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Budget 2015: Upholding The Role Of Women

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Indeed women are special. Their uniqueness not only adds grace to the family but they also play a crucial role in addressing life’s challenges. The Government recognises that women have a pivotal role in national development and in nurturing future generations.

Presently, women represent only 38% of the total workforce in the country. To enhance the contribution of women in national development, the Government will continue to focus on efforts to intensify the involvement of women in the job market and entrepreneurial activities. For this purpose, the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development is allocated RM2.26 billion for development and operating expenditure. Among the programmes include:

First: Strengthening Women Directors Programme to achieve the 30% participation of women in decision-making positions. In 2015, the Government plans to train 125 potential women directors to fill the position as members of the board of Government-linked companies and the private sector. I urge the Government-owned companies and the private sector to provide more opportunities for professional women to be represented in Boards of Directors;

Second: Improving opportunities for women to return to the job market through the 1Malaysia Support for Housewife programme which emphasises skills training
and incentives for housewives; and

Third: Talent Corp will set up the Women Career Comeback Programme for professional women returning to the job market based on professional qualifications.

The Government is concerned with the well-being of women, particularly in terms of safety. Accordingly, the Government will buy the premises for the Women Special Protection Homes in the Eastern, Northern and Central zones. In addition, to provide opportunities for single mothers who are interested in entrepreneurship, the Government will continue the Single Mother Skill Incubator Programme (I-KIT), Women Entrepreneurship Incubator Programme (IkUnita) and Women Core Development Programme.

A sum of RM30 million will be allocated through Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia (AIM) to inculcate the spirit of entrepreneurship among Indian women.

Furthermore, for civil servants, the Government will improve the Child Care Leave eligibility by revising the conditions so that the eligibility is not tied to the duration of maternity leave, effective from 1 January 2015. The leave is limited to children until they reach one year and is extended to female personnel with step children, legally adopted children, foster childrenand children with disabilities.

In line with Government’s aspiration to encourage the establishment of more child care centres at the work place in the private sector, the existing guidelines will be reviewed. From January 2015, the Government will allow employers to set up child care centres beyond the second floor subject to conditions set by the local authorities. The Government’s efforts will uphold  women’s role and enable them to participate actively at the national level.-Bernama


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