The National Women Policy is a continuation to the National Women Policy formulated in 1989 which takes into account issues, opportunities, challenges and the environment of current and in the future. Based on the Federal Constitution, Rukun Negara principles and the National Social Policy, this policy supports the ambition to achieve gender equality and the development of the country that is balance and sustainable.
The National Women Policy uphold the non-discrimination principle as enshrined in the Federal Constitution, Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), Convention on the Rights of Child (CRC), Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, Millenium Development Goals (MDGs), Putrajaya Declaration and Program on the Development of Women in the Non-Aligned Movement Countries (NAM Putrajaya Declaration).
It is the intention of this policy to realized Government aspiration in developing human capital which are competitive and has self-endurance to produce women with knowledge and with vision, has creative and innovative strengths as well as appreciating good values.
This policy intends to give guidance and the direction in planning and implementation effort with the awareness that women constitute half of the country’s population which persevered in contributing to the country’s development.
This policy is equipped with the Women Development Action Plan (WDAP) which set out the actions that need to be taken by the Government agencies, non-governmental organizations, private sector and civil society to achieve the objective and the mission of the National Women Policy. WDAP has strategies that covers 13 sectors that are the economy, poverty, laws, violence against women, health, education and training, science and technology, decision maker, mechanism, women development machinery and institute, media, environment, sports, cultural arts and heritage.
National Women Policy intends to ensure the development and empowerment of women by mainstreaming women’s interests in achieving their full potential in the planning and country development to achieve gender equality.
The aims of the National Women Policy are:
- To build the potential and empower women from the different level of society and in all sectors as an agent for change for the society and contribute to the economic and social development of the country;
- Provide conducive environment, including formulating policy and laws that are women-friendly, increase dignity and the well-being of women’s life in all aspects including physical, economy, social, politic, health, psychology and spiritual;
- Cultivate gender equality culture at all levels of society and in all sectors;
- Ensure opinions and women’s voices are accepted in the process of decision making at all levels;
- To achieve shared equality between women and men in getting and control of resources and the participation opportunity as well as enjoying the benefits of development; and
- To increase and strengthen the sharing, fairness and equality between women and men in all aspects of life, to strengthen the family institution and developing the community and society.
Strategies that are outlined to implement this policy are:
- Mainstreaming gender perspective in formulating policies and laws, implementation and evaluation program, projects and budget preparation for development;
- To increase commitment among the executive bodies, legal bodies and judiciary, including policy drafters, decision makers and the enforcement in the public sector and the private sector as well as the civil society, to respect and preserve women’s dignity;
- Review current laws and regulations and enact new laws and regulations to ensure non- discrimination based on gender, protection, safety, women’s rights and dignity are protected and to take actions so that the enforcement of the laws is effective.
- Conduct research on gender aspect to generate innovative and creative measures in drafting policy, planning and implementation of program.
- Carry out the gathering, analysis and application of data and information by Government agencies, private sector and non-governmental organization according to gender for the planning, implementation and program evaluation.
- Increase the capacity and women’s ability in all field to ensure their involvement are effective in the development of the economy and social of the country, including involvement in politics and in the decision making process.
- Strengthen and increase women socio-economic level through cooperation and synergy with Government agencies, private sector and non-governmental organization at the national and international level, to add and diversify the opportunity as well as to move resources, information and expertise among women.
To ensure the aims of the National Women Policy are achieved and Women Development Action Plan (WDAP) can be implemented effectively, several approaches are outlined:
- All Government agencies, private sector, non-governmental organization and civil society have to take action as set in the WDAP;
- Human resources that is knowledgeable, trained and gender sensitive with the specific expertise must be prepared and financial resources that is sufficient;
- Temporary special actions and “affirmative action” or the quota system are reasonable to be taken to develop qualified and capable women in all sector;
- Planning, coordination, monitoring and evaluation of activities under WDAP are given to the related implementing agency according to the specific authority;
- Create central database to integrate data based on gender from various sources including Government agencies, private sector and non-governmental organization;
- Create multisector synergies among Government agencies, private sector, non-governmental organization and civil society;
- Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development (MWFCD) acting as the lead agency to coordinate advocacy activities, monitoring as a whole including the review of the suitability of the policy and implementing strategy WDAP for every 3 years or according to needs.
The success of this policy depends on the commitment and support by all parties especially at the high level leadership as well as cooperation by the Government agencies, private sector, non-governmental organizations and the civil society. The readiness of all parties to receive paradigm shift is the condition to the success of the implementation of National Women Policy and the WDAP.
The National Women Policy is the socio-economic development policy which are comprised of philosophy, inspiration and aspiration of women from all level, age, in the society and in all sector. The implementation of this policy has become the Government’s main agenda towards building a society that are developed, dynamic and competitive as well as compassionate, fair and equal.