Najib appoints assembly to aid women

Putrajaya (The Star/ANN) - "Purple Power" ripped across the country with hundreds of thousands of purple-clad women walking in support of the slew of national initiatives to empower them.

The 1Million Women Purple Walk started at Putrajaya Square yesterday and flagged off by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.

This was followed up with similar events at the state-level which drew an all-out response.

A 100,000-strong women's assembly, named as the 1Malaysia Perwani Community, is to act as a national community transformation agent.

The prime minister, who wore a purple shirt in support of the nationwide exercise, said Perwani would be broken into small groups of between 10 and 20 women to help women in education, business and also crime prevention.

"As a mover of various activities, the 1Malaysia Perwani Community can promote healthcare, family welfare, skill training, entrepreneurship and tuition.

"They can become the eyes and ears of the government in combating crimes and threats to national security," he said in launching the initiative yesterday.

Najib, who is also Women, Family and Community Development Minister, said Perwani was an initiative under the National Blue Ocean Strategy to improve the welfare of women.

He said the 1Malaysia Perwani Community would act as a conduit between women and the authorities to provide feedback on infrastructure and public amenities.

Attesting that women had proven their mettle in many fields, Najib pointed out 62 per cent of the country's undergraduates were women

Participants cheering and holding up placards in support of the 1Million Women Purple Walk 2013 in Putrajaya.

"Now 30 of the 62 High Court judges are women, of the secretaries-general in ministries, seven of them are women with the latest being in the Health Ministry," he said.

"But we do not just want to recognise women. We want to empower women and want them to be part of mainstream development and transformation," he stressed.

At the event, Najib also launched the Purplelicious Mobile Cafe, the latest project initiated by the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry to help single mothers earn a living.

Under the programme, nine single mothers from various races will operate a mobile cafe using two trucks which would make pit stops at selected locations in the Klang Valley and Putrajaya.

The cafe will serve sandwiches, pasta and ice-blended drinks with the menu prepared with the help of Chef Jo of MasterChef Malaysia fame.

Also present at the event here was Rosmah Mansor, Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, Chief Secretary to the Government Dr Ali Hamsa and Cabinet ministers.


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