| Hakim Hayat |
A NATIONAL survey to assess and obtain a more in-depth on the status of women development in the country will be implemented as part of the government’s continuous efforts to ensure the welfare of women here, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Awang Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin shared yesterday.
In his message to mark International Women’s Day 2019 which falls today and commemorated worldwide, the minister said the national survey on women will evaluate issues such as work-life balance for women with careers and also family affairs related to the welfare of women.
He added that the results of the survey will serve as an input for the existing action-plan that will be reviewed and supplemented, particularly to enhance policies and programmes related to women.
This year’s theme, ‘Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate For Change’ with the hashtag #Balanceforbetter, is promoted widely through social media to encourage women empowerment and also to pay particular focus on innovative ways to enhance gender equality to boost the spirit of women, especially in social protection and in self-development.
The minister said that this can be achieved by involving men in the collective support of equal rights for women.
Brunei commemorates International Women’s Day by organising various programmes and activities with the cooperation from non-government organisations (NGOs), especially women associations and government agencies.
“Alhamdulillah, on this occasion, we are proud to see a number of Bruneian women being recognised for their efforts in the international arena recently including expeditions, involvement in humanitarian assistance missions, international professional recognition as well as regional and international awards,” the minister added.
In line with the status of women as the core of families and in supporting national development, the Government of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam through its Special Committee for Families, Women and Children under the National Committee for Social Issues has devised a specific action plan for women-related issues that have been aligned with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).
The minister said that the action plan will be implemented through a Whole of Nation approach including grassroots and NGOs to ensure united action from all agencies that are relevant with women affairs.
The minister added that in the Brunei Vision 2035, Brunei emphasises on equal opportunities for women in the workforce and in national development. In the job and entrepreneurship sector, 59 per cent of women dominate the whole sector while 53 per cent are civil servants.
“Their active involvement in entrepreneurship continues to get encouragement and support from not only the government but also the private sector through equal access to incentives and entrepreneurship support such as capital assistance schemes, access to info-communication technology, counselling and training,”
A number of efforts for the development of women have already been implemented and will continue and the welfare of women will always be prioritised to ensure that vulnerable women are not left out, said the minister adding that they are eligible to receive assistance including capacity building programmes.
Women awareness on their rights is also constantly being enhanced through Peer Support Group Programmes, lectures and dissemination of information.
At the same time, efforts on women development are also prevalent in encouraging women to continuously become competitive in education and life-long learning, enhance women’s contributions in the job market and in strengthening women economy through entrepreneurship activities.
Actions and programmes to support these initiatives are already in place and will continue to be monitored and improved, added the minister.
In concluding his message, the minister extended his best wishes for all women in the country and called for the celebration and appreciation of the sacrifices and contributions of women because they are also valuable assets who have been working together to achieve economic, family welfare, social and prosperity of the country as it moves towards achieving its Vision 2035.
International Women’s Day was inaugurated in 1975 and recognised by the United Nations (UN). Some of its main objectives are to appreciate and recognise the contributions and roles played by women in communities and countries.