‘Women can turn cottage industry into big earner’


WOMEN POWER: Fatimah (seventh left) hands over a souvenir to Puziah, flanked by members of the visiting delegation (on right) and the state’s key women association members.

KUCHING: Women can turn cottage industry into big bucks earners if given the support and encouragement.

According to Welfare, Women and Family Development Minister Datuk Fatimah Abdullah, the state government focuses on encouraging women to become entrepreneurs by providing them the support and training.

“In what we call productive welfare, we encourage women to use local resources to produce hand-made items and handicrafts that reflect the uniqueness of Sarawak, such as beads and ‘kek lapis’ (layered cake) Sarawak.

“That is why we have signature products at designated places around the state,” she told visiting members of the Malaysian Bumiputera Women Entrepreneurs Association (Usahanita) from Terengganu who paid her a courtesy call at Wisma Wanita here yesterday.

The nine-member delegation from Kemaman, led by its chairperson Puziah Salleh, was introduced to committee members of some women associations and a few women entrepreneurs in the kek lapis industry.

Fatimah said cottage industry such as kek lapis production can be turned into branded business, if the quality and packaging adhere to international standards.

“In certain situations, women may be the sole bread winner of their family, especially if their husbands work away from home for a long period of time. It is then the responsibility of the women to ensure there is food on the table and that their children go to school.

“Getting involved in cottage industry will ensure steady income for women and it could be good source of income,” she pointed out.

The Usahanita members were on an educational trip to Borneo, covering Kuching, Miri, Brunei and Kota Kinabalu.

They will visit a few places of interest and a kek lapis factory tomorrow.

Also present during the courtesy call were Early Childhood Education assistant minister Rosey Yunus, the ministry’s permanent secretary Rodziah Morshidi, Women’s Bureau director Norjanah Razali and state Social Welfare Department director Noriah Ahmad.