A programme under the Human Resources Ministry, Housewives Enhancement And Reactivate Talents Schemes (HEARTS), provides training for housewives in specialised fields to enable them to work from home or under flexible working arrangements. File pix by KHALID LATIP.

KUALA LUMPUR: THE percentage of women leaving the workforce is slightly lower than those who are still working.

Figures from the Fifth Population and Family Study in 2014 showed that 42.4 per cent of women (15-59 age group) have quit their jobs for various reasons, including family responsibilities while 46.5 per cent are still in the workforce. The remaining 11.1 per cent never worked.

Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim said the percentage of those leaving to care for their children was at 32.4 per cent.

“Other reasons for leaving include marriage (16.4 per cent) and migrating with husband (11.7 per cent).

“Other factors include health problems (9.1 per cent), husband does not allow wife to return to work (6.2 per cent), family issues (4.4 per cent), lost interest in work (3.4 per cent) and pregnancy (3.1 per cent),” she told the New Sunday Times.

Statistics Department, Labour Force Survey Report 2016 showed that women participation in the workforce has been increasing every year.

Last year, women participation in workforce was at 54.3 per cent, compared with 54.2 the year before and 53.7 in 2014.

A programme under the Human Resources Ministry, Housewives Enhancement And Reactivate Talents Schemes (HEARTS), provides training for housewives in specialised fields to enable them to work from home or under flexible working arrangements.

Mother of two, May Tan, who also runs an online support group for stay-at-home mums called Work At Home Moms (WAHM), said women who wanted to work from home could develop their present skills through HEARTS.

“HEARTS is a programme to train educated housewives in specialised fields, such as translation, editing, web development, graphic design and social media management,” she said.

WAHM is one of the largest Facebook support groups for mums working from home, with more than 1,000 members from Malaysia and abroad.

“After I quit my full-time job and started part-time work at home, I discovered many home business ideas suitable for mums.

“Then I met many other mums on Facebook, who were in the same boat; desperate to stay at home with their children with supplemental income.

“So, the group was formed for mums who are currently working from home or wish to work from home.

“From there came the idea to publish my own ebook — sharing business ideas and tips.”

Members of the group share motherhood tips, inspiring stories, rant off frustration and discuss work-from-home opportunities.

“What I’ve discovered over the years is that most employers are not open to flexible working arrangements for mothers, and that many mums have fallen into a pitfall of scams because they do not know how to differentiate real jobs from the fake ones,” said Tan.

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