BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – A national survey will be conducted to examine the status of women’s development in Brunei, with focus on issues such as work-life balance and women’s welfare.

In a statement released in conjunction with International Women’s Day, the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports said the findings from the study will be used to improve policies and programmes related to women.

“Brunei’s vision 2035 emphasises equal opportunities for women in the nation’s workforce and development,” said YB Dato Paduka Seri Hj Aminuddin Ihsan Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Hj Abidin.

The Special Committee on Family, Women and Children has also developed an action plan for women’s issues, which will be aligned with the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), to which Brunei is a signatory.

The minister said there are several efforts being made improve’s women’s development, from increasing awareness on women’s rights through peer support programmes and talks; to encouraging women to be competitive in the entrepreneurship and education.

“Their active involvement in entrepreneurship has always been encouraged and supported by the government and private sector through equal access to incentives and entrepreneurial support.”

In Brunei, women constitute 59 percent of the workforce and 53 percent of the civil service.

YB Dato Hj Aminuddin added that women’s welfare has always been emphasised by the government, to ensure those who are vulnerable receive assistance and participate in empowerment programmes. 

This year, he said Brunei celebrates International Women’s Day, by honouring and recognising the contributions women have made to the country in the social, economic, cultural and political spheres.

The minister said several Bruneian women have been recognised for lifting the country’s name in the international arena through their professional achievements, community and humanitarian work.

International Women’s Day is celebrated globally on March 8, with this year’s celebration carrying the theme “Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate For Change”, with hashtag #balanceforbetter.

This theme is promoted extensively through social media to focus the conversation on ways to increase gender equality, which includes involving men to support the equality of women, YB Dato Hj Aminuddin said. 

“Let us celebrate and appreciate the sacrifices and contributions of women in this country, as they are valuable assets that have been working to achieve economic progress, ensure their families well-being, and achieve social and prosperity towards realising Brunei’s Vision 2035.”