Archive for the ‘Gender Gap’ Category

Legal avenues for sexual harassment victims

Tuesday, July 21st, 2020
A threat to cause harm to the victim can be considered a tort of assault, so long as the threat of harm is imminent, such as the words or gestures of a sexual nature without bodily contact. NSTP File picA threat to cause harm to the victim can be considered a tort of assault, so long as the threat of harm is imminent, such as the words or gestures of a sexual nature without bodily contact. NSTP File pic

Letters: Sexual harassment is a serious offence as it violates a person’s honour and dignity guaranteed by Article 5 of the Federal Constitution.

The workplace should be free from sexual harassment, such as degrading words or pictures (like graffiti, photos or posters), physical contact of any kind and sexual demands.

Victims of sexual harassment may file a tort suit against the harasser in the civil court for assault and battery. If the victim was threatened with physical sexual abuse or has been assaulted, an assault claim could be maintained.

A threat to cause harm to the victim can be considered a tort of assault, so long as the threat of harm is imminent, such as the words or gestures of a sexual nature without bodily contact.

Sexual battery claim may be valid if it involves physical touching or intentional infliction of unlawful force on another person.

The outrageous conduct of the perpetrator may also entail a claim for mental distress damages.

The victim may consider filing a vicarious liability suit against the employer or the government for the sexual harassment committed by a co-worker or their customers provided that the sexual harassment was committed within the course of employment.

Litigation against the employer is founded on the basis of failure to use reasonable care to protect its workers against foreseeable sexual assault.

To successfully maintain a vicarious liability claim, for example, against the employer, the victim must prove that there was an employee and employer relationship between the parties and that the act was done in the course of employment.

For sexual harassment to be considered committed in the course of employment, it must either be authorised or be so connected with an authorised act that it can be considered a mode, though an improper way, of performing the said act.

Where the claim is well-founded, the court may award damages for the physical and emotional harm suffered by the victim.

The above civil claims are in the alternative to other available remedies to the victim, such as lodging a police report pursuant to the Criminal Procedure Code for various sexual offences under the Penal Code, as well as resigning from employment and thereafter alleging constructive dismissal.

by Dr Ashgar Ali Ali Mohamed.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/letters/2020/07/610188/legal-avenues-sexual-harassment-victims

Nation of Women launches JB wing

Sunday, July 12th, 2020
Members of Now Malaysia at the official launch in JohorMembers of Now Malaysia at the official launch in Johor

JOHOR BARU: Nation of Women (Now) Malaysia recently launched its Johor wing after completing a tour of northern Peninsular Malaysia.

Now Malaysia was set up to empower local women to become independent, entrepreneurial and self-sustaining, especially during the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO).

“This is a new organisation, but has received membership of more than 30,000 women within a few months,” said Now Malaysia president Hajah Haniza Talha at the launch event.

“With a composition of professionals and women from other walks of life, Now is open to all races to assist Malaysian women to excel and prosper. We hope more will join us”, she added.

Now Malaysia will meet its members in Melaka and Negri Sembilan next, followed by visits to the east coast.

“I strongly believe that Now has the right formula and is timely to assist women to face issues, minimise hardship, and handle difficulties effectively with the support as well as guidance of fellow members,” said Pagoh Now chief Suhaila Hashim.

Haniza (right) and Suhaila all smiles after the launch in Johor

Haniza (right) and Suhaila all smiles after the launch in Johor

Now also presented aid to 10 needy recipients during the event, which was also attended by Batu Pahat Member of Parliament Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon, who is also Deputy Dewan Rakyat Speaker.

By Zainal Aziz.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2020/07/607949/nation-women-launches-jb-wing

The need for gender-inclusive policies in a post-pandemic world

Saturday, July 4th, 2020

The government needs to take a step further and act upon the gender difference it has recognised by crafting new policies that introduce fundamental changes to how a woman’s work is valued and compensated. -Pic for illustrations purposes only

The government needs to take a step further and act upon the gender difference it has recognised by crafting new policies that introduce fundamental changes to how a woman’s work is valued and compensated. -Pic for illustrations purposes only

AS the world shut its borders to control the spread of Covid-19, concerns for women were raised.

That concern comes as the uneven scales of gender equality tipped further during the pandemic to reveal a major disparity in how women experienced Covid-19 differently.

Among other things, women’s responsibilities have extended beyond the stereotypical cooking and cleaning.

They now include tutoring, as children attend online classes at home following the closing of schools.

As the country enters the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) and society adapts to the “new normal”, it is important that the nation’s road to recovery is seen as an opportunity to introduce more gender-inclusive policies in the country to ensure a step in the right direction to achieve a gender balance.

Recently, the government released the Penjana economic stimulus package.

This package has taken a step in the right direction by introducing measures that support women’s empowerment.

One of the incentives introduced included social assistance in the form of a one-off financial aid to vulnerable people, of which also covered single mothers.

Female entrepreneurs are also supported through the economic stimulus package, with RM50 million allocated for them.

This is in contrast to the previous economic stimulus package introduced earlier in the Movement Control Order (MCO), which faced criticism for not being gender sensitive enough, as the financial assistance given could not easily reach women who have been abused.

There are a few key steps Malaysia must take.

Firstly, the Malaysian government needs to take a stance on gender-related issues that will stand the test of time.

At the core of the issue is to ensure that policies sufficiently support and empower women at all levels.

Key to this is to fulfil international obligations and deadlines, such as the timely submission of Periodic Reports to the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.

Unfortunately, Malaysia’s past history of submission has not been impressive and leaves much room for improvement.

Secondly, gender mainstreaming needs to translate into policies.

The current government is not short of recognising gender thus far.

The illustration of “Mak Cik Kiah” in the implementation of the initial Prihatin Rakyat economic stimulus package is evident of the recognition of women’s contribution to a household and the roles they play.

However, the government needs to take a step further and act upon the gender difference it has recognised by crafting new policies that introduce fundamental changes to how a woman’s work is valued and compensated.

An example and an aim the government can emulate is the Hawaiian State Commission on Status of Women.

It is a feminist government agency that works towards achieving equality for women and girls in the state.

The policies proposed centre on how the government can introduce measures that target the Hawaiian women’s recovery.

They do this by restructuring the focus away from military and tourism, and into PPE manufacturing, for instance.

It is important to note and realise the advocacy of gender equality is a global struggle that even Western countries face and struggle with.

As such, it is essential that the relevant authorities and key stakeholders find space to hold and meaningfully engage in the discussions and dialogue in order to best understand how Malaysia can progress in implementing a gendered lens in policymaking.

Malaysia has managed to show its capabilities and potential through the measures introduced in managing the first wave of contagion.

There is no reason why it cannot continue to show its potential in achieving gender equality through the remainder of Malaysia’s Covid-19 recovery period, and beyond, too.

By Tengku Nur Qistina Petri.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/columnists/2020/07/605777/need-gender-inclusive-policies-post-pandemic-world

Bill must protect women’s employment, safety and health

Thursday, May 28th, 2020
Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) lauds this timely short-term measure, and cautions the government to also apply a gender-responsive lens to any relief policies. -Pic for illustrations purposes only Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) lauds this timely short-term measure, and cautions the government to also apply a gender-responsive lens to any relief policies. -Pic for illustrations purposes only

LETTER: Recently, the government announced the tabling of a RUU Pelaksanaan Langkah Sementara (Covid-19 Temporary Measures Bill) in the July parliamentary seating. The Bill sets out to provide economic, social and welfare relief to industries, sectors and people hard hit by Covid-19. It will also outline interim measures to protect the country’s population from the pandemic.

Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) lauds this timely short-term measure, and cautions the government to also apply a gender-responsive lens to any relief policies. The Covid-19 pandemic has eroded gender equality progress in Malaysia, and the bill must address this. The setbacks for women in Malaysia are most pronounced in the three areas – employment, safety and health.

First, the rise of unpaid care burden during the pandemic, due to the disruption of care services and facilities, has fallen disproportionately on the shoulders of women. Most alarmingly, in the first quarter labour force statistics released by the Department of Statistics Malaysia recently, saw the fastest rate of increase in working-age adults dropping out of the labour force.

The majority cite ‘family needs’ as the primary reason for dropping out. If left unattended, this will reduce the already low labour force participation rates of women in Malaysia, who have traditionally borne the most unpaid care responsibilities. Second, the pandemic has also led to the rise in gender-based violence, especially incidence of domestic violence. Survivors trapped in the same households also face the disruption of law enforcement services that usually protect their safety.

Finally, women’s health, including access to sexual and reproductive health have been marginalised by health authorities who deemed such services secondary. During the MCO, all LPPKN clinics were shuttered, preventing subsidised access to family planning and reproductive health services for large swaths of women and girls.

We urge the government to adopt the following five considerations to prevent the further slide in women’s rights and welfare.

1. The temporary bill must mandate that judicial and legal services, as well as other applicable services designated as essential, must be made available online if lockdown measures were implemented again. During the peak of the pandemic, despite the rise in domestic violence and the critical need for protection on the part of survivors, there has been a lack of clarity around the ability of domestic violence survivors to obtain protection orders during the MCO period. We must be better prepared to protect women’s and girls’ safety in subsequent waves of infection and lockdown periods by ensuring the continued access to judicial services and critical protection mechanisms

2. Currently, other services that are crucial to protecting working parents’ employment, as well as women’s health and safety have not been formally designated as “essential services” during the MCO period and thus have faced barriers to operating or been completely suspended. This gender-bias must be corrected by explicitly listing such services as essential: (a) family-friendly facilities such as childcare centres, (b) the Industrial Court Malaysia for employees facing unlawful termination, (c) crisis support services for gender-based violence survivors such as hotlines and temporary shelters and (d) secondary healthcare facilities such as the LPPKN-run clinics.

3. Many critical government functions, including first responders to gender-based violence cases, have been inundated during the pandemic. The relief bill must provide an additional budget for auxiliary and temporary staff to rapidly expand the public sector workforce so that critical government services, including Jabatan Kebajikan Masyarakat (JKM) domestic violence shelters and the processing and issuance of protection orders for domestic violence survivors, can continue to operate smoothly.

4. The temporary bill must work towards strengthening safeguards for the employment of unpaid caregivers, who face the double burden of paid work and unpaid care. To reduce this burden, the bill must enshrine the right to flexible working arrangements for all non-essential employees during the pandemic, enforceable through the Industrial Court if an employer does not deal with the request in a reasonable manner.

5. During the MCO, restrictions orders allowing only the lone movement of individuals have disproportionately penalised those with different household configurations, including single parents with multiple children or adult children with multiple dependent parents. Any new interim movement restrictions in the future must be attentive to the needs of different people.

The pandemic has disproportionately affected the employment, health and safety of women in Malaysia. Only a gender-sensitive lens in our Covid-19 policies will ensure that our recovery is inclusive, broad-based and attentive to the needs of different segments of society.

by WOMEN’S AID ORGANISATION (WAO).

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/letters/2020/05/596016/bill-must-protect-womens-employment-safety-and-health

The fight for gender equality must go on

Monday, March 9th, 2020

MARCH was supposed to be a month of promise for women. The proposed Sexual Harassment Bill (which rights activists have been working towards for two decades) was expected to be tabled at the next parliamentary meeting (which would have been tomorrow), which is the start of the new Parliamentary session.

The proposed Gender Equality Bill (in the works for the past decade) was also scheduled to be tabled in Parliament.

And so was the proposed Anti-Stalking Bill and amendments to the Employment Act that mandate seven days of paternity leave for all fathers.

But now, with a new prime minister in office and an empty Cabinet as yet, it is uncertain if these new laws will see the light of day anytime soon or at all.

Will gender rights or the protection of women be a priority for the new Government?

Today, March 8, is International Women’s Day (IWD) – a day when the world unites in recognising the achievements of women while pushing for greater equality.

What timing.

So, push we must, both individually and collectively.

This year’s IWD theme is Each for Equal.

The demand for equality is simply asking that every single human being be treated the same way and given the same opportunities.

An equal world is simply a world where every person, regardless of their gender, is able to participate in any sport or pursue any career of their choice.

It’s really quite a basic principal of fairness but strangely enough, it’s something that women and other vulnerable groups in society have had to fight for for decades.

Each for Equal dismantles the notion that the fight for equality be relegated to women alone.

Instead it advocates that everyone play their part in calling for change.

While civil society groups lobby the government for laws that eliminate gender bias and protect women and girls, let us all (men and women) do our part in making our communities better.

Each for Equal calls for each of us to examine our personal biases and assumptions about girls and women, and their abilities and rights.

A recent survey by market research company Ipsos revealed that only 17% of Malaysians think that men and women are equal.

This means that a whopping 83% of us know that gender bias exists.

What must we do?

We must speak up. It is easier to stay silent but silence doesn’t bring change.

If 83% of Malaysians demand that women and girls be treated as equals, chances are, we will see change.

So what must we do?

When we see bias in the workplace, speak up.

When you recognise bias in your assumptions and attitude, shut it down.

When we see a woman being silenced, speak up.

When we see a woman being abused or harassed, speak up.

When we see a girl being sidelined, speak up.

When we catch ourselves perpetuating gender stereotypes – girls can’t lift weights/boys don’t cry – stop ourselves.

The fight for gender equality is not a zero-sum game: no one loses when girls and women are empowered or better protected.

Let our voices be heard and let’s make our voices count where it matters the most: in creating a more just and equitable Malaysia.

Happy International Women’s Day.

by By The Star Says.

Read more @ https://www.thestar.com.my/opinion/columnists/the-star-says/2020/03/08/the-fight-for-gender-equality-must-go-on

Work towards gender equality, it builds resilience

Wednesday, January 8th, 2020
We must understand the learning differences between male and female students for them to reach their potential. FILE PIC

LETTERS: THANKS to the progress of the nation so far, we are first-world enough to raise children to be gender equals, more now than ever.

However, the efforts by some across the country to raise children to be gender equals are being challenged.

This matter demands the Ministry of Education to make changes accordingly. The issue starts with the ministry where yearly school performance statistics reported for national examinations discriminate between boys and girls.

One may ask, how does a simple statistical analysis of such a matter cause harm?

The answer is, it does when the schools apply quotas for male and female students to qualify to enter better performing classes in schools.

We should apply the iceberg scenario where only a small part is visible. It will be inaccurate and speculative if such quotas are also used for computing the national examination results and admission into local universities.

So, right from school, boys are being conveniently given quotas that the ministry has created for the male students to get into better performing classes in schools and universities.

This leads to pertinent questions: Will a male student, who is a product of such gender quota implementation, continue to discriminate the females in the workforce because of his sense of entitlement to the quota, i.e. his birthright as a male without having to work for it as much as a female in his cohort?

Should female students continue to be discriminated by having to live with a glass ceiling that is present simply because the male students are performing worse than them but there is this quota to fill for male students?

The female will be more resilient of course. In fact, thanks to the motivation of the family, she may turn out fine.

But how will the male be resilient without the effort needed to be in the best class or best course? Isn’t this taking a step back into gender inequality?

Co-ed schools are segregating students into classes by their learning performance which is measured by examination marks. Using a quota system for males and females is just an excuse by the teaching workforce who fail to understand the learning differences between male and female students for them to reach their potential.

It seems the education system is saying that males are intellectually challenged compared with females, and thus the need to practise gender quota for getting into the better classes in schools and courses in institutes of higher learning.

We should be working towards resilience of both genders. We should be working towards preventing a vicious cycle of gender biasness being instilled at the grassroots itself.

Even if the system wants to change, it takes time to execute the changes. For the moment, brace yourselves for this continued form of gender inequality

by UMA SHANTINI SIVAPRAGASAM

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/letters/2020/01/554414/work-towards-gender-equality-it-builds-resilience

Where gender equality is lagging

Tuesday, January 7th, 2020
In the workplace, the law in 32 Commonwealth countries does not mandate equal remuneration for work of equal value. – NSTP file pic, for illustration purposes only

LETTERS: The Commonwealth Women’s Affairs Ministers Meeting assembled in Nairobi, Kenya from Sept 19 to 20, 2019. It sought to take stock of the current status of gender equality among member countries, and to share their experience on how this important Commonwealth priority can be achieved more swiftly.

The past century has witnessed the greatest advances for gender equality in human history.

From New Zealand becoming the first self-governing country in 1893 to allow women to vote in parliamentary elections, to Sri Lanka electing the world’s first female prime minister in 1960, the gender gap has never narrowed so quickly, but there is still much ground to be gained.

In order to accelerate progress, efforts are now being made by organisations to measure progress against indicators linked to women’s empowerment. For instance, in the Commonwealth a girl is as likely to attend primary school as a boy. In the Parliaments of 13 Commonwealth countries, 30 per cent of members are women.

Women everywhere can now expect to outlive men. Yet against this progress, underlying systemic inequality remains widespread. In politics, only one in five parliamentarians is a woman. In education, of every 10 girls, only seven attend secondary school.

In the workplace, the law in 32 countries does not mandate equal remuneration for work of equal value. That is according to research undertaken by the Commonwealth Secretariat in preparation for the Women’s Affairs Ministers Meeting in Kenya.

This research offers a snapshot of progress towards gender equality within and across the Commonwealth in four priority areas: Women in leadership, women’s economic empowerment, ending violence against women and girls, and gender and climate change.

Women in leadership

Commonwealth countries have declared that their ambition is to ensure 30 per cent of the political sphere is made up of women. In 13 Commonwealth member countries , 30 per cent of members of parliament are women.

10 Commonwealth countries have achieved the target of 30 per cent women ministers, and Canada leads with over 50 per cent.

Women’s economic empowerment

Although gender gaps in enrolment in education have narrowed, this has not yet translated into women’s equal participation in the labour force.

The pan-Commonwealth average for female labour force participation is 56.30 per cent, which means that only just over one in two women work in the formal sector.

Our analysis shows a disjunction in the transition from primary to secondary schools for girls, largely due to factors such as the cost of education, child marriage or labour, and violence against girls.

The highest female enrolment in secondary schools is in Canada with 100 per cent. Twenty of our member countries do not have legislation on sexual harassment in employment, while 23 do not have criminal penalties for sexual harassment in the workplace.

Ending violence against women and girls

Prevalence of violence against women and girls remains high throughout the world, despite advances in women’s economic status. Of our 53 Commonwealth member countries, 47 have laws against domestic violence; 20 have legislation that explicitly criminalises marital rape and 40 have legislation against sexual harassment.

Gender and climate change

Our Commonwealth studies show that a higher proportion of women are found in employment that is vulnerable to climate change, and that at least 80 per cent of green jobs globally are expected to be in the secondary sectors such as construction, manufacturing and energy production—industries where women are already underrepresented.

For gender equality to become a reality, action has to be mainstreamed across the political sphere, public and private sectors.

by PATRICIA SCOTLAND.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/letters/2020/01/554039/where-gender-equality-lagging

Equal opportunities for women

Friday, December 20th, 2019

Chai (front row, right) with her colleagues from Dell.

AS technologies evolve in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR 4.0), there is a greater need for equal gender representation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) to empower diversity of thought and ensure the long-term effectiveness of technological advancements.

In empowering students to meet the needs of IR 4.0, INTI International University and Colleges (INTI) has also taken strides to ensure that students from all backgrounds receive equal opportunities in accessing its programmes and gaining employment opportunities through industry collaborations.

These INTI alumnae share their experiences in breaking the gender gaps in their own careers.

“Annabelle Chai Loo Lyn, a Diploma in Information Technology graduate from INTI International College Penang, currently works as an analyst with renowned technology leader Dell.”

INTI International College Penang, currently works as an analyst with renowned technology leader Dell.

After a year at Dell, Chai became the pioneer analyst for the organisation’s Global Email Operations in Penang, overseeing the group’s email campaigns, analytics, trends and outcomes.

“My job allows me to better understand our customers and their needs. Through data analysis, we produce more informed solutions for the organisation, which in turn helps to generate better products and services, and enables us to grow our business, ” shared Chai.

Sharing similar experiences, Nur Syafiyah Nabilah Arman, a 24-year-old graduate of INTI International University’s Bachelor of Computer Science programme, currently works as an information systems audit associate in KPMG.

Nur Syafiyah is responsible for developing approaches that demonstrate effective IT compliance to sustain KPMG’s business values.

“I perform inspections on our clients’ IT system controls to ensure that they are effective and generate accurate data.

This helps organisations manage their financial systems’ security risks, which directly impact their efficiency and quality, ” she explained.

“The career preparation workshops I attend at INTI during my final semester helped me tremendously in achieving my potential.”

Florence Pereira, an IP Validation Engineer at Intel Technology Sdn Bhd, shares similar sentiments about studying at INTI.

The Diploma in Information and Communication Technology graduate recalled how she initially struggled in her first year at INTI because she was not familiar with the technicalities of the industry.

“My results improved because our lecturers leveraged discussions, videos and presentations to make our classes more engaging. I always left my classes wanting to find out more about what I was learning, ” Pereira recalled.

Her determination paid off when she was offered a job as a graduate trainee at Intel even before graduating.

“Many multinational companies are on the lookout for women to join the engineering sector because they bring different ideas and solutions.

“Take that first step in your STEM dream and the rest will fall into place, ” Pereira advised students.

INTI chief executive officer Tan Lin Nah said, “In addition to increasing diversity and inclusiveness in the workplace, addressing gender parity in STEM has positive economic implications, with Mckinsey estimating an increase of US$28 trillion (RM116 trillion) to the global annual GDP by the year 2025 through such efforts. (1)

Read more @ https://www.thestar.com.my/news/education/2019/12/19/equal-opportunities-for-women

Agong pleased to see more women appointed judges

Thursday, December 5th, 2019
His Highness Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah was pleased to present the official appointment letter to the Court of Appeal President Datuk Rohana Yusof at the Judgment and Appeal Ceremony of the President of the Appeal Court, Federal Court Judge, Appellate Court Judge and Court Judge High in the Royal Palace today. — BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR: Federal Court Judge Datuk Rohana Yusof was today appointed as the new President of the Court of Appeals after receiving the official appointment letter from Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah.

She received her letter of appointment at the Istana Negara together eight other judges, five of whom were women.

Three other Appeals Court judges namely Datuk Zaleha Yusof, Datuk Zabariah Mohd Yusof and Datuk Hasnah Mohammed Hashim were appointed as Federal Court judges while High Court Judge Datuk Hadhariah Syed Ismail was elevated to Appeals Court judge.

Meanwhile, also appointed as Appeals Court Judge were Datuk Abu Bakar Jais and Nantha Balan a/l E.S. Moorthy who were both High Court Judges.

Also appointed as High Court Judges were Datuk Seri Tun Abd Majid Tun Hamzah and Datuk Azmi Abdullah who were both Judicial Commissioners.

Among those who witnessed the ceremony were Chief Justice Tan Sri Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat and Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Dr Ismail Bakar.

Chief Comptroller of Istana Negara, Datuk Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin said in a statement that Al-Sultan Abdullah also expressed his pleasure at the appointment of more women judges which reflected the commitment of the federal administration to feature more women in the judiciary.

By Bernama.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2019/12/545139/agong-pleased-see-more-women-appointed-judges

Women given equal chance for major positions in public services – Director

Thursday, November 28th, 2019

KOTA KINABALU: The government is committed to ensure women are given equal opportunities to hold major positions in the public services.

Sabah Public Services Department (JPAN) director Datuk Datu Rosmadi Datu Sulai said the State government is consistent in its effort to empower women and has given critical positions to women in several departments.

He asserted that the appointment to hold top leadership should no longer be based on one’s gender but on their merit and ability to administrate and lead.

The number of women in the Sabah public service department, he said, currently stands at 33 per cent – 16 per cent in the Jawatan Utama Sektor Awam (JUSA), 38 per cent in Management and Professional group, and 32 per cent in Support group.

“We take great consideration in women’s involvement and acknowledge the significant roles they play in the administration of Sabah.

“The high percentage recorded was the first in Sabah public services and our hope is to maintain and balance the numbers so that gender will no longer be an issue in the public services,” he said.

This year, he underlined that the government, through JPAN, had sent 24 women officers to attend courses overseas while 54 had undergone various trainings in the country.

He added that as of Nov this year, the State Public Sector Training Institution has given training to 2,632 women officers out of the total 5,931 to strengthen their skills in various field including public administration.

“We believe officers who had attended these training now have positive skills and knowledge to improve their performance in delivering quality services to the people,” he said.

Speaking of balancing work and family among women, Rosmadi further urged State departments to take the opportunity of the RM30 million allocation from the federal government to set up care centres in workplace.

“State government offices are encouraged to apply for the provision from the Malaysia Welfare Department via Sabah Public Welfare Services Department for the purpose.

“This is an initiative that is sensitive to the needs of women which is very positive to ensure women continue to excel in their careers,” he said when closing the Program Bicara WOS: Kewibawaan dan Cabaran organised by Sabah Women Affairs Department (Jhewa) here on Wednesday.

Also present were Jhewa director Masturah Jamrah, permanent secretary of Housing and Local Government Ministry Masnah Matsalleh and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia former vice-chancellor Tan Sri Datuk Seri Dr Noor Azlan Ghazali.

A total of 114 participants from various organisations took part in the programme.

Masturah, in her speech, said women need to continue working hard, and urged the government to consider appointing more women who are qualified to be part of the administration’s top leadership.

While the number of women in the public service is growing, she stated there are currently only four women holding major positions, including as permanent secretaries, in several ministries.

“One of our Key Performance Index in Jhewa is to reach 20 per cent women among the local authorities but it seems that we have only reached 15 per cent.

“This, however, is beyond our control as the appointment relies on the assemblymen’s recommendation therefore what we can do is provide training to help women so that they could be appointed as councillors.

“I was also informed that there is no woman in the State Civil Service Commission; we previously had three, therefore we pray to the director to appoint women to join.

by DK RYNI QAREENA.

Read more @ http://www.newsabahtimes.com.my/nstweb/fullstory/35120