Malaysia's deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail announced that the Malaysian government is working towards formulating a gender equality bill, with a commitment to ensure that women enjoy their human rights and fundamental freedom, Bernama reported.
In her speech when officiating The Big Tulip Summit - Women in Business, Industry and Government Programme, she said: "The commitment towards increasing women’s leadership representation in the government is clearly evidenced by the number of senior cabinet ministerial appointments."
The programme themed 'The Power of Purpose, Positivity and Resilience' was organised by the Othman Yeop Abdullah Graduate School of Business of Universiti Utara Malaysia.
As of now, there are five women ministers out of 28 ministers and four women deputy ministers out of 27 deputy ministers. Moreover, women make up less than 20% in the House of Representatives and in the Senate respectively.
The increase in percentage of women in the field of politics would ensure more women’s voices could be heard at the highest level of decision making in the country, said Dr Wan Azizah.
She also added that through the National Policy on Women and its Action Plan, the government is looking to ensure the participation of women in achieving their full potential in the country’s planning and development.
"I urge all women leaders to pay it forward and give back to our society. Together we can move the women agenda onwards to have more women as respected and successful members of board of directors and to be emulated as mentors and coaches," she said.
This would change the lives of vulnerable urban and poor women and address issues of social ills afflicting women, she added.