This booklet is an abridged version of the research report, “Enhancing Human Capital through Sexual and Reproductive Health Investments and Family Support Policies in Malaysia”, and was proudly re-written and produced by Malaysia-based Athena Communications & Research, commissioned by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Malaysia.
Malaysia has progressed, outpacing regional peers over the last five decades, indicated by positive economic, health, and educational markers. However, Malaysia’s move to a high-income status is impeded by low labour force participation rates and persistent income inequality, despite remarkable talent potential. For sustainable growth and post-pandemic recovery, the Malaysian Government finalised the Twelfth Malaysia Plan of 2021-2025 (12MP), which encapsulates the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)
The three dimensions in the 12MP require inclusive human capital investments for sustainable labour force participation and productivity to be prioritised, particularly for women, In order for girls and women to contribute to the economy as well as national development, they must have optimal reproductive health to enable them to be productive.
Women’s greater economic productivity and increased labour participation as a whole will accelerate Malaysia’s progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – a set of 17 global goals that are essential towards the achievement of peace and prosperity for everyone on the planet – and the Twelfth Malaysia Plan (12MP), which is designed to propel Malaysia towards high-income status by the year 2025.
Therefore, in order to achieve these essential milestones, especially in light of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Malaysia needs to invest in her women and girls now.