Quote of the day: Josephine Teo on duty to find new ways to uplift women

In her opening speech at the motion on Singapore Women’s Development, Communications and Information Minister Josephine Teo urged Singapore not to shy away from dealing with the daily battles women may still face. Here’s an excerpt of her speech.

By any measure, Singapore women’s development has reached a very high base.

As a result, we may have felt no urgency to further strengthen the position of women in our society. This Government, however, thought otherwise.

As I mentioned earlier, almost the first thing the PAP did when it first formed the Government was to pass the Women’s Charter.

Last year was the 60th anniversary of the Women’s Charter. We believed it was timely to renew the pledge our founding leaders made so many years ago, to further elevate the position of women in Singapore.

This is because, even as we were fighting hard to battle the pandemic, we remembered the daily battles women may still face.

  • The battle with time to fulfil multiple roles and responsibilities.
  • The battle for recognition of the challenges women and girls face, much more than men and boys.
  • The battle with sexual predators who, having been tamed in analogue Singapore, now rear their ugly heads in our digital world.
  • The battle with social expectations on what work we do, what chores we share, what words we say, and even what clothes we wear.
  • The battle within ourselves as to how much of “us” to give and how much to save for self-care.

To help women advance, we must not shy away from dealing with these battles.

On the contrary, we must always see the progress of women as a journey without end, where every achievement is a foundation to aim for new highs.

In every generation, we have a duty to find new ways to uplift women. If half of humanity does not progress, how can the rest of humanity?