What is the 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.
It provides protection against family violence and penalty for offences against women and girls.
Through the years, SCWO has provided feedback and consultation on amendments to the Women’s Charter. In 2010, SCWO submitted feedback on the Women’s Charter Bill before amendments were passed in January 2011. 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.
In 2013, we provided feedback on the Family Justice System. In 2015, SCWO provided a response to the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) when they sought public feedback on amendments to the Women’s Charter Bill for 2016.
"While we welcome the proposed Mandatory Parenting Programme for Divorcing Couples, it should be noted that this kind of programme may not be appropriate when there has been family violence and when one parent feels unsafe around the other. As many studies on violence have indicated, the period between the separation and divorce can be the most dangerous time for the victim, even in instances where domestic violence has not previously been present." - SCWO's on the Women's Charter Bill (2016)
We want to help you.
Understanding your rights and the Women’s Charter may be difficult alone. SCWO’s Maintenance Support Central (MSC) is available to assist you by supporting you through maintenance and legal guidance, a legal clinic and counselling. It is important for you to know your rights and we will be here to help you every step of the way.