August 11th, 2016

Who’s the worst of them all? Choose two!

The popular AWARE Alamak! Awards are back!

Every year, the AWARE Awards celebrate individuals and organisations that have promoted gender equality in Singapore. At the same time, the Alamak! Award is given out to the most jaw-dropping instance of sexism, as decided by you!

The recipients of both Awards will be revealed at our WORLD Ball on 17 October.

This year, you have a choice between four candidates. Take a look at their work and cast your votes below. You can cast two votes. Read more about the Alamak! Awards.

Acquittal of Zunika Ahmad

legalIn April, a transgender man was cleared of sexual penetration of a minor (despite pleading guilty!) because the Court decided that the accused, Zunika Ahmad, could not be held accountable for his actions through this offence (though he was convicted of other charges). In the Judge’s view, the language of the Penal Code requires the perpetrator to have a penis.  A terrible outcome for many reasons, but particularly bizarre because the law the Judge cited was introduced specifically to address the issue of ‘female sexual abuse of male minors’ (words from Parliament, not us!).This case takes us ten steps backward for fairness and justice, setting a bad legal precedent. The pending appeal in court is a chance to set things right – let’s hope this is taken.

Note: We have edited this language to clarify that the issue is with the outcome and impact of the decision and not the judge. We apologise to those who have voted on the basis of the prior language.

Eagle Infotech Consultants

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How best to teach workplace diversity and inclusion, or communications and negotiation skills? Not like this: a WSQ course exercise from Eagle Infotech asked managers to choose which of a list of workers to fire – giving only information about their race, religion, marital status, sexual orientation and political affiliations.  Reading the questions, you’d think that healthy, non-judgmental discussions should not centre on staff’s identities – are they a “talented (…) homosexual”? A “woman with very strong view” (yikes, not one of those!)? Or a “former member of the Worker’s Party”?  With barely a word about performance or ability, what were the trainees meant to discuss?

Lawyer, Edmund Wong

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In another courtroom-related facepalm moment, lawyer Edmund Wong, representing the defendant in a sexual assault case, asked the victim to stand up while on the witness stand.  He stared at her breasts and made inappropriate remarks about their size. When she protested, he said that her physical attractiveness could have caused the “temptation” to molest. The victim was visibly affected. Thank goodness for the Judge who censured Wong’s outrageous line of questioning. Wong even defended himself later on by saying, “I didn’t ask what her chest measurements are.” ALAMAK! Who let this guy have a law degree?!

Misogynist NUS Camp Organisers

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While many college orientation camp activities have been widely known to be deeply inappropriate and misogynist, some organisers at NUS took their disregard for consent and respect much further – with lurid, detailed re-enactments of rape scenes, horrid and intrusive questions about who is “sluttiest”, and push-ups on top of unwilling women. Some participants said it was “a scary experience”, and that they “wanted to get out so badly”. Hardly a fun time bonding! We hope NUS will seize this opportunity to educate their students on consent, sexual violence and respect.

 

Voting is open from now till 11 September 2016. Do share this post with your family and friends so they too can vote for their favourite sexists!

The winner will be revealed at our fundraising gala, the WORLD Ball on 17 October. Don’t forget to watch this space, or follow us on Twitter and Facebook to find out who won!

If you’d like to support us as we strive for gender equality, do consider attending our gala event! You can also check out last year’s winners for both the AWARE and Alamak! Awards here.

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