The Penang state government has set up a Penang Women’s Development Corporation, which is working with the Penang Island and Seberang Perai municipal councils to implement gender-responsive budgeting.
This report from theSun:
Penang promoting gender interest policies
Posted on 7 March 2012 – 05:16pm
Last updated on 7 March 2012 – 05:27pm
GEORGE TOWN (March 7, 2012): Penang government has set up a special state-run body to promote gender interests through the policies and programmes of the public and private sectors.
Called Penang Women’s Development Corporation (PWDC), it will function to advice the state government in formulating policies to realise gender and social equality, as well as undertake advocacy to promote good governance.
“It will monitor laws and policies which are gender discriminatory,” Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said during a press conference to introduce the corporation here today.
“It will also conduct programmes to empower women in various sectors of society as well as commit itself to raising the consciousness of women and men in Penang on gender equality and justice, human rights and good governance,” he added.
The state government has allocated RM1.5 million for the PWDC’s programmes and operations for 2012.
The amount is in addition to RM800,000 allocation channelled through the State Women, Family and Community Development Committee.
The PWDC’s board of directors, comprising activists, academics and social workers, is chaired by Ong Kok Fooi, the state executive councillor for youth and sports, and women, family and community development.
As a flagship programme, a 3-year Gender Responsive Budgeting project is being implemented by the PWDC together with the Penang island and Seberang Prai municipal councils.
The pilot project will work to make gender concerns become part of the mainstream focus of the budgetary process and policies of the two local government bodies, beginning with services related to cleanliness and safety, Lim said.
Both Penang and Seberang Prai councils have contributed RM63,000 and RM200,000 respectively for the pilot project.
One of the expected outcomes of this project is to have “sex-disaggregated data,” which contains core gender indicators, in the databank and statistics collected by the two local councils, Lim said.
These would then be used as evidence in making gender responsive policies and in their output-based budgeting, he stressed.
Lim also noted that Penang’s female labour force participation at 53.4% is much higher than the national average of 45.7%. “However, they are concentrated in low and semi-skilled positions in the manufacturing and services sectors,” he said.