Belanjawan harus menjadikan Malaysia sebuah negara yang lebih baik untuk wanita (Malay/English)

0
46 views
Photograph: Juan Pablo Serrano Arenas/Pexels

The WAO has released a report with their recommendations for Budget 2021 addressing three areas, including gender-based violence response, employment, and health. BFM speaks to Yap Lay Sheng, senior research and advocacy officer with Women’s Aid Organisation to understand more.

Produced by Kelvin Yee

Presented by Lee Chwi Lynn

[ENGLISH VERSION BELOW] Belanjawan 2021 haruslah menangani jurang gender yang wujud dalam masyarakat yang semakin diburukkan oleh pandemik, ujar Women’s Aid Organisation.

Dalam laporan terbaru kami, Budget 2021: A Better Country for Women yang telah diterbitkan di www.wao.org.my/publications telah menggariskan tiga tonggak dan 11 saranan kepada penggubal polisi. Menjaga keselamatan wanita daripada keganasan, pekerjaan wanita, serta akses wanita dan kanak-kanak perempuan kepada penjagaan kesihatan harus diutamakan di dalam belanjawan respon kepada pandemik di Malaysia.

Pertama, penggubal polisi perlu memperketatkan penguatkuasaan undang-undang dan menyokong perkhidmatan-perkhidmatan yang disediakan kepada mangsa keganasan berasaskan gender.

WAO sebelum ini pernah melaporkan bahawa berlakunya peningkatan tiga kali ganda dalam panggilan kecemasan ke talian hotline kami ketika perintah kawalan pergerakan. Walaubagaimanapun,masih belum ada tanda bahawa keganasan ke atas pasangan intim akan mereda.

Oleh kerana keadaan ekonomi yang meruncing telah meningkatkan lagi risiko keganasan, dan akibat daripada langkah penjarakan sosial dan langkah bekerja dari rumah masih diteruskan telah menyebabkan mangsa tidak boleh kemana-mana selain hanya berada di rumah.

Kerajaan haruslah:

  • Memperuntukkan RM50 juta untuk menambahbaik rumah perlindungan sedia ada dan membina rumah perlindungan yang baru untuk mangsa keganasan rumahtangga
  • Memperuntukkan RM5 juta untuk mengoperasikan dan menambahbaik perkhidmatan talian krisis 24 jam di Malaysia, termasuklah perkhidmatan talian kecemasan yang dioperasikan oleh NGO
  • Memperuntukkan dana antara agensi untuk melatih responder pertama, termasuklah polis, pegawai perubatan, dan pegawai kebajikan dan menyepadukan perkhidmatan-perkhidmatan ini untuk bantuan kepada mangsa gender-based violence
  • Memastikan dana tahunan diperuntukkan untuk menangani keganasan berasaskan gender dalam respon pengurusan bencana, termasuklah dalam kesemua krisis kesihatan yang akan datang

Kedua, jurang gender dalam pekerjaan telah melebar disebabkan pandemik. Sektor yang mempunyai kepadatan pekerja wanita yang tinggi seperti pelancongan, hospitaliti, dan industri pekhidmatan amat terkesan akibat daripada larangan perjalanan dan juga perintah kawalan pergerakan. Dalam tinjauan suku kedua tenaga kerja mendapati kadar pengangguran dalam kalangan wanita adalah 5.5% lebih tinggi berbanding kadar pengangguran lelaki yang mencatat 4.7%.

Pada masa yang sama, beban penjagaan tidak berbayar yang bertambah akibat kebanyakan ahli keluarga berada di rumah telah menyebabkan pekerja wanita meluangkan masa lebih untuk keluarga. Antara suku keempat 2019 dan suku kedua 2020, telah memperlihatkan 85,000 wanita dan 6,200 lelaki telah keluar dari tenaga kerja dalam negara.

READ MORE:  Coronavirus: World in crisis

Belanjawan 2021 haruslah merangkumi penglibatan wanita dalam tenaga kerja melalui:

  • Mengutamakan pendidikan dewasa bersubsidi dan program-program pembelajaran sepanjang hayat bagi wanita setelah mereka berhenti daripada kerjaya mereka untuk merapatkan jurang kadar penyertaan di dalam tenaga kerja
  • Meneruskan pindaan ke atas Akta Kerja untuk melarang diskriminasi ke atas pekerja dan pencari kerja atas dasar gender, etnik, umur dan status kelainan upaya, memperkenalkan cuti paterniti berbayar selama tujuh hari, meningkatkan cuti bersalin berbayar kepada 90 hari, dan membenarkan pekerja untuk memohon waktu kerja fleksibel
  • Meningkatkan pelaburan awam di dalam sektor penjagaan, terutamanya dengan menambah pusat penjagaan kanak-kanak di bawah seliaan kerajaan dan meningkatkan subsidi kepada penyedia perkhidmatan penjagaan
  • Berubah daripada pengecualian cukai regresif semasa kepada subsidi penjagaan kanak-kanak bersasar kepada isi rumah dalam kategori golongan 40% bawahan yang tidak dikenakan cukai

Ketiga, kita perlu mengatasi krisis ini dengan sistem penjagaan kesihatan yang lebih baik kepada golongan berisiko, terutamanya wanita. Ini amat kritikal kerana sumber kesihatan awam kebanyakannya telah dialihkan bagi menangani pandemik, lantas mengurangkan sokongan bantuan kesihatan kepada komuniti yang berisiko.

Kita haruslah:

  • Memperkuatkan kapasiti penyedia panjagaan kesihatan utama dalam berhadapan dengan kes-kes keganasan rumahtangga dan keganasan berasaskan gender
  • Memastikan kelangsungan pusat sehenti krisis yang berterusan dan berfungsi di seluruh negara, termasuklah peruntukan bagi latihan dan anggota khusus yang mencukupi
  • Merangka strategi nasional untuk mengurangkan kadar kematian ibu, sebagai sebahagian daripada rancangan jangka masa panjang untuk menambahbaik penjagaan kesihatan seksual dan reproduktif bagi wanita dan kanak-kanak perempuan yang telah pun terkesan akibat daripada perintah kawalan pergerakan
  • Pandemik telah menyebabkan ketidakseimbangan kepada komuniti yang berisiko, terutamanya wanita. Belanjawan akan datang haruslah membantu Malaysia mengatasi pandemik sebagai sebuah negara yang lebih baik untuk wanita.

English version

Budget must make Malaysia a better country for women

The coming Budget must tackle the gender gaps in our society that have been worsened by the pandemic.

Our new report, Budget 2021: A Better Country for Women, released online via www.wao.org.my/publications outlines three pillars and 11 recommendations for policymakers.

Safeguarding women’s safety from violence, women’s employment, and women’s and girls’ access to healthcare must be front and centre in Malaysia’s budgetary response to the pandemic.

READ MORE:  Climate in the Time of Corona

First, policymakers must strengthen law enforcement and support services for gender-based violence survivors. The WAO had previously reported a threefold spike in distress calls to our hotlines during the lockdown.

However, there is little sign that incidences of intimate partner violence is abating, as the economic distress has aggravated the risks of violence, and widespread social distancing and work-from-home measures continue to confine survivors at home.

The government must:

  • Earmark RM50m to improve existing shelters and build new ones for gender-based violence survivors
  • Devote RM5m operate and improve 24/7 telephone crisis service in Malaysia, including both public and NGO-operated emergency hotlines
  • Commit to an inter-agency fund to train first-responders, including police, medical and welfare officers, and integrate these services closer for the benefit of survivors of gender-based violence
  • Ensure that a dedicated annual fund is available to combat gender-based violence in our disaster management response, including in all future healthcare crises, natural or man-made disasters

Second, the gender gaps in employment have widened because of the pandemic. Sectors with a high concentration of women workers, such as tourism, hospitality and the services industries, were hardest hit due to global travel restrictions and the lockdown. In the recently released second quarter labour force survey, the female unemployment rate of 5.5% is significantly higher than the male unemployment rate at 4.7%.

At the same time, the additional unpaid care work when families were confined at home made it more difficult for women workers to devote the time required for paid work. Between the fourth quarter of 2019 and the second quarter of 2020, the labour force saw the exit of 85,000 women and 6,200 men.

READ MORE:  How good leaders steer us through a health crisis

Without meaningful policies to address the care burdens disproportionately borne by women, we risk permanently depressing the female labour force participation rate in the country.

The coming Budget must address women’s participation in the labour force by:

  • Prioritising subsidised adult education and lifelong learning programmes for women after their career break to close the gender gap in labour force participation rate
  • Carry out amendments to the Employment Act to prohibit discrimination against employees and job-seekers on the basis of gender, ethnicity, age and disability status, introducing a seven-day paternity leave, increasing paid maternity leave to 90-days, and enshrining workers’ right to flexible work arrangements
  • Increase public investment in the care economy, especially by increasing the publicly operated childcare centres and by increasing producer subsidies to operators
  • Shift away from the current regressive tax exemption for childcare support and prioritise targeted childcare subsidies for tax-ineligible households within the bottom 40% of households

Third, we must emerge from this crisis with a stronger healthcare system for the vulnerable, especially at-risk women. This is especially so since critical public health resources have been diverted to fighting the pandemic, reducing healthcare support for at-risk communities.

We must:

  • Strengthen the capacity of primary healthcare providers in responding to cases of domestic violence and gender-based violence
  • Ensure the full and continuous functioning of all one-stop crisis centres across the country, including providing a budget for training and for adequate numbers of specialised staff
  • Design a national strategy to reduce the maternal mortality rate, as part of a long-term plan to improve sexual and reproductive healthcare for women and girls – which has been set back by the lockdown.

The pandemic has disproportionately affected vulnerable communities, especially at-risk women. The coming Budget must help Malaysia emerge from the pandemic as a better country for women.

Yap Lay Sheng is a senior research and advocacy officer with the Women’s Aid Organisation

Thanks for dropping by! The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

Our voluntary writers work hard to keep these articles free for all to read. But we do need funds to support our struggle for Justice, Freedom and Solidarity. To maintain our editorial independence, we do not carry any advertisements; nor do we accept funding from dubious sources. If everyone reading this was to make a donation, our fundraising target for the year would be achieved within a week. So please consider making a donation to Persatuan Aliran Kesedaran Negara, CIMB Bank account number 8004240948.
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments