Work - Life Balance: Issues from Women’s Perspectives
Keywords:Modernization, work force, work - life balance, ‘womenomics’
Modernisation has brought major changes in our lives. One of them is the nature and modeof work which promotes increasing number of women participating in waged jobs. Theworld of paid jobs has changed a lot; people are now experiencing and trying to understandthe importance between their employment and other aspects of their lives. The 20th and 21stcenturies depicted transformations impacting on women’s life, their career expectations, thepower of market forces on female work force, decline of family wage, changes in family structuresand impact of the relationship between families and participation in the labour market. Thispaper is an attempt to share views and opinions on issues of the ‘work-life balance’ (WLB) fromthe women’s perspectives. The first part of this paper will highlight the social transformation ofwomen and work in Malaysia since the implementation of affirmative development policies inthe early 1970’s. A discussion on what WLB means is simplified on the second part, of which thewriter will try as best not to be too lengthy in defining this concept. Part three will gauge at theseveral issues and challenges that women are facing in trying to balance between work and life aspart of their professional and social commitment towards the betterment of their life and peopleclose to them. The fourth part discusses the WLB policy issues existing amidst our workinglives and part five proposes some suggestions toward formulating WLB policies and initiativeswhich are crucial to ensure that work, apart from the goals to achieve high productivity, are alsosocially and family-friendly, for the benefit of the all. The story of women’s increasing economicindependence is a major change, the result of modern living. All over the world ‘womenomics’phenomenon is gaining fast momentum. Increased female participation in the paid labour forcehas contributed to the growth of the economy.