Malaysiakini News

Deputy minister: Gender sensitisation training necessary

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Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Hannah Yeoh has said that the department heads in all ministries should undergo a gender sensitisation course to help curb discrimination.

She was reported saying so by The Star when commenting on the new government's bid to address the issue, but did not elaborate on the nature of the course, nor if and when it would be implemented.

On the proposed Gender Equality Bill, which had been proposed by the previous government, Yeoh said religious authorities must now be consulted to ensure the bill being drafted takes into account cultural norms.

She added that her ministry was closely examining the anti-discriminatory aspects of the bill.

“We are looking at not just gender, but also discrimination against people on other grounds,” the Segambut MP was quoted saying to members of the press yesterday.

Read more: Hospital sexual harassment probe looking into claims of a cover-up

In May, Women, Family and Community Development Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said the Gender Equality Bill was one of several possible laws the ministry was reviewing which could accord better protection to women and children.

She had said the matter would be discussed with the attorney-general and all stakeholders, but offered no timeline for the bill to be tabled in Parliament.

Rights groups have been calling for the drafting of the bill to balance gender roles in the workforce which has seen women lagging behind. 

Before coming into power, Pakatan Harapan had promised to ensure 30 percent representation of women in decision-making roles, including in the state and Parliament.

However, it has been unable to keep that promise following its May 9 general election victory.

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