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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        28  June 2011

Malaysia sets women’s affirmative action goal

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The private sector has five years to ensure that women make up at least 30 percent of those in decision-making positions.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said this policy had been approved by the Cabinet. It is an extension of a similar ruling which was introduced for the public sector in 2004.

“I believe this landmark decision made by the Cabinet last week will be a catalyst for affirmative action and gender equality in the corporate sector.

“The decision shows that the government today is not only supportive of women's roles and success, but also encourages them to move further ahead in their careers,” Najib said at a press conference at Parliament lobby.

The Prime Minister's announcement was greeted with cheers from the crowd, which largely comprised women from private sector companies.

Present were Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, Deputy Minister Senator Heng Seai Kie and secretary-general Datuk Dr. Noorul Ainur Mohd Nur.

Najib added that the five-year time frame was reasonable and expressed hope that the private sector would see this as a proactive measure to further strengthen companies' structure and future performance.

He said the policy for at least 30 percent women to be in decision-making positions in the civil service had been successful, pointing out that the ratio had grown steadily to 32.3% last year from 18.8 percent in 2004.


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