Socioeconomic Determinants of Highly Empowered CSO Leaders by Age Category among Rural Women in Malaysian Fisheries Community

Zumilah Zainalaludin, Norehan Saidi
Department of Resource Management and Consumer Studies, Faculty of Human Ecology, Universiti Putra Malaysia

Nobaya Ahmad
Department of Social and Development Science, Faculty of Human Ecology, University Putra Malaysia

Juju Nakasha Jaafar
Department of Crop Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Universiti Putra

Abdah Md Akim
Department of Biomedical Science, Faculty of Medicine and Health
Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia


This paper reports on rural women leaders who are involved in civil society organizations (CSO) in Malaysian fisheries community. This paper aimed to identify the socioeconomic determinants that predict rural women leaders in highly empowered groups by age category. There were 299 respondents randomly sampled from four zones in Peninsular Malaysia – Hulu Terengganu, Terengganu (Eastern Zone), Jelebu, Negeri Sembilan (Middle Zone), Manjung, Perak (Northern Zone), and Mersing, Johor (Southern Zone). With the advice from the Department of Fisheries Malaysia, Hulu Terengganu and Jelebu were sampled for the freshwater fisheries community, while; Manjung and Mersing were sampled for the brackishwater fisheries community in this paper. Only marital status had significantly (p<0.05) predicted highly empowered older rural women CSO leaders, which is less than a 90.5 percent likelihood of single leaders in the highly empowered groups. Among younger rural women CSO leaders, only water system had significantly (p<0.05) predicted highly empowered young women CSO leaders, which is less than 52.8 percent likelihood leaders from the fisheries community in the highly empowered group. In conclusion, married status is the indicator of the highly empowered group among older rural women CSO leaders; and the brackishwater community is the indicator of the highly empowered group among younger rural women CSO leaders in Malaysia.

Keywords: Empowerment, CSO, Gender, Fisheries community, Older women