GDP growth tied to women in workforce

02 Jul 2014 / 21:01 H.

    KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia needs to have more women remaining in the labour force as well as having more innovations, among other measures, to improve or maintain its gross domestic product (GDP) growth.
    The suggestion came from Michelle Gyles-McDonnough, the UN resident coordinator and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) country representative for Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei.
    She said today that increasing the development of mega projects in the country "would push labour productivity and innovation within the domestic workforce."
    One way of increasing this productivity was to look at the policies and framework necessary to enable more women to enter the workforce, she told a press conference after the launch of the post-2015 Development Agenda National Consultation.
    She felt that although Malaysia has taken steps to increase female participation in the labour force, "there is a high need to sustain them in the labour force longer."
    "Women make up of over 68% of tertiary graduates in this country but do not remain long in the labour force. It has just touched above 5% and it needs to push higher as it gets closer to 2020," she said, referring to the 6.2% of GDP growth in the first quarter of 2014.
    She also said that having mega projects could drive labour productivity and push the GDP higher.
    "Mega projects like the MRT development is one example for Malaysia, and with more innovation and new ideas planted in development projects, we can see the level of labour productivity increasing."
    The post-2015 national consultation is for the first time drawing public feedback from Malaysians on how they want the institutions to help sustainable development.
    From a survey done last year by the UN Development Group, in which 88 countries have participated, Malaysians had recorded their priorities namely in wanting education, an honest government and administration, fight against violence and quality healthcare.

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