Breaking Barriers: Toward Better Economic Opportunities for Women in Malaysia


About the Seminar

The promotion of economic opportunities for women is one of the most promising avenues for Malaysia’s future development – macroeconomic simulations imply that closing gaps between men’s and women’s economic opportunities could, in the long run, boost Malaysia’s income per capita by 26.2 percent. Against this backdrop, this World Bank report relies on a comprehensive mixed-methods approach that combines quantitative, qualitative and legal research to investigate constraints on improving women’s economic opportunities and to develop actionable policy recommendations. The report finds that, on average, women have greater educational attainment and show more actual learning than men, but ensuring that they have equal access to economic opportunities to utilize this potential remains a significant challenge. While Malaysia’s female labour force participation rate has risen significantly in recent years, it is still low compared to other ASEAN countries. In addition, the wide gender gap in access to jobs that pay well and offer benefits, social protection, and career prospects presents a significant but sometimes overlooked challenge. The report argues that the promotion of economic opportunities for women will require measures in areas such as child and elder care, social protection and labour and human capital policies.

About the Speakers

Amanina Abdur Rahman is a Research Associate in the Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice at the World Bank. In this role, she engages in policy dialogue with the Malaysian government in the areas of jobs, labour markets, migration, and social protection. In addition, she is involved in advisory services in the area of agriculture. Prior to joining the World Bank, she completed a PhD in economics at Monash University Malaysia, where she taught economics and statistics. Amanina was also a visiting researcher at Erasmus University Rotterdam.

Achim Schmillen is a Senior Economist with the World Bank’s Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice with expertise in the areas of labour markets, migration, jobs and social protection. Previous work experience includes appointments with America’s National Bureau of Economic Research and the Institute for Employment Research, the research institute of Germany’s Federal Employment Agency. Achim holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Regensburg and was a visiting researcher at the University of California, Berkeley and a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Los Angeles.


For registration, please click here. Registration closes on 15 January 2020.


Jan 17 2020


10:00 am - 11:30 am


ISEAS Seminar Room 2