KUALA LUMPUR: 2018 has been announced as the Year to Empower Women.
In tabling the 2018 Budget, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the government has listed four measures to elevate the role of women in the country.
This includes making it compulsory by the end of 2018 for government-linked companies, government-linked investment companies and statutory bodies to ensure that at least 30 per of their boards of directors are women.
Najib said the government is also proposing that the private sector increase mandatory maternity leave from the current 60 days to 90 days, as per the practice of public sector organisations.
He said the government has also allocated RM20 million for training and entrepreneurship programmes for women, including the PEAK Entrepreneur Programme under the MyWin Academy.
Najib said Budget 2018 also proposes an individual tax exemption for women who opt to return to work after a period of being out of the job market.
"To encourage women to return to work, the government is proposing that a tax exemption is given for the first 12 months after a lapse of two years from employment.
"The tax exemption can be claimed for the assessment years of 2018 to 2020," he added.