Taking Action for Singaporean Women

29 Jul 2021 3 min read

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The Women’s Wing and Young PAP of the People’s Action Party have put up 12 recommendations to tackle issues affecting Singaporean women today. This first joint submission by the Women’s Wing and Young PAP seeks to address these challenges and help Singaporean women thrive, especially in a post-COVID world.

The PAP has championed women’s development in Singapore since its beginning, pushing for change and shaping policies that have enabled women in Singapore to succeed in every aspect of their lives. Over the past year, our PAP Members of Parliament and activists have gathered public feedback through dialogues and surveys. This set of recommendations has been developed from the diverse views and suggestions from some 1,500 members of the public, party activists, and community partners.

The recommendations are organised along three key areas to protect and uplift our women. They include:
• Enabling more choices for women at home, at work and in the community;
• Promoting more equal sharing of the caregiving responsibilities between men and women; and
• Rallying a whole-of-society approach to change mindsets and advance women’s development, recognising that men can help to remove barriers.

Specifically, the 12 recommendations are:

  1. Scaling up a nationwide movement to help women enter and progress in growth sectors;
  2. Introducing legislation to regulate merit-based employment and penalise discriminatory conduct to achieve more diverse and inclusive workplaces;
  3. Partnering organisations and employers to develop holistic support packages and support networks for women to re-enter the workforce and rebuild their careers;
  4. Giving parents full flexibility to decide how to share maternity and paternity leave;
  5. Increasing financial support to caregivers of seniors to help relieve their financial strain and out-of-pocket expenses;
  6. Organising voluntary respite services for caregivers and raising the awareness of support programmes;
  7. Enhancing options for long-term home-based care for the elderly;
  8. Updating the sexual education curriculum regularly to keep up with evolving norms, with a specific focus on the curriculum for secondary school students;
  9. Promoting open reporting of workplace harassment;
  10. Allowing the freezing of women’s eggs;
  11. Creating a national reproductive health screening programme for married couples;
  12. Creating a support network for single mothers.

Refer to the full Paper for details on the recommendations.

Mrs Josephine Teo, Chairwoman of the PAP Women’s Wing, thanked the people who have contributed and co-created these recommendations with the Party. She said, “We have listened and distilled these down to the pressing concerns of women today. What we have are achievable and impactful steps forward that will set new foundations
for the future of Singapore women, and empower them to live out their fullest potential at home, work and in society.”

Dr Janil Puthucheary, Chairman of the Young PAP, said, “Young PAP has a diverse membership with diverse views. This is representative of young Singaporeans. This paper adds substance to the national review of issues relating to women’s development. We must and will continue to do more to empower, protect and uplift women, to set the stage for the next generation.”

The joint position paper will be submitted to the Government for its consideration.

Annex: PAP Women’s Wing and Young PAP’s efforts in furthering women’s
development

Since its beginning, the PAP has been championing women’s issues and advocating for progress on various fronts.

Particularly in the recent years, the Party has submitted several papers with recommendations on areas for policy changes to empower women to maximise their full potential.

Past efforts in last 5 years

• 2016:  WW published a Position Paper entitled “SGfuture: Women’s Perspectives and Aspirations” that proposed recommendations on leadership and social impact, employment and entrepreneurship, family and caregiving, and financial well-being.
• 2017:  MP Tin Pei Ling, Joan Pereira, Cheryl Chan, Jessica Tan and Lee Bee Wah moved a private member’s motion to call for more to be done to help women juggle their family commitments and career goals. A total of 10 women MPs and Nominated MPs spoke during the private members motion.
• 2017: WW, together with BoardAgender – an initiative of the Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations, advocated for more formal mechanisms to ensure the acceleration of the number of women on boards in Singapore.
• 2019: WW put up a position paper to the Government with recommendations to enable and encourage young Singaporean parents to raise their children successfully while concurrently pursuing their careers and other life goals.