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Lunch With Singapore’s First Woman President, Madam Halimah Yacob

Singapore NGOs Submit Joint Report To The UN - Gender Inequalities In Singapore


Athena was invited for lunch with Singapore’s President Halimah Yacob and we’re filling you in!


Together with 50 member organisations, the SCWO Board members and more than 100 other women, we had the opportunity to chat with the new President of Singapore. Later, in the President’s Facebook post, she shared her dialogue with the women about their priorities and challenges in Singapore today, and saluted their contributions.

SCWO’s President, Dr June Goh, in her brief address, congratulated President Halimah Yacob on her new appointment and for being the First Woman President of Singapore. She further commended the President’s humble and sincere attitude which earned the respect of many.

President Halimah Yacob has been a champion for social causes such as women’s issues and family, and we have enjoyed our collaboration and friendship for the past few years.

It is a huge stride for the advancement of women in Singapore to have the first female President, and we know that she will do Singapore proud.

A Very Special Lunch At Istana

Athena Network with Singapore President Hamilah Yacob

Louisa Lee of DP Dental and Pamposh Dhar (seated lower left) represented The Athena Network during the lunch. Both were honoured to attend and we were pleased to send them on our behalf!

Louisa Lee’s Thanks

Afterwards, Louisa shared via social media saying, “It was a great Honour for me to represent the Athena Network Singapore today, together with Pamposh, to a lunch for women’s groups hosted by our Mdm President at the Istana. Thank you, Gina for the good work you have done as a past board member of the #SCWO and this opportunity for us to bask in the glory of your hard work and contribution.

I have heard many good things about President Halimah Yacob prior to this. That she’s a very grounded and humble person who has all along been a champion for women’s causes. It was wonderful of her to host all of us at the Istana today as proof of her commitment to continue her support.

The most memorable part of lunch was the individual attention Mdm President gave to each table. There was a seat reserved at every table for the President and she visited, sat with us and chatted with everyone. Such a lovely and thoughtful gesture.

Thank you, Mdm President.”

Pamposh Dhar’s Gratitude

A few days later we also received word from Pamposh about her experience with the President.

“In a wonderful gesture, President Halimah made it a point to spend time with small groups of women by sitting at every table that had been laid out in the beautiful hall where we had lunch (the presidential palace). By happy circumstance, I ended up sitting next to the President when she came to our table.

I had heard that she is not a President who stands on ceremony, but I was still charmed by her informal manner. When it was time to take a group photograph, I started to get up so I could join the other women who had moved to stand behind the President. But she stopped me, saying simply: “No, keep sitting.”

She was friendly and gracious at the same time, making pleasant conversation with all of us, but also making a point of appreciating the work done by our various groups. As head of state, her ongoing support to women’s groups in Singapore will surely prove to be invaluable.”

We are celebrating your victory, President Yacob. And we couldn’t agree more with Pamposh and Louisa!

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Gina Romero

Gina Romero is a community builder who harnesses technology to drive the success of women entrepreneurs. Working with corporate partners, local organisations and government agencies, Gina creates initiatives that strengthen the regional startup and SME ecosystem. She is the Founder of Connected Women.

Read Gina's recent interview on Forbes.com 'How One Woman Is Bringing Opportunity To More Women In Southeast Asia'.

Edited by: Amber Valencia, Image credit: Gina Romero, Louisa Lee

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