STARTING this month, every constituency in Penang will have its own Women and Family Development Committee.
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the move was in line with the state’s Penang 2030 vision of a family-focused, green and smart city.
“The committees will function as part of the formal structure of the state government, tasked with implementing programmes related to women and family development in their constituencies.
“These programmes are aimed at building knowledge for women and families in various aspects such as financial management, mental and physiological health, parenting and leadership,” he said at a press conference in Komtar in George Town.
Each committee will comprise 15 local women leaders with its chairperson and secretary given a monthly allowance of RM700 and RM600 respectively.
Chow said each committee would be allocated RM10,000 per year to conduct women and family-centric programmes.
He added that the budget for the programmes would come from the overall Penang 2030 budget of RM20mil.
“With the formation of such committees in all 40 constituencies, we will have 600 women leaders in Penang,” he said.
Chow also said the committees would also assist the state in identifying talented women for leadership development.
“We wish to build a critical talent pool of local women leaders to fill up key positions, be they at the grassroots level or local councils or even in the state assembly.
“Having more women at the decision-making table will provide more diversity and different life experiences in formulating innovative solutions.”
State Women, Family Develop-ment and Gender Inclusiveness Committee chairman Chong Eng said the committees would comprise a ratio of 40% politicians, 40% non-governmental organisations and 20% individuals.