KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 28 — Permatang Pauh MP Nurul Izzah Anwar today said that single women heads of households from the B40 income bracket should be given adequate support to ensure they could live a decent life

She said the Gender Responsive Budget (GRB) initiative is important to address the issue and highlighted how such a method has been implemented in other countries such as Australia who used multi-agencies cooperation to tackle domestic abuse.

She said many domestic violence cases have resulted in women having to leave without any security or housing and at the same time having to take care of the children.

“Policymakers have to work together across ministries and agencies.

“If you don’t have a quota on public housing, they are going to be marginalised.

“How about the former abusers? You have to take into account after the divorce, how can they get sustenance for the family for the ex-wives, the issues of the abusers themselves getting treatment so that they will not inflict more violence into the population,” she said in a Malaysia Gender Responsive Budgeting Series by the United Nations Population Funds (UNFPA) today.

Nurul Izzah also launched her own commission report on Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) which detailed a pilot programme to identify and confirm the need for a more holistic approach to poverty measurement in Malaysia to determine the extent of the pandemic’s impact on vulnerable groups.

She said the report found that not only single female-headed households were way more vulnerable especially during the pandemic, but the children from these households also inherited the trauma and intergenerational poverty which impacted their futures.

She said among the pilot programmes that that can be expanded is the financial assistance which the government provides — before any eventual repayment by the father — to avoid delays with needy families.

On October 21, Nurul Izzah launched the MPI developed in collaboration with former Professor of Economics and Director of the School of Poverty and Development at Universiti Malaya Fatimah Kari that could be used as an alternative and realistic method of measuring poverty in the country.

In line with the report, Nurul Izzah also reiterated the need for gender-based perspectives in the planning and spending of the government’s Budget 2022.

“The government will have to take a serious look at progressive taxation as a mechanism to finance sufficient aid and a holistic safety net for the rakyat; windfall tax, for example — as suggested by KRI in their recent report,” she said in her speech, referring to the Khazanah Research Institute.

* An earlier version of this article contained an error which has since been rectified.