-3. 
  3. ^ Lai Suat Yan (2012). "The women's movement in peninsular Malaysia". Social Movement Malaysia. Routledge. p. 50. ISBN 978-1-136-00326-4. 
  4. ^ Wazir Jahan Karim. "Malay Women's Movements, Leadership and Processes of Change". Int. Soc. Science Journal. 35 (4): 719–731.