What is Women’s Charter?
The Women's Charter is a legislative act that was passed in 1961 to protect and advance the rights of women and girls in Singapore. It is a wide-ranking charter that brings together the regulation of the relationship between husband and wife and the relationship between parents and their children, termination of marriages and division of matrimonial assets. Furthermore, it provides protection against family violence and penalty for offences against women and girls.
The Women’s Charter applies to all men and women in Singapore, with the exception of persons married under Muslim law who are excluded from parts of the Women’s Charter concerning divorce, division of matrimonial assets and maintenance.
SCWO and the Women’s Charter
In October 2010, the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS) called for public consultation on changes to the Women’s Charter.
The following paper was submitted by SCWO, before the latest amendments to the Women’s Charter were passed in January 2011. Feedback on the Women's Charter (Amendment) Bill (29 Oct 2010).
The amended Charter introduced provisions to better prepare at-risk couples for marriage, to mitigate the impact of divorces, and to strengthen the enforcement of maintenance orders.
See also SCWO’s Feedback on Family Justice System, submitted in 2013. (report found in “report” folder)
The Women's Charter in full