Malaysia Gender Wage Gap Grows Despite Government Efforts



Even though it is slowly rising, the female labor force participation rate in Malaysia still lags far behind that of men. As a result, people are concerned about economic growth and unmet potential.

Datuk Seri Dr. Noraini Ahmad, the President of the Muslim World Women’s Summit and Malaysia Deputy Minister of Women, Family, and Community Development, brought up the distinction. In June 2023, 56.3% of women took part which is a slight increase over the 55.5% and 55.9% of women who did so in 2020 and 2021. Dr. Noraini highlighted that this percentage is still far lower than the 82.9% rate for the working-age population.

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In 2022, the International Labour Organization (ILO) conducted a study that indicated this placed the nation behind its neighbors. Eighth out of 10 ASEAN nations are ranked by it. The range of rates is 59% to 74.8%; in places like Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Singapore, and Thailand, these numbers are much higher.

In an interview with Bernama TV, Dr. Noraini emphasized that the administration is actively attempting to resolve this matter.

Some of the initiatives are extending tax breaks for women who return to work before December 31, 2027, and increasing childcare benefits.

“Taking a look at the programs, the government has set a goal to get 60% of women in different parts of the country working by this year,” she said, according to the New Straits Times.

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