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ANNUAL BUDGET 2015 NCWO INPUT. “Accelerating Growth, Ensuring Fiscal Sustainability, Prospering the Rakyat”. NCWO APPRECIATES. The laudable efforts undertaken by Government to address: Poverty issues, I ncreasing women labour force participation rate to 55%

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Annual budget 2015 ncwo input


“Accelerating Growth, Ensuring Fiscal Sustainability, Prospering the Rakyat”

Ncwo appreciates

The laudable efforts undertaken by Government to address:

  • Poverty issues,

  • Increasing women labour force participation rate to 55%

  • 30% target for women to occupy the decision making positions (including women on Board of Directors) in organisations,

  • Women entrepreneurship

Critical issues for budget allocation
Critical Issues for Budget Allocation

NCWO, representing 100+ affiliates,

  • have shortlisted 5critical issues and

  • move our recommendations to be taken seriously so that programmes can be undertaken with the annual allocation of 2015 national budget

  • We have selected to address the following critical issues:

Critical issues to be addressed
Critical Issues to be addressed

  • invisible data on poor women heads of households in the eKasih database,

    - And the impact of economic uncertainties (inflation, withdrawal of subsidy) on poor households headed by women is greatest;

    2. The low rate of Women LFP

  • The slow progress to achieve 30% target for W in DM positions and as Directors on Board.

  • Women entrepreneurship, and lastly

  • Lack of gender awareness and gender analysis in the planning, implementation and monitoring all development programmes

Issue 1 women in poverty and economic vulnerability
Issue #1: Women in poverty and economic vulnerability

  • Incidence of poverty:

    female-headed households =4.1 %;

    male-headed households = 3.7 %

  • Among the poor, female-headed households are at the very bottom of the income distribution

Poor women heads of households
Poor Women Heads of Households

Little is known about poor and low income women heads of households

Different categories of FHH:

  • divorced, widowed,

  • Single (supporting elderly parents),

  • separated,

  • abandoned (IT)– husbands in rehab centres, in jails

    Urgent need to revalidate the E-kasih database to identify these invisible FHH

R ecommendations

  • Allocate budget to track poor and low income FHH

  • develop a good database so that various categories of poor women heads of households can be identified and adequately assisted .

Issue 1 from economic vulnerability to poverty
Issue 1: From economic vulnerability to poverty…

  • Not all women in the bottom 40% earning RM 3500/= and below have been reached…

  • Women earn inadequate income to support families, yet remain “invisible” /not included as poor because they earned slightly above poverty line.

Issue 2 from economic vulnerability to poverty
Issue 2: From economic vulnerability to poverty…

Feminisation of the AGED… rapid increase:

  • older women outlive their husbands (expected life span: 79 years for women and 72 for men); easily fall into poverty in old age,

  • hence the need to empower mature women (40 years and above) with financial literacy – they can save for later years,

  • Women need to become economically independent (saving) in old age if plan earlier.

Issue increase in cost of l iving
Issue: Increase in Cost of Living

Feedback received from NCWO “JomNiaga” roadshow revealed:

  • Poor and low income FHH received greatest impact from increase in inflation

  • Increase in CPI (3.5% ) in April 2014 from March 2013 show price increase for food, household items, transport and services – essential items.

    Impact of subsidy removal on the poor

  • the impending removal of subsidy for electricity presents great anxiety and difficulty, particularly for lower income and poor women.


1. Launch programme to empower women with financial skills and to encourage savings:

  • to launch personal financial skills programme targeting vulnerable women earning income below 40%,

  • targeting mature women above 40 years, to equip themselves with financial skill to enable them to manage their finances and save for old age,


2. Call on Government to decrease subsidies especially fuel subsidies on a staggered plan, in relation to income.

Issue 2 women entrepreneurship
Issue # 2: Women entrepreneurship

80-90% of women are involved in

  • Income Generating Activities (IGA) and

  • micro enterprise (ME), mostly for survival.

    A substantial percentage has emerged as entrepreneurs.

  • Target rural and urban women operating at different levels of business scale;

  • can develop programmes that meet their needs

Problems faced
Problems faced

Majority of women entrepreneurs face problems:

  • limited access to information,

  • fear of having to pay income tax and ‘GST’ if they register their businesses,

  • inability to handle technology, particularly web-based transactions,

  • lack of hand-holding and mentoring

  • Lack of affordable space for business.

Problems faced1
Problems faced

  • Majority are in food based industry; they need branding, halal certification in order toaccess bigger markets

    Numerous government programmes on women entrepreneurship available:

  • Teman 1 Azam and other programmes of SMECorp, MARA and Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumer Affairs:

  • Yet majority unable to access to government services and incentives


1. Expand the rural transformation centres (RTCs) to include “Women Entrepreneurship One Stop Center” that provide:

  • services, counselling, referral related to women entrepreneurial development.

  • service to register women’s business

  • training and mentoring to expand from “start-ups” in micro business, to growth oriented enterprises, and small scale businesses


RTCs to provide information, services and referral on:

  • microcredit programmes offered by AmanahIkhtiar Malaysia, TEKUN National, Bank Rakyat;

  • programmes offered by government agencies (eg Department of Agriculture, LembagaPertubuhanPeladang, RISDA, MARA, SMECorp).


2. To encourage formation of Women Cooperatives (egCOWanitaNiaga) in the production, supply, marketing and distribution of their products (give special incentives)

3. JAKIM to modify and simplify halal certification procedure appropriate to the level of enterprise for women in micro enterprise (without compromising halal criteria)

  • JAKIM to provide consultation, guidance and training on halal certification for women in food based industry

Issue 3 low rate of wlfp
Issue #3:Low Rate of WLFP

We acknowledge the Government’s laudable efforts to increase WLFP by 55%

Various incentives introduced:

  • fee assistance for children,

  • launching grants for the set up for new childcare centres,

  • tax exemptions /double tax deductions for employers who provide childcare facilities and

  • training expenditure incurred by companies that hire women on career break;

But work life balance
But… Work Life Balance?

But incentives focus only on child care….

Need concrete programmes … We need WLB policies, strategies, supports, services and facilities from employers…

Hence our recommendations:

1. Launch awareness campaign on benefits of “Work-Life Balance”programme to both employers and employees,

Wlb employers commitment
WLB: Employers Commitment

2. Employers to review and adapt company’s employment policies, supports and strategies on WLB, so that:

  • solutions and supports given could resolve work-family conflicts

  • increase employees’ productivity at the work place

    3. Employers to implement capacity building programmes on “work-life or work-family balance”,

    4. Identify “Champions” and advocates on WLB from the industry so they can motivate and mobilise others

Wlb government industry smart partnership
WLB: Government-Industry Smart Partnership

5. We call on GLCs to start the WLB programme

6. To set up an independent committee to encourage employers’ commitment to implement, monitor and evaluate WLB programme

7. Govt to give recognition and awards to WLB Champions and to companies that have successfully implement WLB programmes;

Issue 4 women in decision making positions
Issue # 4: Women in Decision Making Positions

  • By 2015, Govt sets 30% target for W in DM;

  • 30% women on Corporate Board of Directors;

  • Security Commissionof Malaysia imposed public listed companies (PLCs) to disclose their strategies on gender diversity at Board level and their efforts in achieving the target



Mckinsey reported in women matter 2011
McKinsey reported in “Women Matter” 2011

From a survey among women aged 23 to 34 in Malaysia: both women and men

  • aspire to progress to top-level management, &

  • they wanted equal access to promotions and other opportunities.

    For the private sector, the progress is meagre:

  • only 11 %Malaysian women are at the mid to senior level management and

  • only 5 % are CEOs of companies

Recommendations women in dm positions
Recommendations:Women in DM Positions

1. Implement the gender diversity KPI of 30% women in decision-making positions at

  • different levels in government and other agencies;

  • from the grass root (JKKK) in the districts to top level management.

    2. Establish a policy of at least 1 woman in the nomination list of promotions.

Recommendations cont
Recommendations (cont.):

3. The Cross Fertilisation and Mentoring Programmes proposed by TalentCorp should be expeditiously implemented

4. Recruitment, appraisal and career management systems such as job assignments, training and promotion practices must be re-appraised and adapted

(so that opportunities are given to more women to hold positions – enable them to develop expertise and a track record for leadership roles).

Recommendations glcs commitment
Recommendations: GLCs Commitment

5. Strategically, to meet the 30% target, we recommend GLCs to give their commitment by working on the following:

i)    To set a 30% quota for women BOD members based on merit and excellence (this being the primary operative criteria).

ii)    Appoint women at decision making level President, VP, MD, GM, CEO, COO.

Recommendations cont1
Recommendations (cont.)

iii) Government directive given to GLCs to make gender equality initiatives and gender diversity a part of CEO's KPI eg implement work life balance policies, strategies, services and facilities.

iv)  Women to women mentoring program as part of the women senior manager's KPI.

Recommendations women in dm positions cont
Recommendations:Women in DM Positions (cont.)

6. A task force should be set up to study legislative measures for mandating female board representation

Issue 5 development programme through gender lense
Issue # 5:Development Programme through Gender Lense

“Our transformation agenda is by the people and for the people. However, we will only succeed if the transformation is made with the people. Only through the harnessing of the collective might of Malaysians can we fulfil our potential and join the ranks of the leading nations in the world”.

Cited from Talent Roadmap 2020, Prime Minister,

Dato Sri MohdNajibTun Abdul Razak

Issue 5 development programme through gender lense cont
Issue # 5: Development Programme through Gender Lense (cont.)

  • Such transformation agenda need changing the mind set of Malaysians (male and female) at all levels regarding roles, responsibilities and equal opportunities for men and women in nation building.

  • Can be achieved using gender and development sensitisation and capacity building development programmes,

Issue development programme through gender lense cont
Issue: Development Programme through Gender Lense (cont.)

G&D can inculcate transformational values to achieve:

  • women empowerment,

  • gender equity / equality,

  • elimination of all forms of discrimination in family, community and the work place,

  • E.g. Programmes to promote W at DM levels; LFP programmes for women and WLB policies and strategies at organisation level, have shown little progress

  • Why? Not analysed through gender lens.


We strongly request special budget allocated for programmes on Gender and Development, to implement:

  • Gender awareness to legislators, development planners and implementers, and the public (forums, dialogues, seminars, training, media campaigns),

  • Capacity Building programme on Gender Perspective in Development be given to decision makers, planners and implementers in ministries and agencies at all levels and sectors in the government;


iii) To revitalize and enhance gender capacity of Gender Focal Points of each Ministry and incorporate the gender KPIs in their promotion exercises.

iv) To set up a Special Gender and Development Task force, under the Prime Minister’s Department comprising gender sensitive leaders and gender advocates from Government, Woman NGOs, academicians and experts on Gender.

  • Lastly, we reiterated that all policies and programs related to Women will continue to progress slowly because:

  • lack of understanding /misconception of women’s role in economic development/ traditional mind set


  • Therefore, all development policies and programmes need to be designed from gender perspective, using the gender lense.