MoF, Women NGOs to prepare gender responsive budget starting 2023 – PM
KUALA LUMPUR - The Finance Ministry (MOF) and women-related non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have been entrusted with the responsibility to prepare a Gender Responsive Budget for the B40 group starting next year, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced.
He said the budget initiative, which will be based on gender-disaggregated data, will identify the target group and distribute the allocations according to the needs of the recipients with significant numbers.
"This is not just for single mothers, but also single fathers if their number shows a significant increase in the community,” he said at the National Women’s Day celebration here today, which was graced by Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah.
Ismail Sabri said the government would also improve and fine-tune the existing policies, legislations and programmes to be more gender-sensitive, including by reviewing the National Women Policy and in formulating gender-sensitive bills.
Among the bills were the Anti-Sexual Harassment Bill, which had recently been passed in Parliament, and the Anti-Stalking Bill which had been tabled for first reading at Dewan Rakyat on Aug 4.
The Prime Minister said the government would also continue with the Action Plan to Address Underage Marriage with Kedah having made an amendment to the Islamic family law enactment which provides protection to the weak and vulnerable groups.
"It is hoped that it will be emulated by other states so that underage marriage issues can be addressed," he said.
While admitting that there is room for improvement, Ismail Sabri said the national agenda to empower women, who are the pillar of the country's development, has always been a priority to the government.
For instance, he said the government had agreed to establish the National Women's Council, National Women's Executive Committee and state women's working committees to empower the roles of women at the federal and state levels.
"The government has also allocated RM13 million specifically for the Sexual, Women and Child Investigation Division (D11) of the Royal Malaysia Police to ensure that investigations into sexual crimes involving women and children can be done more effectively," he said.
Ismail Sabri said the government was also concerned and had taken the initiative to ensure that victims of domestic violence receive immediate protection by setting up one-stop social support centres (PSSS) that provide psychosocial services to Malaysian families across the country.
He said, a total of 591,000 individuals from the target group, especially women, had benefitted from the PSSS services, especially guidance and counselling.
"This is the government's commitment to the women of Keluarga Malaysia, which we hope will also be supported by all parties," he said.
Also present at the event were Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rina Harun, Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri and president of National Council of Women's Organisations Malaysia (NCWO) Prof Emeritus Tan Sri Dr Sharifah Hapsah Syed Hasan Shahabudin. - BERNAMA