Malaysia and Its Transition Process Towards More Gender Equality at the Labor Market

  • Nina Weimann-Sandig University of Applied Sciences for Social Work, Education and Nursing, Dresden, Germany
Keywords: gender inequality, gender and labor market, reconciliation of work and family, labor market re-entries, qualitative social research


The promotion of labor market opportunities for females in Malaysia has been part of several quantitative studies. Although the empirical data stresses the existence of gender-related constraints females are facing when trying to access labor market, the reasons remain mainly unexplored. Thus, this qualitative study tried to identify major constraints and challenges females are facing when entering the Malaysian labor market. Focus group discussions with different groups of females aged 16 to 50 have been conducted, as well as with employers and HR Managers of global players. The study identifies local disparities between rural and urban living as major consequences for female labor market access and the achievable employment situation. The analysis of the focus groups also highlights that two groups of women – females living in Projek Perumahan Rakyat (PPR) or “People ́s Housing Project” areas and Single Mothers – are strongly affected from often being no constant part of labor market but trapped in side-jobs or non-satisfying microbusinesses. The solidification of social inequality by an absence of support structures and empowerment programs can be seen as the most important reason. Policy recommendations, based on the empirical results, are therefore discussed in order to stimulate a discussion on gender equality.

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How to Cite
Weimann-Sandig, N. (2020) “Malaysia and Its Transition Process Towards More Gender Equality at the Labor Market”, Malaysian Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities (MJSSH), 5(7), pp. 7 - 22. Available at: (Accessed: 5August2020).