updated 11 Sep 2010, 15:39
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Mon, Feb 23, 2009
The Star
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Women first to be retrenched
by Sim Leoi Leoi

KUALA LUMPUR: Employers are still discriminating against women when it comes to retrenchment.

Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Noriah Kasnon said the Government was concerned with the statistics as half of the workers retrenched recently in the current economic crisis were women, despite them making up only 35% of the country’s total workforce. “Female workers may be contributing towards their companies’ productivity.

“But when an economic slowdown occurs, they are still the first to be asked to go, with excuses that many of them tend to focus on their family or are pregnant regularly,” she said.

We would hold talks with both the Human Resources and the Entrepreneur Development and Cooperative Ministries on how we can create more jobs for women, she told reporters after launching a seminar on violence and sexual harassment against women at the Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, here, yesterday.

On calls by the Bar Council and Women Parliamentary Caucus for stricter laws to protect privacy in the wake of the scandalous pictures involving former Selangor exco member and Bukit Lanjan assemblyman Elizabeth Wong, Noriah said the ministry would consider the proposal.

Earlier, in her speech, Noriah said violence and sexual harassment affected women from all classes, including professionals.

“Sexual harassment can happen everywhere, even at home. There is no point for victims to hide or shy away from filing complaints,” she said.

“Last year, the police recorded 3,906 cases of sexual harrassment, including molest. The Public Service Department took disciplinary action against 27 officers over such complaints between 2005 and last year.”

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