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The Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim (second from right) said the ministry will embark on an all-women expedition to Antarctica next year led by famed Malaysian female explorer, Dr Sharifah Mazlina Syed Abdul Kadir (third from left). NSTP Pix by AHMAD IRHAM MOHD NOOR.
The Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim (second from right) said the ministry will embark on an all-women expedition to Antarctica next year led by famed Malaysian female explorer, Dr Sharifah Mazlina Syed Abdul Kadir (third from left). NSTP Pix by AHMAD IRHAM MOHD NOOR.

PUTRAJAYA: The Women, Family and Community Development Ministry will embark on an all-women expedition to Antarctica next year (AWETA 2018) at an estimated cost of USD1mil (RM4.33mil).

Announcing the ambitious project at a press conference here this evening, its minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim said the high endurance programme aims to empower women from all walks of life.

“We want to put our women to a great test. We want to see how tough they can be and show the world that Malaysian women can do it,” she said.

The expedition will be open to all eligible Malaysian women above the age of 18 and will be led by famed Malaysian female explorer, Dr Sharifah Mazlina Syed Abdul Kadir, who conquered the South Pole in 2004.

“It’s a reality programme to find, the next me.

“I want to groom my protégé. Youngsters nowadays are looking for a true success story so instead of just loafing around and engaging in unhealthy activities, we need to maximise their potential,” enthused Sharifah.

At 52, the iron lady said that age is just a number.

“As long as you think you are fit and you can do it, you are most welcome to apply to join AWETA 2018.

“A mixed of age group will be good for us. We are not just looking for the young ones,” she added.

The team will go on a nationwide talent search after the fasting month and selected candidates will have to go through regimented endurance tests before the elimination process where only the top five will be chosen.

“Our AWETA members need to be mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually and socially fit for the expedition,” said Rohani, adding that these women will be trained locally and abroad before leaving for the Antarctica in November next year.

Their key missions in the South Pole will include unearthing the time capsule planted by Sharifah during her expedition 13 years ago and to plant a new TN50 aspiration for Malaysian women.

For more details on how to apply, log into the AWETA 2018 Facebook and Instagram account.

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