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13 local NGOs submit gender inequality report to UN

The report was submitted despite disapprovals from other groups.

PHOTO: SWCO MEMBERS WITH FIRST FEMALE PRESIDENT HALIMAH YACOB/ FB

A group of 13 Singapore non-governmental organizations (NGOs) submitted a CEDAW shadow report (a report that is free from government involvement and bias) on issues surrounding gender inequalities to a United Nations committee on Monday (Oct 2).

This group consists of the Association of Women for Action & Research, the Humanitarian Organization for Migration Economics, the Singapore Association of Women Lawyers and social enterprise Daughters of Tomorrow, amongst others.

Titled “Many Voices, One Movement” the submitted report covered topics such as the representation of women in senior, corporate positions, equal rights for single parents and their children, increased protection for foreign domestic workers, woes on domestic violence and increased healthcare subsidies for marginalized groups etc.

PHOTO: SCREENGRAB OF CEDAW REPORT ON AWARE’S WEBSITE/ AWARE

However, the report was submitted without the endorsement of several other organizations, such as the Singapore Muslim Women’s Association (PPIS), the People’s Association’s Women’s Integration Network and the NTUC Women and Family Unit.

Some of the issues that divided the various groups include the repealing of 377A of the Penal code (this law criminalizes sex between men), abstinence-based sex education in schools and a ban on polygamy.

PHOTO: PEOPLE’S ASSOCIATION HEADQUARTERS/ PA

According to an ST report, the PPIS, People’s Association’s Women’s Integration Network and the NTUC Women and Family Unit could not come to terms with the report as some parts were “too divisive or irrelevant to their organization’s interests”.

The lack of endorsement from said organizations also encompassed reasons such as the religious sensitivities pertaining to the administration of Muslim law.

The submission of the report comes after a last-minute cancellation of a media conference last week (Sep 29).

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