Indeed women are special. Their uniqueness not only adds grace to theÂ family but they also play a crucial role in addressing lifeâ€™s challenges. TheÂ Government recognises that women have a pivotal role in national developmentÂ and in nurturing future generations.
Presently, women represent only 38% of the total workforce in theÂ country. To enhance the contribution of women in national development, theÂ Government will continue to focus on efforts to intensify the involvement ofÂ women in the job market and entrepreneurial activities. For this purpose, theÂ Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development is allocated RM2.26 billionÂ for development and operating expenditure. Among the programmes include:
First: Strengthening Women Directors Programme to achieve the 30%Â participation of women in decision-making positions. In 2015, the GovernmentÂ plans to train 125 potential women directors to fill the position as members ofÂ the board of Government-linked companies and the private sector. I urge theÂ Government-owned companies and the private sector to provide more opportunitiesÂ for professional women to be represented in Boards of Directors;
Second: Improving opportunities for women to return to the job market throughÂ 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 forÂ professional women returning to the job market based on professionalÂ qualifications.
The Government is concerned with the well-being of women, particularlyÂ in terms of safety. Accordingly, the Government will buy the premises for theÂ Women Special Protection Homes in the Eastern, Northern and Central zones. InÂ addition, to provide opportunities for single mothers who are interested inÂ entrepreneurship, the Government will continue the Single Mother Skill IncubatorÂ Programme (I-KIT), Women Entrepreneurship Incubator Programme (IkUnita) andÂ Women Core Development Programme.
A sum of RM30 million will be allocated through Amanah Ikhtiar MalaysiaÂ (AIM) to inculcate the spirit of entrepreneurship among Indian women.
Furthermore, for civil servants, the Government will improve the ChildÂ Care Leave eligibility by revising the conditions so that the eligibility isÂ not tied to the duration of maternity leave, effective from 1 January 2015. TheÂ leave is limited to children until they reach one year and is extended toÂ female personnel with step children, legally adopted children, foster childrenand children with disabilities.
In line with Governmentâ€™s aspiration to encourage the establishment ofÂ more child care centres at the work place in the private sector, the existingÂ guidelines will be reviewed. From January 2015, the Government will allowÂ employers to set up child care centres beyond the second floor subject toÂ conditions set by the local authorities. The Governmentâ€™s efforts will uphold Â womenâ€™s role and enable them to participate actively at the national level.-Bernama