March 8th, 2012

Happy International Women’s Day!

There is much to celebrate this International Women’s Day (IWD).

After decades of lobbying by various NGOs, including AWARE, the government has finally introduced mandatory weekly rest days for foreign domestic workers.

The recent Budget 2012 announcement included several measures that will better provide for elderly Singaporeans, as well as lighten the financial burden for their caregivers.

Foreign-born spouses of Singapore citizens will soon be eligible for the Long Term Visit Pass Plus, which will help this socially vulnerable group in terms of employment prospects and healthcare subsidies.

And AWARE is proud to have played a pivotal role in the repeal of Section 157(d) of the Evidence Act, which made it possible to use a rape victim’s sexual history to impeach her moral character. We are also heartened that the government is sympathetic to the removal of marital rape immunity, as indicated during a recent Parliament debate.

But much more remains to be done. 

In line with IWD 2012’s theme of Connecting Girls, Inspiring Futures, we hope in particular to reach out to young women and men in Singapore this year, and act as a catalyst in spurring their engagement in working towards gender equality in Singapore.

To celebrate IWD, we are launching a new Facebook campaign

 I AM AWARE

Through this initiative, we aim to raise awareness about gender-related issues that are close to our hearts.

These include: The role gender equality must play in order to improve Singapore’s fertility rate; the persistent gender wage gap; the objectification of women in Singapore’s media culture, and more.

Through the I AM AWARE website, you can create and share messages about gender equality with your Facebook friends, and also find out more about how AWARE works to improve the lives of women in Singapore with our support services, training programmes and research and advocacy initiatives.

We hope you will help us spread the word by visiting the I AM AWARE website and sharing your messages about gender equality with your Facebook friends.

On March 24, we will also be holding a Roundtable event to discuss whether Budget 2012 adequately protects and supports vulnerable women in Singapore. We hope you will join us and let us know your views on this year’s Budget priorities.

Thank you so much for your support, and have a wonderful International Women’s Day!

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