The Council of Women of Brunei Darussalam (CWBD) was initiated in 1984, aiming at improving women’s status in all fields. The followings are some of the illustrations of women’s development in Brunei Darussalam.
When it comes to health, although the provision of health care is accessible to both sexes, some of the health care programmes specific for women are always given high priority. These include education on reproductive health, female related cancer, ante-natal care, breast-feeding and nutritional advice for mothers. In the education field, the literacy rate for women has increased 10% up to 90% in 2001 by ten years, and more female students do technical and vocational education in 2001, 41.4%. As for marriage and family, there is an increasing number of late marriages among women, in particular among women graduates. This has also contributed to the increase in the female working population. As for women and employment, single non-graduate women’s employment status changes from permanent to month-to-month upon marriage, but his rule does not apply to non-graduate males. In addition, to support women owned business, the government practices many programs such as training in the form of seminars, workshops and consultations; and access to information, technology, and market.
The government of Brunei Darussalam is making efforts on the possibility of having the gender focal point under the Community Development Department. Some of the main activities have been realized by the agency include promoting gender development, promoting programmes on the elderly, and strengthening partnership between NGOs. Further information is available at http://www.apecsec.org.sg/apec/documents_reports/ministerial_meeting_on_women/2002.html