Empowering women the Malaysia Madani way

KUALA LUMPUR: The i-Sayang initiative, which will see husbands contribute 2.0% of their EPF contributions to their wives, a RM1 million fund to assist those in need, and more places in decision-making roles are among the plans the government has devised for women.

These women’s empowerment and protection initiatives will be launched as part of the “Malaysia Madani” concept, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said.

“Women play a vital role in the lives of many people – from mothers to sisters to wives to those in the workforce.

“The expertise and intuition of women cannot be underestimated. They must be protected and nurtured,” he said in his speech at the International Women’s Day celebrations at Dewan Perdana Felda here yesterday.

Anwar announced the immediate launch of the i-Sayang initiative, which would see husbands voluntarily transfer 2.0% of their EPF contributions to their wives’ accounts monthly, adding the 2% was only a small amount and shouldn’t burden husbands.

“This is part of the government’s planned expansion of the social protection network to include family institutions,” he said.

Anwar said government servants would be monitored to ensure they contributed.

He followed this by announcing the RM1mil women’s emergency assistance fund called “Tabung Kasih Rahmah Wanita” which would help women in distress.

This would include victims of domestic violence and those neglected by family members.

His government would also pursue the goal of elevating women to take on at least 30% of decision-making roles in government-linked companies, government-linked investment companies, and Minister of Finance Incorporated companies by 2025.

“I want to embrace change. We must still choose the most qualified, but we must also increase the roles of women,” he said.

Among the initiatives were new guidelines for the multi-phased implementation of the Anti-Sexual Harassment Advocacy Programme, which sees the posting of anti-sexual harassment notices in the premises of every organisation across the country.

The notices, made by the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry (KPWKM), would be first posted in public sector buildings before being eventually posted in the private sector and community areas.

Anwar also said a further RM5mil under KPWKM would be used for data collection, research and promotion of future women’s empowerment programmes.

“Discrimination against women and the challenges they face are still common even today, which makes the RM5mil funding all the more important,” he said.

The celebrations saw some 600 women and their families taking part in the event.

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women , empowerment , Malaysia Madani


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