Who we are
Tenaganita is a Malaysian human rights organisation dedicated in assisting, building, advocating and protecting migrants, refugees, women and children from exploitation, abuse, discrimination, slavery and human trafficking.
We seek to promote and protect the rights of marginalised and vulnerable individuals who have no voice in this globalised world.
BORN OUT OF STRUGGLES
In the 1980s, women worker groups were largely found to be employed in plantation and the manufacturing sectors. As our economy was flourishing, the early 1990s also invited an influx of migrant workers.
Workers were exploited and suffered from gross violation of their rights. We saw a huge need with these worker groups as they grew in numbers, and struggle to survive in the country.
Although our work had started a decade earlier, Tenaganita only came to be in year 1991. As an organisation born out of the struggles of women and migrant workers in Malaysia, we stood and fought alongside these hard working individuals to advocate for their rights as workers: for decent wages, for decent living, and for a stop in discrimination and gender-based violence.
RIGHTS AND DIGNITY FOR ALL
Since we started in 1991, our scope of work has grown in leaps and bounds. Today we work to address issues of exploitation, discrimination, unequal treatment, and violence against women, refugees and migrant workers.
Tenaganita has grown in strength through our initiatives and interventions – challenged by proposed discrimination policies and humbled by the enduring willpower of our communities.
We believe that in order to achieve our full potential as human beings we need an enabling, safe and healthy environment for all people irrespective of race, gender, colour, origin, identity and/or religion. Tenaganita aims to make the dream of the respect of rights and dignity for all an achievable reality.
We hope for a just, free, democratic and sustainable society where all persons are equal with dignity and rights.
We seek and strive to promote and protect the rights and dignity of all women, migrants and refugees while creating spaces collectively to achieve their full potential and liberation in a globalised world.
Tenaganita was founded by our beloved late Irene Fernandez. Tenaganita‘s first program was focused on Plantation and Factory Female Workers. Programs were held on women’s leadership, health and safety, union organisation and English proficiency. Initially, our focus was to increase and strengthen women in decision-making especially within the trade union movement. Through Tenaganita’s strong program to end violence against women, we were successful in developing gender policies in the plantation and electronic industry benefiting over 93,000 female workers.