An opportunity for girls to develop leadership skills

A ‘Girls Empower’ Leadership webinar will be jointly organised by the Penang Women’s Development Corporation (PWDC), Penang Youth Development Corporation (PYDC) and Wawasan Open University (WOU) on Oct 9.


Chong Eng, the state executive councillor for Non-Islamic Religious Affairs and Social Development, officially launched the registration for the programme today, calling all girls from the age of 18 to 30 to participate and equip themselves with leadership skills.


She said the webinar topics include Green, Economy, Social Justice and Decision Making.


“The webinar is a platform for female youths to step up and raise their voice as well as contribute towards nation building,” Chong Eng said in her speech.


“It is imperative that we instil leadership qualities among female youths in the effort to build Penang as the state that is gender inclusive, a state that considers the different needs of men and women and importantly to be gender balance at every level of decision making.


“This programme will empower young girls to overcome the gender stereotyping and break the glass ceiling. Eventually, it will develop them to achieve their full potential.”


Chong Eng added that the topics are specifically selected to evoke an open and progressive discussions among participants.


Through the programme, she said potential leaders could be identified among the youths.


Chong Eng continued: “There is no such thing as girls cannot be leaders; girls are too emotional; girls are not innovative businesspersons; and girls should just stay home because there are not many opportunities for them out there.


“There are no limits as to what they can achieve. If they want it, they work for it, they will get it.


“It is also critical that we, the state of Penang, show our stance and our support for all these girls. We will be there for them to assist them in their path to success.


“It is about time that we have more strong female youths to be at the forefront, sharing new progressive idealism that are inclusive for all women and men and to form policies that are equal for all sides.”


State Youth and Sports Committee chairman Soon Lip Chee shared the same views as Chong Eng that the aim of the programme is to develop a talent pool of pragmatic young female leaders in Penang.


He added that participants would be recruited as Penang Youth Volunteers under the supervision of PYDC for a long-term and continuous project execution.


“Penang Youth Volunteer is a platform to encourage social participation and increase the volunteerism spirit among the youth that is in line with the Penang2030 vision (Theme C2 strategy) which emphasises the increasing participation of youth, women and seniors in community life.


“Penang Youth Volunteer initiative was launched by PYDC on March 1st in 2020 and currently has a pool that more than 1,400 volunteers,” Soon said.


Dr Lalitha Ramasamy, who was representing WOU vice-chancellor Prof Dr Lily Chan, said WOU is proud to be part of the programme and looks forward to conducting many other programmes with PYDC, PWDC and the state government.


“This is a very good programme for the girls. It’s time for them to come out and show their talents. Sometimes, we must know how to do marketing, you market yourself in the right way with the substance in you.


“I urge all girls to join us in this leadership webinar to gain as much knowledge as possible and to explore the world,” Dr Lalitha said.


PWDC chief executive officer Ong Bee Leng said the programme is limited to 40 participants on a first come first served basis.


“It’s going to be an exciting journey for the participants. It is not just to empower the girls but they are to empower others in the future.


“The workshop is an opportunity for them to learn and plan a project. It is action oriented. Registration is free of charge,” Ong said.


Among those present at the online event were Sungai Pinang assemblyman Lim Siew Khim, Seri Delima assemblyman Syerleena Abdul Rashid, PWDC directors Datuk Rohana Weiler and Dr Wong Lai Yong, PYDC general manager Dr Gwee Sai Ling and PYDC assistant general manager Ng Hooi Ting.


Those interested in the programme can register through


Story by K.H. Ong

Pix courtesy of PWDC