Petaling Jaya (The Star/ANN) - More long-term policies to empower women in the national budget are needed instead of one-off programmes, Women's Aid Organisation (WAO) executive director Ivy Josiah said yesterday.
She added the 2013 budget measures such as the Women Directors' Programme or the free mammogram examination were "piecemeal" initiatives.
"It is a disappointing budget for women empowerment as it did not introduce an overall policy that can ensure women representation at all levels.
"These programmes are just piecemeal measures. What we want to see is each ministry with its own gender-sensitive budget," said Josiah, at WAO's 30th anniversary celebration in Petaling Jaya yesterday.
Josiah also questioned how budgets in previous years were utilised to curb social ills.
"The government had allocated millions to address social ills in previous budgets. How was this allocation utilised? Are people now more knowledgeable on things like baby dumping?" said Josiah.
In the 2013 budget, 50 million ringgit (US$16.29 million) have been allocated to implement several measures to empower women, including training 500 women as board members under the Women Directors' Programme.
Other measures include the Single Mothers Skills Incubator Programme (I-KIT) to train single mothers in entrepreneurship, and free mammogram for 100,000 women aged 40 and above.
WAO anniversary celebration, called "Pesta WAO", had the participants checking out the food stalls, jumble sale and live performances at the day-long event.
Among the performers at the event were singer-songwriter Elvira Arul and percussionist groups PJ Drum Circle and KL Street Drummers.