COMMUNITY Development and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Azizah Mohd Dun expressed disappointment that promoting gender equality at the workplace is still dogged by negative perceptions about women. She said women deserve equal treatment and fairer work opportunities to help their career development and upward mobility.
She made these points when she spoke at a ceremony to award certificates to women board directors training program at 1Borneo, recently.
In order to combat negative attitudes about women, Datuk Azizah emphasized that attitudinal change must begin at home. She said children regardless of their gender should have equal opportunity to receive education.
She said she would like to see more women in management positions, and the removal of institutional barriers that impede women from receiving management training and promotion.
"Employers must give a chance for women to shine by ensuring they receive help, appropriate training opportunities, and experience in areas where, hitherto, they have limited access. However, Azizah added a further proviso that training programmes must also be gender-sensitive, such that the timing and location of the courses do not clash with their domestic responsibilities," she said.
In addition, to make sure that women are not hampered by their gender-related commitments Datuk Azizah also called for the introduction of family-friendly policies which provide flexible hours, childcare centers at the workplace, job sharing and parental leave to help women employees balance their family and work responsibilities effectively.
At the base of it all, Azizah advocates a drastic change of the school ccurriculum to to allow girls to explore their interests and help them develop the appropriate skills and talent. (Insight Sabah)