The People’s Action Party (PAP) Women’s Wing (WW) will continue to look out for areas that can be improved to empower women to maximise their fullest potential and pursue what they want in life, WW’s Chairperson Mrs Josephine Teo said.
Mrs Teo gave this assurance to party activists and members of the public during an online dialogue organised by WW and Young PAP (YP) on 16 January 2021. The dialogue was part of the nationwide conversations on women’s development.
Over the past two weeks, WW and YP organised four dialogue sessions with a total of over 250 activists and members of the public joining in the conversations, to discuss the challenges faced by women and explore possible solutions to overcome these issues.
The sessions were led by Minister of State for Education, and Social and Family Development Sun Xueling and Parliamentary Secretary for Health Rahayu Mahzam who were also tasked to lead the Government’s efforts to conduct a holistic review of the issues relating to women.
Many PAP Members of Parliament – Minister Mrs Josephine Teo, MOSes Alvin Tan, Gan Siow Huang, Tan Kiat How, PS Eric Chua, MPs Edward Chia, Derrick Goh, Nadia Ahmad Samdin, Louis Ng, Ng Ling Ling, Poh Li San, Hany Soh, Carrie Tan, Wan Rizal, Don Wee, Xie Yao Quan, Yeo Wan Ling and Zhulkarnain Abdul Rahim joined the dialogue sessions and shared their views and suggestions.
In the dialogue session on family, participants discussed the adequacy of support to caregivers through the provision of infant care, childcare and eldercare. They recommended that the government and community work together to provide longer-term support for caregivers. They also suggested reviewing marriage and parenthood policies to enable better work-life balance and discussed the options available to help silent sufferers of family violence.
The dialogue session on women’s development in the community covered important areas like women’s health, misogyny, retirement adequacy and leadership. Participants spoke about the need to increase awareness on health screening and vaccination. With work from home arrangement becoming a norm due to the pandemic, some suggested that it is an opportune time to look into redesigning jobs to encourage women to remain in the workforce. Others also discussed how to further encourage gender diversity in leadership positions.
In the dialogue session on women’s development in the workplace, participants exchanged views on the need to create awareness about harassment at workplaces, how to address complaints, and educating companies on advancing diversity and inclusion policies. They also proposed having more facilities, services and workplace arrangements to support caregivers.
As for the conversation on women’s development in schools and education, MPs and participants had a fruitful discussion on issues relating to sexual misconduct in education institutions, how our schools should provide opportunities for all, and theimpact of education policies on working mothers. They also highlighted the importance of men playing a role in their children’s education.
Over the past years, WW has been championing women’s issues and advocating for progress on various fronts. Here are some of our past efforts in recent 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: 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.
- 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.
- 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.
WW will continue to play an active role in building a better future for women in Singapore.
Over the next few months, WW will work with YP to put up recommendations through a position paper to the government.