On July 18, our CEDAW team presented AWARE’s findings and recommendations to the UN CEDAW Committee at the UN headquarters inNew York, highlighting areas where women’s rights in Singapore still need improvement.
The AWARE delegation to the United Nations comprises: AWARE CEDAW Sub-Committee chair Braema Mathi, who is also AWARE’s Research & Advocacy Director; AWARE Vice-President Halijah Mohamad; AWARE immediate past president Dana Lam; and AWARE research executive Nadzirah Samsudin.
Some issues AWARE’s presentation addressed:
• A call on the State to provide a timeframe for amending local laws and the Constitution to include ‘gender’ and ‘marital status’
• The removal of the reservation to the State’s obligation to ensure that women have equal opportunity and access to employment
• A critique of the government’s wish to confine its consultations on women’s issues to three approved bodies: the Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations, the People’s Association Women’s Wing and the NTUC Women’s Committee and Women’s Development Secretariat. This approach ignores the advocacy work of many interest groups that work on a wide variety of women’s issues.
• Recommending that the Office of Women’s Development, currently under MCYS’ Family Division Unit, be made an independent body with its own budget, so that it can address all matters related to gender mainstreaming as a policy approach.
• Urging more legal protection and social services assistance for vulnerable women, including women who are sexually harassed, foreign domestic workers, foreign wives married to Singapore men, sexual minorities, and casual and contract workers.
You may also find AWARE’s CEDAW Shadow Report at http://www.aware.org.sg/research-advocacy/cedaw/ and images of our CEDAW delegation in New York at http://www.flickr.com/photos/awaresg/sets/72157627105048931/.
Read AWARE’s presentation to the UN here.