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

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.


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