Singapore, 28 Mar 2022 – The Government has released the White Paper on Singapore Women’s Development following the Conversations on Singapore Women’s Development sessions which completed last year.
The Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations (SCWO) applauds the issuance of the White Paper for Singapore women’s development, a culmination of months of gleaning ground sentiment from both men and women on issues faced by Singapore women. SCWO had also submitted a report to the Ministry of Social and Family Development in September 2021.
Status of Singapore women today
Since the enactment of the Women’s Charter in 1961, the development of Singapore women has advanced considerably in terms of protection, access to education, healthcare and employment. Truth be told, Singapore women are not downtrodden and we are starting at a high point. We are at the cusp of change and greater responsibilities with a notable percentage of women holding leadership positions – as chief executive officers (13.1%), on boards (19.7%) and in politics (~30%).
SCWO’s support for the White Paper
The Government has listed several concrete action plans that further support the development of Singapore women, putting us in a better position since the start of the Conversations. SCWO looks forward to partner the Government, our member organisations and community partners to implement some of the action plans.
In a country where women make up 50% of the workforce, entrenching flexible work arrangements as the workplace norm and giving greater support for caregivers will enable more women to meet both their family and career aspirations.
SCWO will push for quicker implementation of flexible work arrangements, as well as enhance their support services to vulnerable groups of women who are suffering from violence which include financial abuse and digital harms. Its proposal for a public garden to honour and celebrate the pioneering spirit of Singapore Women has been accepted by the Government. SCWO intends to use the announced public garden at Dhoby Ghaut Green to bring women’s groups together, as part of its efforts to keep the conversations on women’s development going and form more collaborations on women’s initiatives.
“It is heartening to see many breakthrough recommendations in the White Paper that help to lift a huge weight off women’s shoulders in terms of having to constantly choose between their personal
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lives and career. Allowing elective egg-freezing, for example, is a progressive and significant move to empower women when it comes to starting a family and career”, says Ms Junie Foo.
The future of Singapore women’s development
“Men should also be encouraged to come alongside and partner women. Coupled with mutual respect and equal opportunities for women and men at all fronts, it takes a whole of society’s effort to raise the bar further and make Singapore a democratic society based on justice and equality” says Ms Foo.