Message in Conjunction with the International Women’s Day 2020

Women in the country play a very significant role in the nation's socio–economic development, and has contributed to the society. Last year, among the achievement of Bruneian women that the country are proud to highlight, includes five local business women received the ASEAN Excellent Women Entrepreneur Award during the ASEAN Women's Business Conference in Bangkok, Thailand, and two Bruneian women received the Women of the Future Awards Southeast Asia their achievements. Recently, two women entrepreneurs received the prestigious awards at the Women 2020 Entrepreneurship Summit: Perspectives of the Global Woman of Impact, in the Philippines. These were among explained by Yang Berhormat Retired Major General Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports in a message in conjunction with the International Women's Day 2020 which is celebrated every 8th of March.

As part of Brunei Darussalam's efforts to commemorate the International Women's Day, several activities and programmes on Women's development, empowerment and equality are lined up such as expo or Marketplace specifically to highlight products and services of businesses and companies founded or led by women and create a local business network for the community. The initiative will also include businesses run by women from vulnerable groups such as single mothers, the elderly and those with different abilities, with the aim of providing a platform to showcase their efforts. A workshop with the theme of "Empowering Women in Brunei Darussalam", as well as and a sharing session with career women, especially those in involved in the field of entrepreneurship.

Brunei Darussalam is committed and actively contributes towards discussions on current women issues in the international arena. Last October 2019, Brunei Darussalam was pleased to host and Chair the 18th ASEAN Committee on Women, ACW. The meeting had discussed and strengthened cooperation, through the exchange of regional best practices in six areas of collaboration such as Promotion of Women Leadership dan Non-gender stereotyping and social norms change.

Brunei Darussalam also organized the Regional Forum on Social Protection Policy Focusing on Elderly Women and Aging, which focused on the ageing population, whereby women comprise the majority of the population in the Asia Pacific region aged 60 years to above.

Several non-governmental organizations in the country also actively organized economic empowerment programmes, involving social enterprises, particularly small businesses by women, especially for women from vulnerable groups.

The theme for 2020 is An Equal World is an Enabled World with the hashtag Each for Equal. This theme invites women to continue and inject determination and be proactive in their efforts to shape the global society with a sense of identity, and is able to face current and emerging challenges, with more innovative ways towards greater equality.

Based on the 2018 Brunei Labour Force survey, conducted by the Department of Economic Planning and Development, females accounted for 42 percent of the labour force, with the employment rate for women aged 25 to 64 years has increased from 87 percent in 2014 to 89 percent in 2018. In the civil service, as of November 2019, females accounted for approximately 55 percent of the 50,768 total number of civil service employees.

In the private sector however, females only accounted for 38% of the labour force, and this clearly demonstrates the tremendous potential for all of us to support greater women involvement in our nation's economic development.

As such, implementation strategies and strengthening mechanisms requires the active participation of women effectively, in the process of seeking to improve the quality of life for women and to redouble efforts towards achieving the goal of building a sustainable society.

Source: Radio Television Brunei