National Policy for Women was established in 1989 as a reaction to a series of international conferences. This policy provides rules and strategies to enhance women’s participation in the economy, politics and society. Two decades of policy implementation showed a significant change in terms of participation among women in many sectors. Female workers are enthusiastic to compete with male workers in many fields, but those fields are feminine-oriented such as teaching, clerical, service, and agricultural. Do statistics mislead women to believe that a high percentage of women’s participation means women are equally as independent as men? This paper discusses the implementation of a National Policy for Women and how this policy contributes to women’s participation. Although this policy is meant to empower women in development, inquiry into the depth and number of participating women is still unknown. Removing the glass ceiling or eliminating gender identification based on a merit system is still a hard goal to achieve. The decision making level is still dominated by male participants as compared to female. Thus, the National Policy for Women is still a rubric that only improves feminine sectors. Consequently, this paper analyzes the obstacles and it outlines critically the factors that impede efforts to empower women’s participation. A qualitative method such as interviewing is applied to develop the perspectives on women’s participation. Snowball sampling was used when one respondent recommended another person to be interviewed; thus the sample grew gradually. Statements from respondents were recorded and transcribed, and themes were developed that highlighted the issues. Secondary statistical data were presented to link the themes and issues as this data was significant to measuring the degree of participation. The hypothesis is that a more translucent regime that understands women’s need will have better capacity to determine their future.
|Keywords:||Policy Analysis, Gender Studies|
Senior Lecturer, School of History, Politics and Strategic Studies, National University of Malaysia, Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia
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