Singapore NGOs Submit Joint Report To The UN CEDAW – Gender Inequalities In Singapore
Contributed by Gina Romero October 6, 2017
In an unprecedented move, 13 local NGOs joined forces to submit a report to the UN about continuing the fight against gender inequalities.
The report, entitled ‘Many Voices, One Movement’, was submitted to the UN CEDAW Committee on 3 October.
The Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) is an international treaty adopted in 1979 by the United Nations General Assembly. Described as an international bill of rights for women, it was instituted on 3 September 1981 and has been ratified by 189 states.
Veteran women’s rights advocate Dr Anamah Tan, the only Singaporean to have been a member of the UN CEDAW Committee, said: “Trail blazing and moving out of one’s comfort zone is not always smooth sailing. The report is the culmination of two years of negotiating, learning and understanding the differing views even amongst us who support the report.”
“We all want to see an end to all forms of discrimination against women because of our gender. That is our aim and that is the ultimate aim of CWDAW. We have made good progress.”
A First For Many
While individual Singapore NGOs have participated in previous CEDAW reporting cycles, this is the first time they have joined forces to prepare a joint report. Some of the NGOs will be sending representatives to Geneva next month.
“After over 20 years of Singapore being party to CEDAW, it is heartening that NGOs have pulled together a historic, unprecedented Coalition Report,” said Malathi Das, President of Zonta Club of Singapore.
Following the session in Geneva, the NGO coalition looks forward to engaging the government on the issues listed in the NGO report, as well as the recommendations made by the UN CEDAW Committee.
Commenting on what the NGOs hope to see, Jolene Tan, AWARE’s Head of Advocacy and Research, said: “The coalition seeks a decisive government roadmap to implement CEDAW in all areas – politics, the economy, family law and more – and to tackle urgent issues such as violence against women and migrants’ rights. Despite high-profile developments like anti-harassment laws and the first woman President, NGO ground experience indicates much remains to be done to truly secure all women’s rights, safety and opportunities.”
The Athena Network One Of The Thirteen
The Athena Network was among the NGOs who participated and we are eager to see more progress and change in the near future. I shared this on the day the report was submitted and would like to reiterate my deepest thanks:
“Two years ago, at the 20th anniversary of CEDAW, I listened to a conversation between Dr Anamah Tan and Malathi Das, little did I know the path I would end up on.
Sometimes I feel like the work I do doesn’t feel significant but then I see the work that these incredible women do, and how it impacts women and families for generations, and I know that everything counts for something.
Thank you for your wise words and for inspiring us to ‘do our best’.”
What would you like to see the Singaporean government implement in support of women?
Learn more about CEDAW here.