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Are there greener pastures for pregnant women in Malaysia?


These headlines are very demotivating:



Some excerpts from the news articles above read like this:

"According to a recent online survey by the Women's Aid Organization (WAO), 44% of the 222 Malaysian women polled said they had lost a job, missed out on a promotion, were demoted or put through extended probation because they were pregnant."

"Around 49% said they feared losing their jobs or being sidelined because of their pregnancy while 31% said they put plans to get pregnant on hold for fear of losing their jobs or promotion."

"The survey found the top five ways employers discriminated against pregnant women were making their positions redundant, denying them promotions, placing them on prolonged probation, demoting them and terminating them, reports the Selangor-based lifestyle news agency Star2."

"Malaysia has the lowest entitlement to maternity leave among all countries in Southeast Asia. While most countries in Southeast Asia provide at least 90 days maternity leave, in Malaysia, it's still 60 days."

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Things are worse after maternity leave ends. Stress comes from many different directions: workload, pressure to perform at work, travel/on-the-road duration, pumping at work, baby's needs, older kids' needs, house chores, etc. The list is endless! First-time mothers feel it worst. I had been through that hell of a hole. It took me almost seven months after I returned work to get out of that derogatory situation.

Question is, when a woman is pregnant and after she's back from giving birth, is there any greener pasture where she can still shine and not discriminated?

I believe there is; I hope there is.

In general, greener pasture refers to a new, better, and more interesting place, job, or activity. In my opinion, even if the change of job requires a pay-cut or let's say I become a homemaker, as long as I can perform well in the new "role" that I take on, it is greener pasture to me.

Anyway, in case you missed, you can learn more about the flexWorkLife.my initiative, a collaboration between the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development and TalentCorp, created to facilitate the return of women to the workplace. View the FAQs here.

Another site that you can look up is HerPortal.co, Malaysia's 1st All Female Job & Business Portal. This platform empowers Women (Working Women & Moms) to explore opportunities to self sustain by connecting them to Job Opportunities, Business Workshops and Events (marketplace & networking). Their mission is to connect women in Malaysia to women only jobs (Part Time/Flexi to Full Time), business opportunities (an opportunity to self sustain), as well as soft skills workshops to equip them with the essential know-hows.

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Where there's a will, there's a way. I believe it's still possible to find a delicate balance between helping out with family finances and fulfill our role as a mother without getting the short end of the stick!


19 comments

  1. Sadly we still have such discrimination against pregnant women in our workplace. Women are as capable as men.

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  2. women and men should be fair treated no matter in office or household chores! if a man can, why not a woman? i am impressed with your post, good say! (y)

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  3. hope that every company have this Paternity Leave for pregnant mama just like my company .

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  4. It is a sad thing we still face plenty of discrimination just because there are just too many narrow minded people around and Malaysia can be kinda backwards at times

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  5. I think pregnant women deserved to be treated fair and respect. It is our right.

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  6. It makes me feel sad and angry at the same time knowing that there are such discrimination are still taking place in big cities. There should be more education and acceptance of pregnant women as it is a part of life

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  7. Yes, the social norm wouldn't get rid of it completely I would say. All we can do is fight for our rights as we could.

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  8. In my company, women can enjoy 90 days maternity. I think we need to reinforce the rules whereby pregnant women should not been demoted or not been hired just become the person is pregnant.

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  9. It is really upsetting to hear that this discriminatory effect still takes place from time to time at the workplace. Bearing another life is not easy and yet the demand of being effective at work at the same time seems to be in criticized heavily amongst peers as neglect. Treatment of concern and paternity leave really should be given its fair chance in this matter.

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  10. I'm glad that my office doesn't apply this kind of discrimination. Even my pregnant being pregnant twice and dont have any problem.Before join the company, better check if the have maternity leave.

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  11. hope that my company have paternity leave in future!!!

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  12. i'm torn in between. as employer, i won't want my employee to go away from work for such long time. but i do understand the need of new fathers and mothers to spend more time with their kids. so yea...

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  13. This is definitely a good and helpful platform for all the pregnant woman! Thanks for your sharing love!

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  14. Companies should become more and more family friendly for sure. Becoming a mom cannot be punishing for women.

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  15. I am currently 7 months pregnant with the fear of being fired during my maternity leave, it's true that we malaysians are sadly denied of such rights to spend more time with our newborns. Will look up the link you shared!

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  16. This is really unfair to the pregnant women >.<

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  17. it's so important to find the employee that respects every stage of your life and be able to stick to that job. life is never fair especially for women.

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  18. This was such an interesting read. we should stand up for pregnant women's rights.

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  19. My goodness... really unfair for pregnant lades lo. Really need to stand for pregnant women's rights as it''s not easy for them to work and carrying a baby at the same time ler... ><

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