KUALA LUMPUR: Women in this country are more successful in various fields than elsewhere in the world, said Prime Minister Najib Razak.
He said the yardstick for successful women in the country could be seen through their involvement and contribution to the economic sector.
He said about 700,000 Malaysian women are in the workforce which had a 0.3% impact on the gross domestic product.
“In the education sector, the enrolment into public tertiary institutions increased from 62.5% in 2011 to 64% in 2015.
“At the doctorate level, it was 43.1% in 2011 and 44.8% in 2013.
“This clearly shows the position of women in education is very stable and strong. The question arising now is what has happened to the men?”
Najib was speaking at the National Transformation 2050 (TN50) and the 2017 National Women’s Day celebration dialogue session here today.
Najib said in the public sector, women filled 35% of top management posts.
He stressed that the success of women in this country was based on merit and not on sympathy from the government.
In the corporate sector, the prime minister said 16.8% women were in management levels in public listed companies (PLC).
“But we want to achieve the target of 30%. I have warned that next year we will publish (the names) of companies which do not have women as board members. They may not be given government contracts,” he said.
During the dialogue, which was moderated by Women, Family and Community Development Minister Rohani Abdul Karim, Najib also listened to the aspirations of 18 women from various backgrounds.
These included wanting the government to consider more women to become ministers and deputy ministers, and building an iconic building designed by women architects and built by women engineers.
At the same time, they said the handicapped also needed infrastructure which was friendly to them, while there should be an education system for special needs students, aid for single mothers to settle debts created by their former husbands, and to send qualified women to take courses at the Harvard Business School so that they could lead government-linked companies (GLC).
During the winding-up session, the prime minister said he would take note of all the views forwarded in the dialogue.
“We will consider (the views) but I want the participants of the TN50 dialogue to be more focused on policy matters to determine the country’s direction.
“We are heading towards 30 years from now to become the top 20 nations in the world,” he said.
However, Najib said the government was committed to working to increase women’s participation, including to ensure equal opportunities in various fields, by both women and men.