KUALA LUMPUR: The time is ripe for the government, along with other stakeholders, to start focusing on elevating and recognising the position and contribution of women fairly to be on par with their potentials.
Institut Masa Depan Malaysia (Masa) chief executive officer Azril Mohd Amin said this today in conjunction with International Women’s Day 2022, adding that the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry’s Strategic Plan 2021-2025 which focused on protecting the rights of the vulnerable, including women, could be used as a catalyst towards achieving this goal.
Azril said Masa hoped that policies and strategies, with focus on gender inclusion, especially the involvement of women at decision-making level would be given priority for gender equality in Malaysia and to improve transparency and good governance to ensure national harmony.
Based on the Malaysian Gender Gap Index (MGGI) 2020 score released by the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM), he pointed out that Malaysia ranked 74th out of 156 countries in the world.
“According to the report, women’s achievement was very commendable in the education sub-index, with a score of 1.059 while the health and life sub-indexes recorded a score of 0.956. However, in the economic opportunity and participation, the score recorded was only 0.738.
“The Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR) involving women in the country is also still low at 55.3 per cent in 2020, against other Southeast Asian countries such as Singapore (69.7 percent) and Thailand, at 66.8 percent.
“Meanwhile, political dominance recorded the lowest score of 0.100, indicating the huge gap on the involvement of women in politics,” he said in a statement today.
Based on the statistics by the Public Service Department (PSD) in 2020, Azril said only 38.2 per cent of female civil servants holding the positions of JUSA C grade and above were involved in decision-making process.
“In the private sector, women representatives in the top 100 public-listed companies (PLC) board of directors (BOD) currently stands at 25.8 percent.”
He also said the Labour Force Survey 2020 released by DOSM stated that although more male workers were likely to be laid off than women (60 per cent against women 40 per cent) during the Covid-19 pandemic, there were, undoubtedly, more male workers than women in the working sector.
Taking into account the pandemic which has had major economic and social impacts at home and abroad, MASA believes that a holistic and inclusive approach should be formulated and implemented by the government to particularly address gender stereotypes in education, employment and family.
“In line with the Fifth Thrust of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to achieve gender equality and empowerment of women and girls, the International Women’s Day is celebrated each year as a form of appreciation and recognition of women’s significant and meaningful contributions and services in national development.
“It is also in line with Masa’s commitment to uplift the dignity of women who represented 48.62 percent of the Malaysian population and form the backbone of families, the basis of which form a nation,” he added.
Chief Executive Officer, Institut Masa Depan Malaysia
Date: 8 March 2022