To commemorate the 35th anniversary of its founding in 1985, AWARE, Singapore’s leading gender equality advocacy group, will be organising a five-day festival called ‘AWAREFest’.

The announcement of the festival comes in the wake of the Government’s plan for a wide-ranging national review of gender equality.

AWAREFest will kick off on 25 November (Wednesday) – International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women – and draw to a close on 29 November (Sunday). Its inaugural theme is “Love + Rage”.

The festival will feature online panels, workshops, and interactive programmes centred on the fight for gender equality in Singapore.

AWAREFest is an occasion for us to honour the founding mothers who broke new ground for women over decades, and to embrace the new generation bringing feminism into the future,” said Corinna Lim, AWARE’s Executive Director.

“Taken together, the story of AWARE is a uniquely Singaporean story of solidarity and community, indignation and fiery passion. Hence the festival theme, Love + Rage – which channels both the rich history of the local women’s movement, and the singular mood of this present time,” she added.

For opening night, AWAREFest will hold ‘The Great Debate’, whereby teams of well-known local thinkers and activists will duke it out over the motion “Is love or rage a better fuel for justice?”

Other programme highlights include:

  • Women in Politics: A conversation between four women who ran for office in GE2020
  • #MeToo in Asia: An international panel of activists fighting against sexual violence
    around the region
  • Intersectionality Quiz Night: A fun, fast-paced trivia challenge covering the intersection of
    gender and issues such as income inequality, sexual orientation and disability

28 November (Saturday) will also see the AWAREHouse Party – a social distancing-appropriate twist on AWARE’s annual charity ball.

This year, guests will gather at each other’s houses for intimate hosted parties, united by live-streamed entertainment and a special catered menu.

The night’s programming will feature the 2020 AWARE Awards, honouring recent achievements in gender equality; a “Herstory” retrospective of major AWARE milestones; and the return of the beloved Alamak Awards, given to the year’s most cringeworthy sexist moments.

AWAREFest is supported by the U.S. Embassy Singapore. Proceeds from the festival will go towards AWARE’s new NextGen fund, which aims to nurture a new cohort of changemakers in Singapore, and ensure that women and girls continue to receive the assistance and support they need to thrive.

The fund will enable the maintenance and expansion of AWARE’s services, and sustain AWARE’s multi-faceted research on such pressing issues as caregiving, workplace harassment, and migrant rights.

NextGen will give us the opportunity to step up our strategic advocacy efforts during this pivotal moment of national interest in gender equality, sparked by the government’s upcoming White Paper. The time for concerted action is now. We’re thankful to all who contribute to and champion this cause, in ways big and small,” said Ms Lim.

Full details on the AWAREFest programme will be released on 14 October on AWARE’s website. Tickets will be on sale to the public on 16 October via Sistic, both for individual events and in the form of a multi-event festival pass.

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