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How far are women treated in your society

In the earlier years, the issue of gender inequality is one which has been publicly reverberating
through society for decades. Since independence, Malaysian women have enjoyed equal
opportunities with men in access to basic social services. They have been able to contribute to
national development and prosperity. However, it is also the case that women are discriminated
against by their religions and cultures, which perpetuate stereotyped gender roles and protectionist
and patriarchal attitudes towards women. Generally, men have more power than women in
Malaysian society.

Latest data from the statistics department shows that the labour force participation rate of women
is 54.6%. Malaysia’s current labour force figure stands at 15 million with more than 55% of the
female labour participation rate comes from the age group of 25 to 54 years old. If women are given
the choice to work, many are forced to give their salaries to their husbands as Malaysian women
face much discrimination in marriage. Many women are expected to stay in the home, as
homemakers and mothers. One of the challenges is to extend the proportion of women in
higher skilled positions by providing higher educational attainment that will increase women’s
income-generating capability and is connected to reductions in maternal and child mortality The
Malaysian government, when presenting Budget 2018 in October 2017, proposed that the private
sector increase the mandatory maternity leave from the current 60 days to 90 days, as practised by
public-sector organisations. However, a longer maternity leave will result in additional cost for
employers.

The contributions of and portrayal of women in the Malaysian media are women's access to training
in journalism and education is on average better than that of men. There are 3 communications
departments in institutions of higher learning in Malaysia, and all enrol more women than men
because of women's better language skills and desire to enter a "glamourous" profession. Women's
participation in journalism, except for women's magazines, is much more limited, especially at
higher levels. Women's abilities are not lacking, as shown by the number of awards Malaysian
women journalists have won, but it is felt that women are not assertive of domestic obligations. In
Malaysia, women are generally portrayed in as either decorative, foolish, consumption-driven, or sex
objects.

To track gender-related changes in Malaysia over time, the Ministry of Women, Family and Community
Development (MWFCD) has constructed a gender-related development index, referred to as
Malaysia's Gender Gap Index (MGGI). It is hoped that the trends and changes in gender disparities
measured by the MGGI will lead to the development of strategies that will ensure both men and
women receive equal access to resources in health, education, and economic activity as well as enjoy
equal opportunity for political growth. In politics, a total of 251 women have been nominated to
contest in the recent 14th General Election. It was reported that these candidates hold important
positions within the party they represent, yet these women must also contend with voters, who
hold gender stereotypes and often do not take female candidates seriously. Some voters explicitly
prefer male candidates, even when the evidence clearly indicates the female candidate is more
qualified.

To sum up, men have more power than women in Malaysian society. The top politicians, business
leaders, and religious practitioners are predominately male. Yet Malaysian society shows
considerable suppleness in its gender divisions with prominent women emerging in many different
fields. Most of the major political parties have an active women's wing which provides access to
political power. Though opportunities for men and women differ by ethnic group and social class,
strict gender segregation has not been a part of modern Malaysian life.