Fairness at workplace, caregiver support among recommendations in White Paper on women’s issues

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SINGAPORE – Several recommendations together with enshrining equity at the office, support for caregivers, in addition to strengthening safety for victims of sexual offences and household violence will likely be a part of a White Paper on women’s issues that will likely be “presented soon”, mentioned Minister for Communications and Information Josephine Teo on Tuesday (Mar 8).

Mrs Teo, who can also be the chairperson of the People’s Action Party’s (PAP) Women’s Wing, was talking at the 2022 CNA Leadership Summit, which was held on International Women’s Day.

The White Paper was first set forth by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the closing session of Conversations on Singapore Women’s Development in September final yr, the place he outlined three broad areas in which Government insurance policies and programmes may help degree the enjoying area for ladies.

These are: extra equal office alternatives, extra caregiver support and elevated safety for ladies, each bodily and on-line.

Titled Conversations on Singapore Women’s Development, the great evaluation of issues affecting girls was first introduced the yr earlier than in September 2020. It concerned partaking and dealing with companions from the folks and personal sectors, in addition to women’s and youth teams.

PM Lee had mentioned the Government would examine the views it has obtained on issues introduced up throughout a year-long evaluation regarding girls to develop and implement these proposals.

Mrs Teo mentioned that the upcoming White Paper can have “many important recommendations”.

“It’s also important to recognise that in putting together the White Paper, what matters most is what our women want, and what they tell us is important in their lives,” she mentioned.

“It’s not policymakers (or) the team just looking at numbers, looking at analysis and then thinking about it…that is important, but ultimately we want to hear from the ground, (and) what’s important to you day-to-day experience.”

Mrs Teo famous “enthusiastic” participation from hundreds of ladies.

“Very interestingly, lots of men were part of the conversation too…that was very refreshing,” she added.

There was additionally a “bumper crop” of recommendations from the PAP Women’s Wing.

She went on to spotlight three recommendations in the White Paper that have been “particularly responsive to what women have told us last year”.

The first is enshrining equity in the office, whether or not it’s in phrases of recruitment, development or how harassment is being handled, she mentioned.

For instance, outcomes from a examine performed by women’s rights group Association of Women for Action and Research final yr confirmed that ladies who expertise sexual harassment at work usually undergo prolonged durations of low work productiveness and have decrease job satisfaction on account of strained relationships with colleagues.

The second suggestion is enhancing support for home-based caregiving.

“The majority of caregivers are still women and this is absolutely necessary because families that have to deal with frail seniors for the long term need better support and more relief,” mentioned Mrs Teo.

The third suggestion will handle violence towards girls, sexual offences and household violence.

“It would be in strengthening protection for victims of sexual offences and violence and making it absolutely clear that there is no place for such things in Singapore, and women should really not have to bear with it,” she mentioned.

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