Women in Malaysia still trailing behind men in political empowerment, says Rina Harun

Datuk Seri Rina Mohd Harun speaks to the media at the launch of the Keluarga Malaysia Flood Relief Fund in Kuala Lumpur, December 21, 2021. — Bernama pic
Datuk Seri Rina Mohd Harun speaks to the media at the launch of the Keluarga Malaysia Flood Relief Fund in Kuala Lumpur, December 21, 2021. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, March 6 — The involvement of Malaysian women in political empowerment, especially regarding ministerial and parliamentary positions, still lags far behind that of men, Women Development, Family And Community Minister (KPWKM) Datuk Seri Rina Harun said.

According to Malaysia’s Gender Gap Index (MGGI) 2020, women’s score in political empowerment was the lowest, at only 0.1, compared with other sub-indexes.

“Similarly, the participation rate of women in the workforce is only 55.3 per cent, less than the standard 60 per cent for a developing nation,” she said in an interview in conjunction with 2022 Women’s Day Celebration recently.

On women’s participation in as decision-makers, Rina said only 17.2 per cent of board members of companies listed on Bursa Malaysia in the private sector are women.

“This issue needs to be addressed. Studies have shown that women’s participation in decision-making contributes to better organisational governance because they are able to inject diversity to ensure the needs of women in the field are taken into account.

“In the public sector, even though women’s participation exceeded the targeted 30 per cent, it should not stop there,” he said.

As such, Rina said her ministry was committed to further increasing public awareness and understanding of the issue of inequality faced by Malaysian women through the Women’s Day Celebration 2022, which is taking place at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC).

With the theme ‘Saksama Bersama’, Rina said the celebration which is taking place simultaneously at the international level from today to Tuesday (March 8) has been adapted to the current context of the country that is still facing obstacles that needed to be addressed in an effort to elevate women to higher levels.

“The celebration will provide employment and business opportunities to women, in addition to being a one-stop center for ministries and agencies, corporate bodies and non-governmental organisations (NGO) to offer their services specifically for women. It will also provide opportunities for visitors to participate in volunteerism activities for mutual equality,” she said.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob is expected to officiate at the 2022 Women’s Day Celebration with a host of ongoing activities, including exhibitions by government agencies, corporations and NGOs, booth sales and product exhibitions by women entrepreneurs.

Through the celebration, KPWKM will also recognise women icons for the 2022 Icon Women Awards in the fields of economics, education, health, leadership, security, legislation and the Tun Fatimah Special Award. — Bernama


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