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USM PENANG, 3 June 2024 – “In the future, there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders.”

This quote was originally said by the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg as it was mentioned by the Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic and International, Professor Dato’ Gs. Dr. Narimah Samat in her welcoming speech, at the Harpswell Sixth Annual ASEAN Women's Leadership Summit.

Organised by the Centre for Research on Women and Gender (KANITA) USM with Harpswell Foundation, the 10-day women leadership programme is aimed at facilitating the exchange of ideas and reflection on women in leadership within the ASEAN region.

Narimah further emphasised that as a public institution of higher learning in an ASEAN member state, USM plays a crucial role in contributing to sustainable development through education provision and development.

“We at USM continues to support such an effort, especially since it directly and indirectly benefits substantially more than half of its student and staff constituents, who are women,” she said.

Narimah hoped that this programme will be an extremely useful platform to learn from each other, as it will also create a space for further international and regional collaborations at various levels. She wished all participants success in their training.

In the sharing session, Alixia Lee Hwei Lih from Malaysia said that she found that this programme is an eye-opening as it provided insights into diverse issues faced by women in the ASEAN countries and Nepal. The discussions offered valuable perspectives on modern life and she hopes to use this information to empower others.

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Rya Celine Ducusin from Philippines thanked everyone involved for hosting them during their stay. She appreciates how stories and words have power within the Harpswell community.

“Despite our differences in experiencing jet lag or workloads, we have built trust through friendship with fellow participants. Small impactful actions towards each other are important, and I am grateful for the new friendships formed during our time at Harpswell,” said Rya.

Also present were the Chairman of the Board of Governors Wawasan Open University (WOU), Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon; Founder of Harpswell Foundation, Professor Alan Lightman; Chair of the Harpswell Board of Trustees, Shelly Kessler; Director of KANITA USM, Professor Dr. Saidatulakmal Mohamad; KANITA USM Head of Project, Profesor Dato’ Dr. Noraida Endut and Executive Director of Harpswell Foundation, Jacyl Shaw.

Text: Nur Farrah Ezlin Mohd Suhaimi/Photo: Mohd Fairus Md Isa


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