More female workers by 2015

PETALING JAYA: Women will comprise 55% of the Malaysian workforce by 2015, said Women, Family and Community Deve­lopment Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil.

She said it was fortunate that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak recognised and believed in the power of women.

“Women will hopefully continue to play an even bigger role in helping Malaysia become a high-powered, competitive nation,” said Shahrizat in her speech at a gala dinner of the Malaysia-China-Asia Pacific Women’s Economic Summit, held in conjunction with the 100th Anniversary of Inter­national Women’s Day.

She said women must be given the opportunity and chance to engage in various economic activities.

“Investing in women is smart economics,” she said, adding that she hoped that businesswomen would prosper in the Asia-Pacific region.

Earlier, organising chairman Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun said it was time to move beyond traditional shackles and break through conventional gender barriers.

“The most meaningful way to celebrate this day will be for women to step out of their own confines to embrace the world,” said Chew in her welcoming address.

She said men should not only recognise the position of women but also capitalise on their multi-faceted talents and competitive advantages in various fields.