Speaking at the international conference on Women in Politics 2017 (WIPKL), Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said that the government would like to see the participation of more women in politics, affirming that the aim was not less than 30% of senators in the Dewan Negara comprising women.

As reported in Bernama, he provided an array of data to support stronger participation of women in the workforce in his speech, such as: women filling 35% of top management posts in Malaysia; and if the police and military services are excluded, women officers make up the majority of the civil service, at 57.5%.

On the target of women making up 30% of the boards of public listed companies (PLCs), he said: "I've warned that from next year, the government will name and shame PLCs which don't have women as board members. They may, I have warned, not be given government contracts."

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Per the report in Bernama, Najib explained that this strategy to increase the number of women in top management posts and on company boards was about strengthening capability. "It's not just a gender issue, nor is it just about ensuring our culture and practices are non-discriminatory. It's ultimately also about productivity," he said.

In his speech, he noted that since he took office in 2009, the women labour force participation rate had increased from 46% to 54.3% in 2016, implying over 700,000 more women in the workforce.

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