March 5, 2014 – The Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations (SCWO) is marking International Women’s Day 2014 by launching the Singapore Women’s Hall of Fame. The aim is to recognise and celebrate the many contributions of women to Singapore’s development.
The Hall of Fame, or SWHF, will be launched on 14thMarch at a Gala Dinner, with 108 women as the first honourees. President Tony Tan and his wife Mrs Mary Tan, who is SCWO’s patron, will be the guests of honour at the dinner. The inaugural honourees’ achievements and contributions span two centuries and 13 fields of endeavour, ranging from the philanthropy of businesswoman Hajjah Fatimah Sulaiman in the 19th century to the sporting prowess of Singapore’s women Olympians and Paralympians in the 21st century.
The 108 honourees were selected from a shortlist of some 200 candidates identified by a team of researchers and the SWHF working committee. The selection panel was headed by Ambassador-at-Large Professor Tommy Koh.
“Women have made important contributions to Singapore’s development and progress and we should identify, acknowledge and honour them,” said Prof Koh. “Many of the inaugural honourees were pioneers in their fields, remarkable women of exceptional ability who broke through barriers and made it easier for the next generation of women to succeed. “Today, women in Singapore have achieved parity with men in most areas,” he added. ‘But when those pioneering women were making their mark, women still faced discrimination and other obstacles.”
SCWO President Laura Hwang explained that a key objective of launching the Hall of Fame is to establish a repository of information about Singapore’s out standing women and their achievements. “Their life stories are so inspiring. We want to make sure that the stories are documented and in one place so that many people, and especially the young, can have easy access to them. As we progress, we should not forget the past. There are valuable lessons for us in the experiences of our predecessors,” Mrs Hwang said.
She added that as Singapore moves towards becoming a more smart, liveable and sustainable city, women ’s role becomes even more important in helping to weave the moral fabric that enables a resilient infrastructure. “Singapore will benefit from the perspectives and values that women leaders and policy-makers bring to the task of governing Singapore,” Mrs Hwang said.
SCWO will, after the launch of SWHF, work with various public and private sector organisations to share, in a variety of ways, the inspiring stories of the honourees. An organisation that has made a three-year commitment to supporting the SWHF is Citibank.
Mr Michael Zink, Head of ASEAN and Citi Country Officer, Singapore, explained why: “Citi is proud and honoured to be the Presenting Sponsor of the Singapore Women’s Hall of Fame to recognize the women who have made remarkable contributions and achievements in the history of Singapore. By sharing their stories, we hope that the next generation of young women and men in Singapore can be inspired to pursue their passions and aspirations.
“Our partnership with SCWO is part of our commitment in promoting women leadership by recruiting, developing and advancing women. At Citi, diversity is a core value and a source of strength. This belief stems from our understanding that a diverse workforce which fully reflects the communities and clients will ensure that we continue to deliver quality and innovative solutions to meet their needs.”
The SWHF website, which will go live on 14th March, will have profiles of the honorees as well as links to further information.
There will also be a “Women in Singapore” timeline listing the significant events in the lives of women in Singapore, such as the passing in 1961 of the Women’s Charter.
Members of the public will be able, via the website, to nominate women whom they think should be considered for induction to the Hall of Fame.
The Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations (SCWO) is the National Coordinating body of women’s organisations in Singapore. Our 57 member organisations represent more than 500,000 women in Singapore. Incorporated in March 1980, the SCWO serves to unite the various organisations, clubs, committees, groups and women leaders together working in accordance with its various aims and objectives. The Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations seeks to coordinate these associations into a national movement and to act on their behalf in matters for which it is authorised by its members. It seeks to promote the ideals of “Equal Space, Equal Voice and Equal Worth” for women in Singapore.
Selina Gan, General Manager
Tel: (O) 6571 0181 (M) 9679 5594
SCWO Centre, 96 Waterloo Street, Singapore 187967 | Tel: 6837 0611 | Fax: 6837 0081 | www.scwo.org.sg