Yet more money for Sabah ‘women of substance’

A RM500,000 allocation has been set aside in the Tenth Malaysia Plan (10MP) to help highly-competitive Sabah women reach the pinnacle of their leadership.

State community development and consumer affairs minister Datuk Azizah Mohd Dun disclosed this when launching the ‘Women of Substance Leadership Development Workshop Phase One’ here today.

The workshop is part of a programme to further enhance the capabilities and self-confidence of such women. Azizah noted that Sabah had a pool of women professionals who had not only proven to be competent in their respective fields but also possessed leadership which qualified them to be in the ‘Women of Substance’ category.

“In fact, women have not only shown they were academically good. They are also able managers and decision-makers whether in the public or private sectors, or politically,” she said.

Azizah described the allocation as “the first rolling plan” for this year and the next

According to her, the percentage of women at federal management level had now exceeded the 30 per cent target set by the government to 30.5 per cent, as compared to just 6.9 per cent in 1995.

Based on the trend, women representation in the Senate had increased from18.2 per cent in 1990 to 28.8 per cent in 2009, while in the State Assembly, from 5.3 per cent in 1990 to 10.4 per cent in 2009.

“I believe our chief minister would be inclined to subsequently increase the percentage of women in the Cabinet (presently nine per cent) and as department heads (currently six per cent),” she said, optimistically.

Meanwhile, Azizah said women involvement in the human resources sector was 44.7 per cent in 1995 and 45.7 per cent in 2008. The percentage increased to46.4 per cent in 2009. The government has set a 55 per cent target for this by the end of the 10MP,she added.

She further noted that women population in the country had increased from11.5 million in 2000, to 13.9 million in 2009.