Women and Labour Force Participation in Malaysia

  • Sharifah Nabilah Syed Salleh Faculty of Business and Economics, Universiti Malaya (UM), 506030, Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
  • Norma Mansor Social Wellbeing Research Centre (SWRC), Universiti Malaya (UM), 50603, Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Keywords: Women, Labour force participation, Malaysia, Probit


One of the best ways for Malaysia to develop and advance in the future is by increasing economic prospects for women. In this light, even though women’s educational attainment has significantly improved, their participation in the labour force is still significantly lower than men’s. It is believed that this is due to the burden of doing housework and caring for children and the elderly, which women mostly shoulder. This study used the Fifth Malaysian Population and Family Survey (MPFS-5), a nationally representative survey to investigate factors influencing labour force participation among Malaysian women. The probit regression model of participation decision among women, which considers common socio-demographic parameters such as parents and parents-in-law’s presence, marital status, education, age, and the number of children, was applied in this study. The results suggest that the government must devise strategies to help women achieve work-life balance, particularly in improving access to childcare services.


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How to Cite
Syed Salleh, S. N. and Mansor, N. (2022) “Women and Labour Force Participation in Malaysia”, Malaysian Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities (MJSSH), 7(7), p. e001641. doi: 10.47405/mjssh.v7i7.1641.