SINGAPORE, January 31, 2021 – Singapore has declared 2021 as the Year of Celebrating SG Women. This was announced by Minister for Social and Family Development Masagos Zulkifli yesterday. Women’s contributions are integral to the Singapore story, and the aim is to celebrate their progress and potential across society, said Mr Masagos.

“We will celebrate our women’s multi-faceted roles across society, and we will also celebrate the men who help to debunk stereotypes, change mindsets and play an active role in supporting and uplifting women,” he added.

The country’s focus on women’s issues gained momentum last year when the Government announced that it will conduct a review of issues affecting women, to bring about a mindset change on values such as gender equality and respect for women.

A key component of the review is a series of dialogues called “Conversations on Singapore Women’s Development” which started in September last year.

The talking points and suggestions gathered from the dialogues will form the basis of a White Paper to be tabled in Parliament in the second half of 2021. The White Paper will contain recommendations for the continued progress of women in Singapore.

Speaking on the sidelines of a virtual dialogue on Saturday, Mr Masagos said that along with the conversations and the planned White Paper, it will take a whole-of-society effort to form a more inclusive nation, and create and implement solutions that further progress the lives of women here.

“We will continue to work closely with you to co-create and catalyse solutions that will shift societal mindsets to foster a fairer and more inclusive society for our men and women,” he added.

“Globally, women face higher risks of both income loss and increased violence, sexual exploitation, or abuse. Despite efforts made to protect and uplift Singapore women, they are not exempt from these vulnerabilities, some of which may have been exacerbated by Covid-19.”

Throughout this year, the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) will organise celebrations and activities as part of the women’s movement.

Since September last year, 23 virtual conversations have drawn more than 1,000 participants, including working mothers, homemakers, women leaders, men and young people. And till the second half of the year, about 100 more dialogues are being held.

A key recurring issue in every conversation so far was the push to change mindsets about gender stereotypes and traditional gender roles, revealed Mr Masagos.

Saturday’s dialogue was organised by the People’s Association Women’s Integration Network Council, and involved about 50 participants.

Minister of State for Social and Family Development and Education Sun Xueling, who joined the virtual discussions, noted that the participants emphasised how respect is a key value and cornerstone of the relationship between women and men, in furthering gender equality.