Prime Minister Datuk Sri Najib Razak declared in Budget 2018 that this will be the Year To Empower Women in Malaysia.
2018 is the Year to Empower Women in Malaysia!
During the tabling of the 2018 Budget, Prime Minister Datuk Sri Najib Razak announced that the Malaysian government will be taking four measures to elevate the role of women in the country.
Firstly, it will become compulsory by the end of 2018 for all government-linked companies, government-linked investment companies and statutory bodies to ensure that at least 30 per of their boards of directors are women.
The government will also increase maternity leave. It is proposing that the private sector increase mandatory maternity leave from 60 days to 90 days. 90 days is currently the practice of public sector organisations.
Those who do not comply with this will be charged once the law has been amended.
Year To Empower Women: Steps forward
RM20 million has been allocated towards training and entrepreneurship programmes for women. This includes the PEAK Entrepreneur Programme under the MyWin Academy.
Budget 2018 also proposes an individual tax exemption for women. Those who opt to return to work after a period of being out of the job market will be eligible for this.
“To encourage women to return to work, the government proposes that a tax exemption is given for the first 12 months after a lapse of two years from employment.
“Women can claim the tax exemption for the assessment years of 2018 to 2020,” he added.
Balancing the scales
According to the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM); as of 2016, Malaysia’s gender ratio shows 107 males to every 100 females.
Despite a higher number of males, higher education intakes in 2015 were dominated by females at 280,296 versus males at 230,858.
That same year, 169,198 females successfully graduated from higher education versus males at 120,596.
These numbers are showing that women are in the forefront in higher education. Unfortunately, this doesn’t translate to the labour market.
Aside from the teaching industry, women are not participating dominantly in the workforce.
In 2015, our women’s labour force participation rate was at a modest 54.1 percent versus the men’s rate of 80.6 percent.
With the government’s efforts to make 2018 the Year To Empower Women, we can only hope to see a change in these statistics in the coming years.
What do you think of this move by the Malaysian government? Let us know in the comments below.
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