at the 18th ASEAN Confederation of Women’s Organisations (ACWO) Biennial General Assembly and Conference 2018 28 November 2018 –At the 18th ACWO General Assembly’s handover ceremony, in Naypyidaw, Myanmar, the ACWO Presidency was passed to SCWO from The Myanmar Women’s Affairs Federation (MWAF). Dr. June Goh, president of SCWO proudly received the Flag and Ceremonial Necklace from outgoing President, Dr. Thet Thet Zin. At her acceptance speech, Dr June Goh shared that as the umbrella national council for women in each of our country, we play a pivotal role in advocating for our women from all segments of the society With the incoming presidency in 2019, SCWO will spearhead to bring together all 10 women’s national councils in the ASEAN region to work in concerted efforts towards the full integration of women in development and the enhancement of women’s participation in both national and regional progress. (See full speech here) Mr Richard Tan, Senior Director of Customers and International Relations Division, Ministry of Social and Family Development and our sisters from PPIS also joined SCWO at the ACWO General Assembly and Conference themed “Leaving No One Behind: Empowering and Enhancing the Quality of Life of Rural Women in ASEAN”. In his address, he mentions that ACWO’s network of national women organisations will be of great value to upcoming initiatives from the ground up, in conceptulising policies and programmes and in the implementation (read his full speech here). The ACWO General Assembly and Conference is a biennial event to bring together 10 ASEAN countries to share best practices and learn about the success and challenges faced by each country while working on improving status of women. The walk-in parade of ASEAN flags kickstarted the general assembly as everyone rose to witness the union of all ACWO representatives from all the countries. To mark the opening ceremony, H.E Minister Dr Win Myat Aye, Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement, The Republic of the Union of Myanmar officiated the event. Dr Thet Thet Zin, the then President of ACWO, delivered her remarks to welcome all guests from overseas and extended her appreciation to the ACWO Board and the various representations for their utmost support and encouragement during her term of office. The first segment of the conference was a line-up of presentations by the respective countries to showcase homegrown projects which contributed to the economic and technological empowerment of rural women and the enhancement of quality of family/rural life. For Singapore, Ms Lavinia Thanapathy, 3rd Vice President of SCWO, shared how Singapore rode on the technological phenomenon and worked to transform into a Smart Nation in recent years. In addition, she also highlighted the works of Mums@Work, a member of SCWO, which strives to build a close-knit community of women which champions a woman-for-woman empowering culture– Bridging the advantages of smart technologies (with the support of their community partners) to mothers, they can then better manage work-family balance and lead fulfilling lives. The second segment of the conference was a panel discussion moderated by Dr June Goh which discussed the benefits and challenges in these various aspects- 1) farming technology in food and agriculture as well as 2) digital technology and women. Singapore Delegate and ACWO Advisor, Dr Anamah Tan, concluded the discussions by sharing on the projects and initiatives which contribute to empowering the ageing communities, especially in Singapore. To increase participants’ involvement, participants are categorized into 4 different discussion groups to come up with recommendations in the following 4 areas related to women: Modern Agriculture, Technology, Entrepreneurship, and Ageing. Find out more about ACWO.