Thursday, 16 April 2009

1st Press Release

Aware's new leadership 1st press release:

New team pledges to work for full equality of the sexes

'Aware, Singapore's leading women's advocacy organisation, is delighted to announce that its new president is Ms Josie Lau. She is joined by a dynamic, fresh and committed group of women forming the executive committee, who hail from diverse professional backgrounds drawn from the business, banking, finance, legal, education, management, human resource and social service sectors.

2009 marks the jubilee of our nation (50 years of self-government). In this period, the cause of women has made many great strides in many respects. The new team at Aware wishes to remember and honour the work of past Aware members for their vision and endeavours to advance the cause of women in all areas of society through advocacy and community work.

The new team intends to build on the solid foundations laid by the founders of Aware and will continue to promote the participation of women, on equal terms with men, in the political, social, economic and cultural life of our society. The goal remains to bring about full equality of the sexes and to end all forms of discrimination against women.

Aware will build on existing advocacy, research (eg. attitude and policies towards singles) and education to empower women to deal with various forms of discrimination, raise their awareness of rights and responsibilities, and promote their welfare in tandem with the standards in the Convention for the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (Cedaw). In 1995, Singapore became a party to Cedaw which contains benchmarks against which to measure the elimination of discrimination against women on a national basis.

Singapore has made much progress in areas like education and health but can do better in other respects. In particular, the new team will seek to promote the role of women in politics and public life as Article 7 of Cedaw affirms. We endorse the Cedaw committee recommendation that women's participation in public life should reach a minimum of 30 per cent to 35 per cent, sharing the conviction that this will revitalise political and public life.

The new team will, as a paramount objective, seek to empower women to be leaders in our society, in politics, business, the professions and in all areas of endeavour which will benefit our nation.

President Josie Lau says: 'In these challenging times, the new team will actively seek to collaborate and align Aware with other women's organisations with outreach to girls and women who are affected by the current economic downturn.

'The new team aims to empower women who have been retrenched and equip them with new skills. In this context, we will work with training agencies and launch a series of programmes of practical assistance, such as grooming, budgeting, finance and debt management, career planning and management of change. We will continue to provide emotional, psychological or legal support for women.'

We call on all women of Singapore to rise to the challenge of taking on leadership roles in our nation. We invite volunteers to help make Aware a positive agent of change for the beneficial transformation of our society, where all people, regardless of race, religion or sex, are valued and have a place under the sun.'

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