The Participation of Malaysian Chinese Women in the Workforce: Traditional Values and Choices

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The rate at which women participate in Malaysia's labor force is one of the lowest in the ASEAN region. Within the female workforce, Malaysian Chinese women participate more than women of other ethnic groups in Malaysia. Although this may indicate that the Malaysian Chinese are adapting to social changes that demand female participation in the workforce, a more in-depth study is needed to understand this phenomenon. In most circumstances, traditional Chinese values are omnipresent and affect women's decision to join the workforce. The question is to what extent and in what circumstances are Malaysian Chinese women bound by traditional values. This paper attempts to provide some insights into this question by providing an overview of Malaysian Chinese women's participation in the Malaysian workforce and the influences of Chinese traditional values on their decision to join the workforce. It is hoped that through this discussion, issues surrounding the participation of Malaysian Chinese women in the workforce can be highlighted, thereby opening up new avenues of research.

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Journal of Chinese Overseas

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