Thursday, March 11, 2010

Malaysia recognizes women's contribution to national development

(pic: CFL)
Media: Xinhua
Date: 08 March 2010

KUALA LUMPUR, Mar 08, 2010 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Malaysia recognized women's contribution and their active and direct involvement in the national development in various aspects, a Malaysian official said here on Monday.

Malaysian Deputy Women, Family and Community Minister Chew Mei Fun made this remark at a forum held here to mark the International Women's Day.

However, Chew also recognized that there were some issues of gender inequality existing in the country's politics, economy and social aspect.

More programs need to be implemented in order to address these issues of gender inequality, she said.

Chew said that her ministry and several Malaysian government agencies were working together towards empowering women by implementing the programs outlined in the country's National Women Policies and the Women's Development Action Plan.

These plans were aimed at providing more opportunities for women to excel in the areas, Chew told Xinhua.

Admitting that there was still discrimination against women in the country, Chew said that the Malaysian government had made some amendments to the country's constitution, guaranteeing policies and laws enacted in future would be equal to both genders.

The half-day forum was attended by some 250 participants, including officials, businesswomen, scholars. Earlier on Monday, the ministry's secretary-general Nor Hayati Sulaiman said that gender equality was a pre-requisite to create an equal and fair society.Comprehensive human development could not be attained if women were discriminated, added Nor Hayati. She also noted that her ministry was tasked to train and turn out 2,000 female entrepreneurs this year in an effort to involve more women in the economic sector.

Wan Hasmah Wan Mohd, director-general of Malaysian Women's Development Department, said that a fair platform must be provided to women so that they could develop their potentials to the fullest, contributing to the country's economic, social and politics development.

She also said that the department would continue to focus on raising women's socio-economic status, building women's capacity, lifting women's living standard as well as protecting women's rights.

Bathmavathi Krishnan, president of Association of Women with Disabilities Malaysia, lauded the Malaysian government for setting up a ministry to look after women's and children's welfare.

However, she hoped that the Malaysian government would pay more attention to the disabled women, as they were much more vulnerable to exploitation.

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