KUALA LUMPUR – Barisan Nasional (BN) is offering a formula for happiness and success for about 15.3 million Malaysian women who are deemed to be the pillars and key accomplishment to the country, said its Wanita chief Tan Sri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil.
She said the welfare of the group was indeed being championed by the coalition through its manifesto for the 14th General Election (GE14).
According to Shahrizat, the 12 classes of the target groups – which comprised single mothers, young women, career women, female leaders, educators, veterans, entrepreneurs, Felda women, creative arts women, digital women, healthy women and safe women – were given the focus in the manifesto.
“The beauty of this manifesto is that women will not only be happy (empowered) with a certain part (of the manifesto) for them. In fact, if they were to be examined closely, more than 80 per cent of the 364 initiatives in this manifesto are to groom women to be successful including the assurance for the young people,” she said at the “Wanita Ratu Hati Negaraku” event at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) here tonight.
Also present were Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor and BN female leaders.
At the event, Shahrizat, who is also Wanita UMNO chief, explained in details to give a clearer picture of the initiatives by the coalition for the empowerment of the women in the country.
Of the 31.7 million Malaysian population, almost 50 per cent are women, making it impossible to ignore the importance of that group in the structure of society, with the BN government always committed to improving their quality of life.
Shahrizat further said in the six decades that BN had led the country, many significant achievements were accomplished by women.
Among them until now, institutions of higher learning are filled with 70 per cent women, 54.3 per cent of the workforce in the market is driven by women, while 51 per cent of voters in the country are women. In addition, 36 per cent of Malaysian civil servants are women.
“Who actually determines the direction of the country, who actually determines which party wins the election if not us, women. Remember, female voices can bring about a tremendous wave of change.
“Hence, in welcoming the prime minister’s mandate for the empowerment of women, we (BN) women with full commitment lift the 364 initiatives, 14 thrusts and 25 special initiatives for women across 12 main target groups,” she said referring to the manifesto.
Shahrizat explained that the 25 initiatives for women as contained in the BN manifesto were not only to emphasise on the Key Performance Indicator (KPI) as a benchmark for good achievement, but also to achieve the Key Spiritual Index (KSI) and Key Happiness Index (KHI).
Elaborating on the manifesto, she touched on the BN’s offer to champion the welfare of 235,000 single mothers especially those from the B40 (bottom 40 per cent income) group, through various programmes to enhance their skills such as the PERMATA Child Nursery Course.
As for the young women who want to embark on their careers, Shahrizat said the BN manifesto, among others, offered 680,000 female graduates with potential to get hired early via the 1Malaysia Training Scheme (SL1M) 2.0.
For unemployed women, BN offers flexible working hours for mothers with children aged under two years to facilitate them in managing their families.
For women entrepreneurs, the coalition pledges to set up a transformation centre for the group in each state using the holistic model of PASARNITA (marketplace for women) which offers retail space, business networks and entrepreneurship advisory services, all of which to showcase their products and brands.
Shahrizat then touched on BN’s pledge to set up a National Syariah Judiciary Council chaired by the prime minister as a master committee to discuss and coordinate issues related to legal affairs and the sharia judiciary in Malaysia.
To ensure the safety of women, she focused on BN’s promise to enact the Sexual Harassment Act and increase the number of high-definition closed-circuit television (CCTV HD) cameras in high crime areas.
Shahrizat is also touched on the unconditional routine health screening offer at government health clinics for those aged 35 to 40 years.
For the women educators group, she said, the BN will enhance the quality and expertise of stakeholders in Islamic administration such as imams, ‘kafa’ teachers, religious teachers, sharia officers and sharia court judges.
In addition, BN is committed to assisting housewives to manage their family expenses, among them through BR1M, TN50 Transport passes, Special Student Discount Cards and financial assistance for children entering institutions of higher learning.
Najib, when announcing the BN manifesto for the 14th General Election on April 7, outlined 14 main thrusts with a focus on women and mothers. It is in line with 2018 being declared as Women Empowerment Year.
He also pointed out BN’s commitment to empower women as wives, mothers, children and career women to enable them to balance their roles and responsibilities – BERNAMA