Care Economy initiatives can increase women’s participation in job market

Care Economy initiatives can increase women’s participation in job market

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 5 (Bernama) — The government’s move to provide affordable childcare centres through the Care Economy initiatives can increase the participation of women in the national labour market, in line with the country’s goal of achieving 60 per cent women workforce by next year.

National Council of Women’s Organisations (NCWO) president Tan Sri Dr Sharifah Hapsah Syed Hasan Shahabuddin said the initiatives for women in the MADANI Economy could also encourage women to remain in the job market.

“Women often use excuses like having to care for their sick children and parents as the reason for quitting their jobs.

“This kind of care service is very necessary, but most people can’t afford it due to the high cost,” she said when contacted by Bernama today.

She said the government’s move to simplify the registration process and expand the whitelisting for unregistered nurseries and childcare centres nationwide with an allocation of RM10 million could encourage more entrepreneurs to venture into the field with higher standards.

Meanwhile, economic analyst and Malaysian Future Institute (Masa) Honorary Fellow Datuk Dr Madeline Berma said initiatives for women that were recently announced by the government showed the Unity Government’s political commitment to reduce the gap in women’s labour participation, which is still low at 55.5 per cent compared to men (80.9 per cent).

“The issue currently faced by Malaysians (in the labour market) is that of being a sandwich generation that is trapped between caring for both elderly parents and their own children. This drives some parents to send their children to residential schools.

“So, the attention given by the government to the Care Economy can reduce their burden and attract women to return to the labour market,” she said.

In addition, she also proposed that a quota for the intake of women workers be created and incentives like tax exemptions and such be given to companies that meet the stipulated quota.

Anwar, who is also the Finance Minister, announced at a recent MADANI Economy event the setting up of affordable childcare centres in a move to get more women to join the labour force.

He said it was one of the government’s efforts to reduce the gender gap in the country’s labour market because the rate of participation of women is still low compared to other developed countries.


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