Need for centralised database on social issues highlighted

National 2 minutes, 21 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

BRUNEI needs to establish a centralised database on national social issues for a quick access of all information which will be useful for the creation and enactment of policies and assist agencies to find solutions to society’s problems.

Advancing the efficiency of addressing women’s rights in the country will be one of the issues which will benefit from the establishment of such national database, said the country’s former representative to the ASEAN Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of women and Children (ACWC).

“At present in Brunei, there is no central database documenting social issues such as domestic violence, sexual abuse or child abuse,” Hjh Mordiah Hj Jackia told The Brunei Times.

“If we want to get statistics or data on certain social issues, they are all over the place and we have to get them from different agencies such as the police or the Community Welfare Department (JAPEM),” she said. Such delay is disadvantageous to authorities handling cases or researching on women’s rights.

She added that in a bid to produce more efficient data collection system, there should be a central agency or a body to collect all the relevant data and statistics on social issues in Brunei what should be constantly updated.

“So if the data and statistics are centralised or at one place, it would be easier for us to access the information required, less time-consuming and you’ll know everything you need by only referring to the database,” said the first president of the Brunei Social Welfare Council.

Hjh Mordiah also referred to the “gap and challenges” listed under the ASEAN Regional Plan of Action on the Elimination of Violence against Women (ASEAN RPA on EVAW), published last February.

The ASEAN RPA on EVAW is comprehensive guidelines or “actions” for all ASEAN member states to adhere to with the aim of eliminating “all forms of violence against women” in the region.

In line with that aim, “ACWC with the cooperation of other agencies will hopefully establish this national central database of social issues in which sex-disaggregated data and statistics will also be included in this database,” she said.

The other challenges mentioned in the ASEAN RPA were for Brunei to further enhance capacity building in gender mainstreaming of its policies and analysis.

Educating and developing women awareness in Brunei on their rights regarding domestic violence and the availability of assistance for them is also an area that needs improvement as stated in the ASEAN RPA.

Appointed as the Brunei’s representative on Women’s Right for ACWC in April 2013, Hjh Mordiah officially completed her first term with the international association earlier this month.

Attending the three-day Special Meeting of ACWC in Bangkok last April 1 was her last official duty as Brunei’s representative of ACWC.

The Brunei Times