Women to the fore

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians should acknowledge the role of hardworking women in their lives and continue to provide them with encouragement and support.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, in his 100th International Women’s Day message, said women in Malaysia not only could lay claim to a vast array of achievements but had great potential to become leaders in their field.

“As the popular poem by William Ross Wallace goes, ‘the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world’,” he said in his latest blog posting.

More women, he said, were expected to enter the workforce in the coming years with numbers expected to increase to 55% in 2015 compared with the current 47.3%.

Najib also noted that females outnumbered males in public universities every year with 58.6% of females registered for the 2010/2011 session.

He added that 62.3% of first-class degree holders in 2008 were females.

Najib also recognised the contributions of several notable female personalities in the country including Bank Negara gover­nor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Aziz, world squash champion Datuk Nicol David, entertainer Angelica Lee Sinje and Datuk Lim Phaik Gan, who was a pioneer among women lawyers.

Changing social attitudes and values, he added, remained the biggest challenge but one that needed to be overcome to ensure the nation was holistically-transformed.