Penang women, family development and gender inclusiveness committee chairman Chong Eng said an increasing number of working women are taking positions at leadership and managerial roles.
“This includes roles in professional fields that were previously predominantly men, such as in medicine and technology.
“Such progress, even though slow, is acknowledged as it is much needed in our stride to maximise the potential of each and every one of our citizens.
“While the majority of market production has to shut down during this period of movement control order (MCO), women continue to deliver at the household level. This includes housekeeping, laundy, cooking, childcare and elderly care.
“Take an example of Caroline, a mother of a young child. She prepares and drives her child in the morning to kindergarten, go marketing, prepares lunch, play and educate the child, clean the house, do the laundry and gardening.
“If all these tasks are ‘outsourced’, the family would have to pay a substantial amount to helpers. As a home manager, she contributes economically to the family,” she said in a statement on Friday.
Chong Eng said according to a study by Khazanah Research Institute, a generalist wage could be as high as RM30,700 per annum from her work in household production that includes housework, clothing, preparing meals, care work and voluntary work.
“Household production of domestic work and unpaid care work is largely shouldered by women.
“However, as the value of household production is not captured by the gross domestic production (GDP), the sacrifices made by this group of women are not captured.
“This is an area where I strongly urge the government to take necessary steps to assign economic value to household production and give household production providers their due credit.
“As we celebrate Workers’ Day in this time when Penang moves into the ‘next normal’, the dire situation where women’s contribution is persistently underappreciated has to be addressed. And these women need to stand up to be counted.
“Thus, on this special day, I wish to extend my gratitude to all women who are contributing to the economic well-being of our nation, be it in the formal and informal sectors as well as those working at home,” she added.
Did you find this article insightful?
100% readers found this article insightful