1. In The Economy
When it comes to calculating the equality between women and men, Malaysia’s score is dragged down by the poor position of women in the economy. Put broadly, that means that women don’t work or earn as much as their male counterparts– not a good sign in a country where women make up half the nation’s population and potential.
In that vein, it’s great to see that both running parties acknowledge the need to improve empower women in the economy with a number of policy promises.
- Forming the Women’s Economic Council (MEW), chaired by the Prime Minister, tasked with ensuring that the direction and development of women’s economic agenda are given proper attention.
- Establishing a women entrepreneurs’ transformation centre in every state, utilising the holistic PASARNITA model that offers business space, expands business connectivity and provides entrepreneurship advisory services, apart from providing display areas for products and brands.
- Facilitating the process for single women in securing loans by permitting the combination of incomes with siblings or parents who fulfill eligibility requirements.
- Encouraging women to generate secondary incomes by easing microcredit loan requirements for women entrepreneurs who conduct businesses part-time.
- Creating a Women’s Cooperative that offers savings facilities and financial loans as a way to strengthen the financial status of Malaysian women.
- Extending the duration of tax incentives to 24 months for women who return to the job market.
- Encouraging companies to implement policies promoting Work-Life Balance by providing incentives to companies that practise such policies.
- Adapting the flexible work hour scheme for mothers with children aged 2 and below.
- Allocating 7 days of special leave per year for women who are caregivers to their children or immediate relatives who are ill.
- Permitting male public sector employees to take 10 days unrecorded leave when their spouses give birth.
- Increasing the number of 1Malaysia Youth Transit Homes offered to young women who are new to the working world.
- Establishing one-stop centres that include childcare centres and entrepreneur centres for FELDA settlers, in all FELDA settlements, that is administered by the Confederation of Women FELDA Settlers Malaysia.
- Strengthening the legal system to promote women’s right to equal pay for the same work, as well as ensuring transparent job promotional opportunities.
- Introduce a budget system based on the concept of gender-responsive budgeting.
- Implement policies and programmes that will optimise women’s capacity and increase their employment rate.
- Establish a systematic micro-credit scheme to provide opportunities for women entrepreneurs
- Establish specific policies and programs to increase women’s ownership of assets, their investment and savings rate.
- Provide incentives to employers to provide childcare facilities either at work or near the workplace.
- Enabling the domestic caregiving sector to grow in order to provide quality care for senior citizens, postnatal mothers, and to address other needs.
- Maternity leave will be fixed at 90 days.