Advancing economic opportunities for women is not just the right thing to do but also the smart thing to do.
According to Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, in order for a nation to build a sustainable and successful economy, it is fundamental for women to also be given a leading role.
This is because better representation not only provides for better decision making but also opens up vast reserves of talent, which is often left untapped.
In his opening address at the 23rd Global Summit of Women GSW 2013 yesterday the premier said one of the reasons many women had to leave the workforce was because their work environment was not family friendly.
He added that the World Bank estimated between 500 thousand and 2.3 million Malaysian women had left their employment, often out of necessity and not because of their own choice.
Therefore, the public and private sector need to address brain-drain issues, especially involving women, to prevent wasting valuable talent, experience and potential.
Earlier, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, who is the GSW chairperson, shared her experiences in advocating children’s welfare and early education during the First Ladies Forum, held as part of the summit.
Also taking part as panelists were the Namibian First Lady Penehupifo Pohamba, Laotian First Lady, Keosaychay Sayasone and Zambian First Lady, Dr Christine Kaseba, who also shared their experiences on advocating women empowerment.
The three-day event, themed “Women: Creating New Economies” is being held for the first time in Malaysia, participated by one thousand 100 delegates, comprising prominent women leaders in government and businesses from more than 70 countries.