New exhibition imagines the lives of Singapore women in 2050

The exhibition is the final instalment in a three-part series The Lives of Women by the Singapore Women's Hall of Fame. - ST

SINGAPORE (The Straits Times/Asia News Network): When Dr Kanwaljit Soin found that Singapore did not have an organisation focusing on improving the social and legal status of women, she started the Association of Women for Action and Research.

It became the leading women's rights and gender equality group in Singapore and carries on its good work today promoting equitable laws and policies, and educating the public on gender equality.

Dr Soin is among the women featured in a new exhibition which was launched at the National Museum of Singapore on Monday (Jan 17). It is the final instalment in a three-part series The Lives of Women by the Singapore Women's Hall of Fame - an initiative by the Singapore Council of Women's Organisations (SCWO).

Other women showcased include Singapore Malay dance pioneer Som Said, pioneering illustrator Kwan Shan Mei and Singapore's first female marathon gold medallist Kandasamy Jayamani.

The latest exhibition paints a picture of what life might look like for women in Singapore in 2050 in the areas of education, work, population, leadership and public life, said Junie Foo, president of the SCWO.

It touches on issues such as the caregiving burden that many women have to shoulder, and the challenges they face at the workplace, she added. These were raised during the year-long Conversations on Singapore Women's Development, an initiative by the Government to review issues concerning women.

The opening of the exhibition was attended by some of the inductees and Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and National Development Sim Ann.

Speaking at the event, Sim said the Government has implemented measures such as revising sentencing framework for sexual and hurt offences, as well as revising the Singapore Exchange listing rules to require companies to disclose their board's diversity policy, including that on gender.

It also has plans to elevate the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices, which will help level the playing field for women in the workplace, she said.

A White Paper with proposals to tackle issues concerning women will be presented in Parliament in the next few months, Sim added.

It includes feedback from close to 6,000 participants in 160 conversations during the Conversations on Singapore Women's Development, she said.

"I urge all women to help shape and bring to life (the) possibilities (for them), and to take inspiration from many of our successful women from the Singapore Women's Hall of Fame present today," said Sim.

"We all have the potential to be pioneers and pathfinders, and inspire others as these women have inspired us."

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