Our Journey, Our History

We list the milestones in the path of women in Singapore – the changes in policies and laws as well as the initiatives and achievements of individual women.

More equal support for parents

Fathers will now get two weeks of state-paid paternity leave, and unwed mothers will, like wed mothers, get 16 weeks of maternity leave instead of just eight weeks. Shared parental leave goes up from one to four weeks.

Swimmers shine at Rio Paralympics

Yip Pin Xiu wins two gold medals at the Rio Paralympics and Theresa Goh, Singapore’s Paralympics swimming pioneer, wins a bronze. At the 2008 Beijing Paralympics, Pin Xiu won Singapore’s first Olympic-level gold medal.

First woman judge for top court

Judith Prakash becomes the first woman to be appointed permanent judge of the Singapore Court of Appeal. An expert in commercial law, she was in 1995 the second woman to join the Supreme Court bench.

Maintenance for some men

Changes to the Women’s Charter allow for husbands and ex-husbands who are incapacitated to claim spousal maintenance. Other changes include requiring couples with minor children to attend a parenting programme before they can file for divorce, and couples where one party is under 21 to attend a marriage preparation course.

Even more support for CEDAW

Singapore declares its unreserved commitment to Article 11 (paragraph 1) of CEDAW, which calls for gender equality in employment. The government says it is lifting its reservation because changing policies now mean servicewomen can have fulfilling careers in the military.

Finally, a more equal way to fly

Singapore‘s national carrier, Singapore Airlines, takes in two women cadet pilots. It is possibly the last major airline in the world to hire women pilots.

FIRST FEMALE CHANCELLOR

Dr Aline Wong is named Chancellor of UniSIM, making her Singapore’s first female university chancellor. 

FIRST FEMALE GENERAL

The Singapore Armed Forces gets its first female general when Gan Siow Huang is one of seven Colonels promoted to the rank of Brigadier-General/Rear-Admiral (1-star).  

A MINISTRY TO CALL HER OWN!

Finally, a woman Cabinet minister is given her own ministry to run. Grace Fu, the only woman in the Cabinet, becomes Minister for Culture, Community and Youth. And she is also named Leader of the House, the first woman to hold that position in Parliament.

FINALLY, AN ANTI-HARASSMENT LAW

The Protection from Harassment Act comes into effect in November, and stalking, cyber bullying and workplace harassment become illegal.