KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah government hoped to increase the number of women in its workforce by 55% come 2015, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman.
Musa said better access to higher learning has helped to empower more women and they has been seen to move to higher-paying jobs.
“Currently, women make up 47% of the workforce in Sabah, as compared to 30.8% in 2000.
“Flexible working hours is one of several issues discussed at the government’s Strategic Reforms Initiatives laboratories, aimed at encouraging more women to take part in the Economic Transformation Programme,” he said at the centennial anniversary of the International Women’s Day celebration and Parent’s Day recently.
Musa said he also hoped to see an increased representation of women in the local business scene.
“Women have proven to be good money managers and are generally better at repaying loans hence they can be successful when they venture into business.
“In Sabah, the women are just as able and have demostrated their ability to play a leading role. We have a number of women as elected representatives, in senior government posts and even a minister,” he said.
Musa was happy that there were a number of successful women in the fields of property, hospitality, wellness and pharmaceuticals.
He also acknowledged women had taken leading roles in NGOs, professional and charitable organisations.
“Their innate multi-tasking talents demand respect. I would like to take this opportunity to call on women-led organisations to reach out to those in rural areas who may need guidance in becoming effective players in the state’s development.
“I hope they will also offer help to women and children who fall victim to domestic abuse and other forms of violence, including human trafficking,” he said.
Later, Musa announced that the state would contribute RM100,000 to sponsor the International Women’s Day Celebration here.
“It is fitting that we take the opportunity to celebrate the countless achievements of women in Malaysia.
“In today’s world, women are considered co-developers of a nation and achieving gender equality is necessary in the social, economic and political sphere,” he said.