PETALING JAYA, 27 May 2009: Although Malaysia ratified the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (Cedaw) in 1995, discrimination against women still exists in the country, especially in terms of promotion and recognition in the public and private sectors.
This was revealed by Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) Commissioner Tan Sri Dr Asiah Abu Samah today.
She said Malaysia had also amended several laws to ensure no discrimination against women, but the objective to have 30% women participation at the policy-making level had yet to be accomplished.
“In the cabinet, only two out of the 28 ministers are women, and that is less than 10%.
“The number of women at the decision-making level in the public sector is less than 20% and in the private sector, the situation gets worse.
“Some employers were even found to have discriminated against the female employees in terms of salary payment,” she said when opening the Cedaw workshop for union leaders here.
Asiah said that to increase public awareness on women’s rights, Suhakam had organised various programmes in collaboration with the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry, local universities, international agencies, and the non-governmental organisations.
Suhakam had also inculcated gender sensitisation in the joint-programmes organised by the police, prison and immigration personnel.
Hence, she hoped that the two-day workshop would not only increase the awareness and sensitivity of the union leaders to the rights of women employees but would also enable the participants to raise issues pertaining to women’s rights. — Bernama