Government aims to increase number of working women

The government will try to increase the number of working women to 55 per cent by 2015 from the current 46 per cent, Women, Family and Community Development Minister Shahrizat Abdul Jalil said.

She said the women, who made up half of the country’s population, should join the workforce not only to improve the economic stability of their families, but also the country.

In a bid to achieve the target, Shahrizat said the government would improve the working environment to be a women-friendly environment and ensure that the women could still pay attention to their families.

“Besides, we will also try to lure women with qualifications who had quit their jobs to raise their families to rejoin the workforce,” she said at the state-level Women’s Day celebration opened by Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman yesterday.

She said the efforts included making 30 per cent of the women in the country as the chairperson of companies listed in Bursa Malaysia.

Meanwhile, Abdul Ghani in his speech said that women must be given bigger rooms and opportunities in various fields if the country were to be a fully developed nation.

He said the strong tendency of women to venture into new professions, other than teaching and nursing, proved that they were being accepted by their male colleagues in achieving the government’s aspirations.

“Although the ratio of female to male workers is still visibly prominent in various fields, there are many success stories that have been created by women of late, especially in technical fields,” he said.

Abdul Ghani said women’s participation as workforce in Johor currently stood at 45 per cent.

He said 70 per cent of the 1,700 entrepreneurs produced in the state between 2002 and 2009 were women and they were mainly involved in the production of food, herbs, handicrafts and biotechnology, which were valued at over RM50 million.

– Bernama