KUALA LUMPUR: The government would introduce a gender empowerment framework in the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) while the civil and syariah law would be strengthened in tackling issues related to women, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

Tabling the 12MP in the Dewan Raskyat today, he said the efforts at gender empowerment in development would continue with women’s increased involvement in the economic sector and decision-making process.

“Access to and the quality of care services and early education for children, as well as care for the elderly at reasonable charges will be improved to encourage more women to continue working or return to work.

“Furthermore, women’s participation in the employment market is targeted to reach 59 percent in 2025,” he added.

On the economic development of women entrepreneurs, Ismail Sabri said it would be boosted by increasing access to funding and skills training.

“Women entrepreneurs will also be encouraged to conduct their business activities online in order to expand their market,” he said.

Meanwhile, the prime minister said the number of registered persons with disabilities (OKU) had increased by eight per cent from 548,000 in 2019 to 593,000 in 2020.

He said this group would continue to be empowered with the implementation of programmes such as Job Coach, rehabilitation in community, independent living centre, entrepreneurship programme for persons with disabilities, and special career carnival.

Ismail Sabri said to ensure the needs of senior citizens were taken care of, the government would enhance the support system for this group.

“To date, 140 centres for the elderly have been set up and the government plans to extend this effort to all the parliamentary constituencies.

“Malaysia also needs to create more elderly-friendly townships in future, while the National Senior Citizens Registration System will be improved and the coverage expanded,” he added. — Bernama