This is to Highlight one of The Latest News and to suggest the link.
This is to Highlight one of The Latest News and to suggest the link.
Singapore Committee for UN Women News (2014)
How do we do it?
In the midst of the year-end holiday season in Singapore, we’d like to take some time out to reflect on the year that was, and give thanks for all that we have been able to achieve with your help.
On behalf of the Singapore Committee for UN Women team, we want to reach out and thank you for investing your heart, time, and financial resources to the critical cause of women’s empowerment. As always, it is really because of you that we can continue our mission and grow as an organization.
It’s been an incredible year of wins and setbacks for gender equality but thanks to our incredible interns, army of dedicated volunteers and you, this is the work that we have been able to achieve over the year together:
This year, through the #HeForShe Campaign, we have seen the rise of support from men and boys for our work in Singapore. We are optimistic that with the involvement of an entire population, a respect for women’s rights around the world can be achieved.
Since 2006, we have been spreading an important message about the prevention of abuse and violence against women through the Help Anna campaign, talk sessions, and workshops. With the re-launch of the Help Anna website this year, we reached more than 917 students, business leaders, activists as part of our mission to end violence against women.
We engaged 3,000 girls through day camps to encourage the next generation of pioneers and innovators in Science, Tech, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) through Girls2Pioneers. And, a further 1,673 people have been engaged through STEM related public events.
We brought together businesses and global experts to host the inaugural BIZ@TIP (Businesses Against Trafficking in Persons) conference - a multi-sectorial conference with business leaders and stakeholders from a variety of industries to address the issue of Trafficking in Persons within supply chains and labour practices across sectors. BIZ@TIP has been an evolution of various human trafficking campaigns that Singapore Committee for UN Women have championed since 2006. As one of the leading advocates against human trafficking in Singapore, the impact and awareness raised has been crucial in the fight to end trafficking in the region. Together with five other NGOs, this year we were also successful in lobbying the government for Singapore’s first Bill on the Prevention of Human Trafficking.
Your contributions at our SNOW Gala dinner and Buy To Save will continue to support 10,000 women in the Karenni refugee camps along the Thailand-Myanmar border through the UN Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women and International Rescue Committee. The survivors living in the Ban Mai Nai Soi and Ban Mae Surin refugee camps along the Thailand-Myanmar border will continue to gain access to high quality care from community- based health centers, allowing them to heal quickly and safely. We invite you to continue supporting the Karenni survivors through our Monthly Giving program. A small amount given every month will go a long way in helping the women supported by the UN Trust Fund.
Through our annual social entrepreneurship competition, Project Inspire, we partnered with MasterCard for the fourth year to fund grants for social enterprises that use sustainable models to economically empower women. Our young change-makers were also supported by Knowledge Partner INSEAD, Strategic Partner Bain & Co. and Supporting Partner Hilton WorldWide. 2014 attracted over 500 pitch proposals from 70 countries and resulted in US$35,000 in grant prizes given to social enterprises benefitting women and girls.
We are continuing to focus on the Singaporean community through our public education activities. Since 1999 we have reached out to almost 110,000 (and still counting) individuals, students, volunteers, members, advocates, activists, civil society, sponsors and business leaders across Singapore.
Despite progress and all the work that we have been doing over the year, there remains more to be done. We continue to grow community full of supporters with the power to make sustainable impact. We won’t solve these problems and reach our goals overnight, but everyday our community grows stronger, we make progress. With your help, we have achieved a lot. With your continued help, we can do even more.
2014's Top 5 Moments
At Singapore Committee for UN Women we know that our goal of creating a just world for women and girls is ambitious, some even say impossible. We believe that change, though sometimes incremental, is happening. To both celebrate and highlight this, check out our picks for the top five moments for women’s empowerment in 2014:
17-year-old Shannon Lee invented a ground-breaking electrocatalyst that may revolutionize rechargeable batteries - a discovery that earned her one of the two 2014 Intel Foundation Young Scientist Awards, and the Best of Energy & Transportation category prize. Shannon’s solution - an electrocatalyst made entirely from carbonized Chinese eggplant - greatly outperforms commercial catalysts in stability and longevity while being cheaper and more environmentally friendly to produce.
UN Women ambassador Emma Watson launched HeForShe
Emma Watson launched the HeForShe campaign with UN Women and extended a “formal invitation” to men to participate in the conversation about gender equality. Watson’s speech struck a chord with many and fanned the feminist fire that is, slowly but surely, being reignited.
Women advance in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)
India had been shamed by a recent spate of rapes, as Narendra Modi made his first Independence Day speech as prime minister. While several Indian politicians have made comments blaming women for rapes, or even worse, encouraging rape, Modi called on parents to take responsibility for the actions of their sons. “After all, a person who is raping is somebody's son", Modi said.
Pakistani child education activist Malala Yousafzai wins the Nobel Peace Prize
At the age of just 17, Malala is the youngest ever recipient of the prize. The teenager who was shot in the head by Taliban gunmen in October 2012 for campaigning for girls' education, captured the attention of the world. Malala said she was "honoured" to receive the award, saying it made her feel "more powerful and courageous".
100 MILLION Annas are “missing” due to prenatal sex selection
Up to 50% of sexual assaults are committed against Annas UNDER THE AGE OF 16.
Over 60 MILLION Annas worldwide are child brides, married before 18.
1 IN 4 Annas experience physical or sexual violence during pregnancy.
These women and girls, who we have named “Anna,” could be anyone.
Being that Singapore Committee for UN Women is dedicating the entire month of November to ending violence against women, we thought no better of a time to re-launch our public education campaign, "Help Anna."
Visit HelpAnna.com to learn about the various types of gender violence, and help us re-write the narratives of those who survived gender violence from victim to survivor, passive to active. You can also take the pledge to stop gender violence in its tracks.
Annual SNOW gala and Buy to Save raise funds to end gender violence
Singapore Committee for UN Women is committed to changing mindsets through public education about gender issues within Singapore, while raising funds to adequately support regional programmes.
Locally, we have reached more than 100,000 students, business leaders, and activists within Singapore since 2010 alone. With the help of our partners in civil society, government, and the private sector, we have educated more people than ever before on:
Ending Violence Against Women
Leadership and Participation
Regionally, through our annual social innovation competition, Project Inspire, we have partnered with MasterCard to fund grants for social enterprises that use sustainable models to economically empower women. Our office also funds grants for the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women through our two annual fundraisers: our gala, SNOW (Say No to the Oppression of Women) and our sale of pre-loved designer goods, Buy to Save.
Both SNOW and Buy to Save have the distinct focus of funding programs aimed at ending violence against women.
SNOW 2014 Highlights
This year's annual SNOW gala took place on September 26th at Capella Sentosa to a guest list of nearly 400 dignitaries, corporate leaders, and philanthropists. The audience was greeted by Singapore Committee for UN Women President, Trina Liang-Lin. In her address, she highlighted the scale of impact of our local office and emphasized her gratitude to our supporters through the years.
The Guest of Honor, Mr. Lawrence Wong, Minister for Culture, Community & Youth and Second Minister for Communications and Information and Member of Parliament for West Coast GRC, addressed the audience about the progress Singapore has made in the area of gender equity, while also highlighting the importance of continuing to engage youth as changemakers.
The gala's special guest, Dr. Alaa Murabit, the 24 year old founder of The Voice of Libyan Women (VLW), a women’s empowerment organisation based in Libya, also inspired the audience with her reflections.
Guests dined to a five star meal prepared by the Chef De Cuisine of Jaan, Julein Royer. Chef Julien presented an imaginative and innovative Artisanal French menu that celebrated and respected seasonality, terroir and the skills of the world’s best gourmet producers at SNOW 2014.
Proceeds from our Annual SNOW Gala have been integral in helping us run a wide range of programmes. Within Singapore, proceeds from SNOW have funded our campaigns that inspire women to aim higher and dream bigger. In the region, this year’s regional beneficiary aims to help 10,000 women in the Karenni refugee camps on the Thailand-Myanmar border, where domestic violence is rife.
On November 7-9, Singapore Committee for UN Women invited the general public to attend the eighth annual Buy To Save event. Each year, Fashionistas and Fashion-misters with a heart attend the annual charity fashion sale where pre-loved designer handbags, apparel and accessories are sold to fund initiatives that help women and young girls in Singapore who are at-risk from violence, abuse and exploitation.
Buy to Save gathers the best of pre-loved labels for a three-day only event. These designer clothing, shoes, and handbags have been generously donated through Club21 Cares initiative Style It Forward and corporate partners. Pieces have also been styled and upcycled by students from the Textile and Fashion Industry Training Centre. All upcycled and donated apparel will form the core of Buy to Save, Singapore Committee for UN Women's annual fundraiser and leading recycled fashion sale in Singapore.
Funds raised from this event will be directed to the many projects Singapore Committee for UN Women support in Singapore and Asia that are focused on ending violence against women. In particular, proceeds will support Singapore Committee for UN Women’s work locally in raising awareness about gender-based violence through our Help Anna campaign.
A portion of the funds raised will also support the immediate needs and protection of women in the Karenni refugee camps along the Thailand-Myanmar border where gender violence is rife. The project aims to ensure that women and girls affected by violence receive comprehensive assistance from community-based service partners, allowing survivors of violence to heal quickly and safely.
We also invited Singapore Committee for UN Women Members to bring their membership card or apply for membership before the event to join in on the special Members Only Preview Sale ( 7th & 8th November from 9am – 10am) to get first dibs on all the designers deals. Besides the great deals already present at Buy to Save, Singapore Committee for UN Women also offerred a generous discount to shoppers who opt into Monthly Giving at the event.
Venue sponsor, Forum The Shopping Mall, generously donated their basement floor to host the sale. Forum The Shopping Mall spans over 110,000 sq ft with five retail levels and is home to over 70 specialty stores catering to the needs of sophisticated shoppers and families with young children.
Long-standing Buy to Save partner, MasterCard, is joined us again this year so you can do even more with your purchase! When shoppers used their MasterCard to pay for your items at Buy to Save, MasterCard donated S$5 in support of our work. Based on the concept of transactional philanthropy, it is at the heart of this drive by MasterCard to encourage responsible spending, while simultaneously making a difference in someone else's life.
Spotlight on Buy to Save Regional Beneficiaries
Buy to Save is unlike most fundraisers in Singapore. It gathers the best of pre-loved designer clothing and accessories for a three-day only sale. Proceeds benefit Singapore Committee for UN Women’s local campaigns and regional beneficiaries working to end violence against women.
As you know, as a self-funded Singapore-based charity, we fund our local and regional programmes aimed at ending gender violence through fundraisers like Buy to Save.
Locally, through our Help Anna public education campaign, we have reached more than 100,000 students, business leaders, activists, and beyond. With the proceeds from Buy to Save and the continued help of our partners in civil society, government, and the private sector, we will be able to reach more people than ever before on the issues which matter to us most.
Regionally, proceeds from Buy to Save will support 10,000 women in the Karenni refugee camps on the Thailand-Myanmar border, where domestic violence is rife. By working in partnership with local communities and institutions, this project is promoting and protecting the rights of Burmese women and girls in both the short and longer terms.
New Member benefits for Singapore Committee for UN Women Members
As a Member of the Singapore Committee for UN Women, you play an important role in facilitating our work in Singapore. This includes Public Education campaigns in the areas of:
In addition to supporting a noble cause, your Membership entitles you to voting on important decisions at our Annual General Meeting, priority registration at our public education events, and discount offers and privileges* with our Merchant Partners listed below:
The Crafts Merchant is offering 20% off all regular priced items when you enter your promo code at check out (until January 15, 2015). Check your latest Membership Bulletin or email us for the promo code.
Stones that Rock is offering a 10% discount when they visit our showroom (at 19 Jalan Kilang Barat #02-06) or shop directly from STR. Present your membership card and NRIC at purchase.
ZALORA Singapore is offering a 12% discount store wide on zalora.sg. Check your latest Membership Bulletin or email us for the promo code.
Linen & More is offering a 20% discount on all regular price items when you shop in store. Present your membership card and NRIC at purchase.
Veil shop is offering a 10% discount on all regular price items when you shop in store. Present your membership card and NRIC at purchase.
Hom Yoga is offering 20% off the purchase of a 10-class card (regular price $359). Present your membership card and NRIC at purchase
Chic Stash is offering 10% off store wide on chicstash.com. Check your latest Membership Bulletin or email us for the promo code.
All discounts valid until Dec. 31, 2014 unless otherwise stated.
Spotlight of SNOW gala Chef: Julien Royer
We spent some time with the Chef De Cusine of Jaan, the featured chef of our annual gala SNOW (Say No to the Oppression of Women). Check out the interview below.
Why have you decided to get involved with SNOW?
It was a very simple decision. When we have been approached for the first time, it didn’t take us long to realize that it is a very good cause that we would like to support. I believe in equality; I have one woman working with us in the kitchen and I am trying to give her as much chance, as much training and as much knowledge as the others. It is very important. Even though we are in 2014, there is a lot that needs to change, and me and Frank, the restaurant manager, really wanted to support this initiative. We welcome many women here, especially at lunchtime. I would say probably 70-80% of our customers for lunch are ladies. Our guests usually say that our dishes look very feminine in a way because we are trying to give them a beautiful presentation, nothing too straight, too square, we are rather trying to work with volumes, with wave shapes, and to present our dishes in a very sensual way. A lot of people comment on that in our cuisine.
Why is women's empowerment important? Can you share a story about a woman who played an important role in your life?
To me women's empowerment is the foundation of everything, the base of any kind of society. When you grow up, it’s important that there is a balance between the education that you receive from your dad and from your mum. One is not more important than the other, but again, I think that a relation of a son with his mum or grandmother is very strong, even stronger that with his father. Take me as an example: My mum and grandma are the most important women in my life. I received love and education from them and they also gave me the passion for my work today: I started cooking with them when I was very young. They gave me the chance to make a job out of my passion, which was key to my evolution and career. I will never thank them enough.
What was the first recipe that you learned?
It was not really a fancy recipe or fine learning. It was really home, regional cooking. In Auvergne, we have many country regional specialties and they taught me how to cook this kind of things. The first thing I really started to focus on, was the pastry. I made a tarte with mirabelles (little prunes), or tarte with dried prunes, or another with apples. Not really original but I loved baking them with my grandmother. And I made a lot of them every weekend!
I was maybe 10 years old, living in this little village in the countryside. During the winter it rained a lot, the weather was not nice, there was a lot of snow, so there was not much to do outside and there were not many friends around neither. So I cooked with my grandma.
Is there any particular advice that they have given you?
Stay humble and keep your feet on the ground. Because sometimes, with this kind of job, as soon as you start to be a little bit successful, some people loose control and it is very easy to be tempted by a lot of things around. It is important to stay humble and stay real.
Why should men care about women's empowerment?
It’s common sense to me. It’s so important and so obvious that this is the base of a healthy world and a healthy society. I think that some work has to also be done by schools and by our teachers because this is something that may sound basic but people may forget it. We need to remind our kids and our teenagers how to behave with women. It’s important because it’s a value that tends to get lost. People assume that culinary world is a very male industry. But for example in France there is a chef that you might have heard about, Anne-Sophie Pic. She is a three Michelin stars chef, she’s on top of the pyramid of the culinary world and she is a lady, brilliant and very well respected, not only by her peers but by the entire F&B industry.
There is still huge room for improvement. When you see the government of any country, the parity between women and men is still lacking balance and equality. I think we are stronger when we mix both men and women in a team than if we only have one or the other. Therefore when we hire, we don’t only look for male applicants. Fortunately, recently things have started to change and we have more women applying for a job. It is important to have the feminine presence in the kitchen.
After the interview, Chef Julien kindly showed me his kitchen and introduced me to …, the lady chef currently working with him. I have also had the chance to watch him work and tasted one of his delicious and beautifully presented dishes. I can tell the guests of SNOW gala that they are in for a real treat!
Announcing Project Inspire 2014 Winners
Two inspired young finalists saw their projects recognised and awarded at the Project Inspire 2014 Grand Finals which were held in Singapore yesterday. Their inspirational projects transforming the lives of disadvantaged women in Vietnam and Cambodia received grants totalling US$35,000.
On winning the grant, REACH’s team leader Pham Thi Ngoc Mai founder, who spoke compellingly in the five-minute pitch to the judging panel, said, “I was surprised to win the Grand Prize because I have seen the other projects and they are all amazing. For us as an organisation, the grant will help us expand our work helping young women from disadvantaged backgrounds gain livelihood skills, meaningful employment & empower them to stand on their own feet.”
This year, Singapore Committee for UN Women and MasterCard announced a brand new US$10,000 grant awarded to the runner-up, courtesy of new partner Hilton Worldwide. Claiming this prize, Singapore-based Riverkids project ‘From ‘Ait Chai’ Collector to Fashion Designer’, provides counselling, healthcare and vocational training for Cambodian sex workers, so they can transition out of the sex industry, and run their own small business.
“Since all the contestants were of such high quality, it’s really validating to be awarded a prize. We know the effect our work is having on women in Cambodia and we’re extremely proud to have it recognised by the Project Inspire judges. The prize allows us to support more vulnerable young women to learn livelihood skills and build up their self esteem so that they can believe in themselves again” said Sara Gingold who represented Riverkids at the event.
Additionally, the Sinag Store Project by Sinag Microfunds, Inc. co-founded by Sheena Rose Jamora from the Philippines was named the winner of the Project Inspire People’s Choice Award, having garnered the largest share of public votes during the three-week voting period. Through the Sinag Store Project, financially disadvantaged girl students will gain marketable design skills and experience first-hand how to use those skills to launch a social enterprise project.
The event, which was held at INSEAD, also saw the attendance of close to 200 participants from the general public and over 350 views via live-stream.
This year’s judges included:
Professor Jasjit Singh, Judging Panel Lead, Associate Professor of Strategy, INSEAD
Patricia Devereux, Group Head and Senior Vice President, Corporate Philanthropy and Citizenship, MasterCard
Laurence Lien, Chairman, Lien Foundation, Nominated Member of Parliament, Singapore& 2010 Eisenhower Fellow
Edmund Lin, Partner and Director, Global Head of Financial Services, Bain & Company
Karen Loon, Assurance Partner, PwC Singapore, Board Member, Singapore Committee for UN Women
T.V. Seshadri, Group Executive, Global Products & Solutions, Asia/Pacific, Middle East & Africa, MasterCard
Brendan Toomey, Vice President, Human Resources Asia Pacific, Hilton Worldwide
Launched in 2011, Project Inspire: 5 Minutes to Change the World presents 18-35 year olds with a 5-minute platform to pitch their inspired idea to the world and win a US$25,000 grant.The grant is to be used to support an existing women’s empowerment program aimed at helping women and girls in Asia/Pacific, the Middle East or Africa attain sustained livelihood through business and livelihood skills. Project Inspire: 5 Minutes to Change the World is a joint initiative from the Singapore Committee for UN Women and MasterCard, to help young change-makers create a better world for women and girls in Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa. The competition is jointly organised by Singapore Committee for UN Women and MasterCard, with the support of venue host and knowledge partner, INSEAD as well as strategic partner Bain & Company. Supporting partner Hilton Worldwide joins Project Inspire for 2014.
GRAND PRIZE – US$25,000 GRANT Project: Supporting Disadvantaged Young Women through Vocational Training and Job Placement Program Location: Vietnam Aim: Transform the lives of disadvantaged women in Vietnam via a range of skills training (from web design to hairdressing), plus job placement and follow-up support. Team leader: Pham Thi Ngoc Mai Organisation: REACHPROJECT INSPIRE RUNNER-UP – US$10,000 GRANT Project: From ‘Ait Chai’ Collector to Fashion Designer Location: Cambodia and Singapore Aim: Provide counselling, healthcare and vocational training for Cambodian sex workers, so they can transition out of the sex industry, and run their own small business. Team leader: Sara Gingold Organisation: RiverkidsTHE PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD Project: The Sinag Store Project Location: Caloocan, Philippines Aim: Through the Sinag Store Project, financially disadvantaged girl students will gain marketable design skills and experience first-hand how to use those skills to launch a social enterprise project. Team leader: Sheena Rose Jamora Organisation: Sinag Microfunds, Inc.Note to editors: For profiles of the ten Project Inspire finalists and to learn more about the Project Inspire judging panel, visit www.projinspire.com
With just five weeks to our annual gala, SNOW (Say No to the Oppression of Women), we wanted to point the spotlight on the evening's special guest. What a woman. After graduating from high school at the age of 15, Alaa Murabit went on to receive her Medical Doctorate. At the age of 24, Dr. Murabit is the founder of The Voice of Libyan Women (VLW), a women’s empowerment organisation based in Libya. She has also received honours from Thomson Reuters Foundation, Al Jazeera, and Newsweek among others.
Inspiring Leaders in the Global Community (Paya Lebar Methodist Girls Secondary School Annual Leadership Conference): Wednesday 13th August 2014, 14:00-18:00, PLMGSS Agape Concert Hall, 296 Lor Ah Soo, Singapore 536742
On Wednesday the 13th of August the Singapore Committee for UN Women partnered with the Paya Lebar Methodist Girls Secondary School on their annual leadership conference. The conference included approximately 600 students from several schools all over Singapore. The afternoon included a keynote speech by Georgette Tan, Executive Member of the Singapore Committee for UN Women and Group Head, Communications for the Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa Region. The students were then divided into break out groups and attended various different workshops including one titled Innovative Leadership: Taking Charge of Solutions conducted by Professor Ong Soh Khim, Associate Professor in the department of Mechanical Engineering at the National University of Singapore along with Elizabeth Rachel Ong and Shibani Pandya from the Singapore Committee for UN Women.
Georgette’s speech to approximately 600 students touched upon the different types of leadership and the ways in which leaders impacted the lives of others. She focused on what she mentioned was her favourite type of leadership i.e. a Servant Leader or an individual who spent their lives working in service of others. Georgette concluded by stating that her idea of a leader was an individual who worked to empower others, tying this in with the various programmes that Singapore Committee for UN Women runs to empower women and girls in Singapore and the region.
The floor was then opened to the students for questions. They asked Georgette about her personal learning experiences, regrets and challenges. Georgette told the students about the importance of taking time to recharge themselves in order to truly work towards positively impacting society.
Professor Ong Soh Khim then spoke to a smaller group of 44 students about the different opportunities for leadership in the field of Engineering. Soh Khim tied this in with the Singapore Committee for UN Women’s Girls to Pioneers campaign of which she is an active supporter. Soh Khim explained the different ways in which individuals have created innovative solutions to social issues using Engineering and her own experiences in the field.
The Singapore Committee for UN Women then asked the students to think about their own preliminary solutions using Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics to impact Violence Against Women, Economic Empowerment or Leadership and Participation, as per our three focus areas. Most groups chose to work on issues related to Violence Against Women and presented several unique solutions to the problem.
The workshop ended with students enthusiastically presenting and defending their own solutions and expressing their desire to do more to benefit the community in general.
Special Announcement: Gala Guest of Honor Confirmed
We're pleased to share our Guest of Honour and Special Guest speakers for our annual gala: SNOW.
GUEST OF HONOUR LAWRENCE WONG
Mr. Lawrence Wong is the Minister for Culture, Community & Youth and Second Minister for Communications and Information. He is also a Member of Parliament for West Coast GRC (Boon Lay) in Singapore. Besides inspiring Singaporeans through the arts and sports and deepening their sense of belonging to the nation, his Ministry also champions a strong corporate giving culture in Singapore to build an engaged and inclusive community.
SPECIAL GUEST ALAA MURABIT
Dr. Alaa Murabit is the founder of The Voice of Libyan Women (VLW), a women’s empowerment organisation based in Libya. Dr. Murabit was selected as a Trust Women Hero Award finalist by Thomson Reuters Foundation and named “Arab Woman to Watch” by Al Jazeera in 2012. The following year, she was named by Newsweek as “One of 25 women under 25 to watch”, and the Trust Women Hero by The International New York Times.
Trina Liang-Lin President Singapore Committee for UN Women
Pia Bruce Executive Director Singapore Committee for UN Women
Engaging youth in philanthropy, impact investing, and social enterprise
This weekend, Singapore Committee for UN Women partnered with Nexus Singapore Youth Summit to engage young people in becoming future changemakers. Founded in 2011, Nexus is a global conference to galvanize young investors, social entrepreneurs and their allies to advance philanthropy, impact investing and social entrepreneurship. This year, Nexus hosted its innagural Singapore conference spanning over 11th to 13th July at Marina Bay Sands.
During one of the breakout sessions, an enthusiastic audience heard from Ayesha Khanna from Technology Quotient, Sue Yian Quek from Hong Leong Foundation, and our own Mrinalini Venkatachalam. The session addressed the importance of investing in children and youth’s education. Specifically, Mrinalini highlighted the gender gap in male-dominated STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields. According to Mrinalini, youth educational programs should not only focus on exposure to STEM fields. Rather, the key to successfully galvanising girls to enter STEM fields is mentorship with female role models.
As Mrinalini so aptly said, “You can’t be what you can’t see."
#HeforShe event draws reflection
On 10th July, the Singapore Committee for UN Women in partnership with Equal Community Foundation and the Wee Kim Wee Centre @ SMU, held a presentation and discussion on the ways in which more men can be involved in the movement to end violence against women. This event was organised in collaboration with UN Women’s campaign #HeforShe, that highlights the importance of changing the concept of masculinity to achieve gender equality.
Over 50 people attended the event and found it refreshing to see a man championing women’s empowerment. There was also live tweeting that engaged more people on social media, particularly those who could not attend the event. Based on the success of the event, more #HeforShe events will be organized in the future.
The speaker, Will Muir, is an expert on violence against women in India and a successful entrepreneur. In 2009, he co-founded Equal Community Foundation (www.ecf.org.in) and led the design and development of Action for Equality, India's first community development model to systematically change the way men behave towards women.
Will began by briefly outlining the situation of women in India, focusing on his own early realization that a substantial percentage of young men are given the impression that it is socially acceptable to beat and/or sexually abuse the women in their community. He alaborated on the importance of changing the way young men are raised, in India and in the global community, in order to change the discrimination and abuse women face everyday.
He explained the deep-rooted nature of violence against women by highlighting that even the language used to talk about this problem placed the focus on women. He stated his disagreement with the notion that violence against women is a woman’s problem. Furthermore, changing perspectives to make it a man’s problem would pave the way for challenging current norms and provide safety and justice for women.
The floor was then opened to the audience who asked Will more about his methods in India, his target audience, his reach and the possibility of expanding this work on both a national and an international level.
"Yes, Prime Minister" Creates Support for Local Program
The British Theatre Playhouse Charity Gala Performance supported by the British Chamber and European Chamber of Commerce in aid of Singapore Committee for UN Women and Beauitful People took place on Friday May 9th. The Guest of Honour was our superb Patron, His Excellency Anthony Phillipson and his wife, Julie Phillipson.
After the performance there was an excellent dinner served in Raffles Ballroom. The Gala performance and dinner as well as various auctions over the run of the show raised a total of SGD$45,888 in aid of Beautiful People and Singapore Committee for U.N Women.
General Manager Mellisa Chong attended a luncheon presenting Singapore Committee for UN Women with the donation. The proceeds will benefit our local programmes in Singapore that work towards ending violence against women, economic empowerment, and governance and leadership.
Click here to view photos of the Charity Gala Performance, click here.
Singapore Committee for UN Women Awarded Anti-Trafficking Grant for Second Year
The Inter-Agency Taskforce on Trafficking-in-Persons (TIP) has awarded Singapore Committee for UN Women a grant to expand their current work in engaging businesses in fight to end human trafficking.
"Last year, we launched the inaugural Tip Public Awareness Grant and saw several successful initiatives," said Mr Alvin Lim, co-chair of the Taskforce and MOM divisional director of workplace policy and strategy. "It is important that we continue to reach out to a wider audience about human trafficking and increase awareness of this issue."
Singapore Committee for UN Women will be expanding their current BIZ@TIP campaign to engage businesses through industry specific talks; development of industry specific frameworks; and, research on best practices and case studies.
Singapore Committee for UN Women will also host their second annual multi-sectoral BIZ@TIP conference in February 2015. The conference will bring together businesses and global experts to identify the scope of trafficking within sectors and focus on solutions, networks, and best practices to combat trafficking within supply chains and labour practices
With Singapore ranked as a Tier 2 country on the US Department of State's 2014 Trafficking in Persons Report for the fourth consecutive year, the Government is taking considerable steps in the right direction. Singapore is a trafficking destination country for men, women, and girls from around the region and there are common misconceptions amongst both the public and businesses about the scope and prevalence of trafficking within Singapore.
To learn more about our anti-trafficking work in Singapore, visit bizattip2014.com
Sheroes: Interview with our Merchant Partner, Stones that Rock
Interview with Singapore Committee for UN Women Merchant Partner, Stones that Rock
By: Veronika Knobova
I have met with Annie Tsinonis and Leah Lambert from Stones that Rock in their Singapore based office to learn more about their involvement with Singapore Committee for UN Women. As Merchant Partners, Annie and Leah donate proceeds from their charity sales to our public education programs. They have also developed a speciality necklace with proceeds that benefit our Girls 2 Pioneers campaign to encourage at-risk girls to pursue careers as scientists.
From left: Leah Lambert and Annie Tsinonis
Why did you choose to partner with UN Women?
Annie & Leah – We were impressed with the professionalism and depth of the organization. We liked the fact that UN Women is involved with so many projects on a global scale but that it is also working here in Singapore at a grassroots level to influence change. We feel it is important as guests of Singapore for us to contribute to the community in which we live with practical support. We specifically chose for funds raised by the sale of the Ladli necklace to be directed towards the STEM campaign.
Can you tell me more about what inspired you to come up with the idea of a necklace dedicated to UN Women?
Annie & Leah – We love the whole idea of cross collaboration and the idea of the necklace was borne of this. The idea of supporting more than one group through what we do. As part of our partnership and commitment to UN Women we wanted to create a fund raising vehicle – that’s when we thought of Ladli. We had been aware of Ladli for a long time and we love and admire their model, workmanship and quality of materials. It was a natural fit to work with them on this project rather than our normal suppliers in Shanghai.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
Annie – I really enjoy planning and creating wonderful events, like our sell out Fashion Lunches.
Leah – I love the different paths our business has taken us on and the wonderful variety of people we get to meet and work with.
What’s the biggest thing you struggle with?
Annie – Time – there are never enough hours in the day. I am always trying to strike a balance between my work and family and the different demands on me.
Leah – Juggling all the opportunities that come our way and deciding the correct course. Also dealing with the frustration of not always having all the skills I need to reach my vision.
What was the most exciting moment of your company's journey?
Annie – The first time that Stones that Rock designs made it onto the shelves of a boutique here in Singapore. It was a real feeling of legitimacy – that we had made it!
Leah – Last year at the end of our Fashion Lunch at Salt Restaurant, Annie and I walked down the catwalk hand in hand and it was a real feeling of success and pride.
How have your motivations changed since you first started?
Annie & Leah – When we started, the business was mainly a hobby and an excuse to keep travelling to Shanghai where we had both lived. But about 18 months ago we decided to absolutely go for it. We decided to give all our time and energy to the business and the journey and to see where we could take it. Since then we have had some wonderful successes eg retailing through a number of stores across Singapore, hosting 4 sell out Fashion Lunches and most recently showcasing our products on the catwalk at Audi Fashion Festival.
What three pieces of advice would you offer girls or women starting out today?
Annie & Leah -
1. Do something you love.
2. Believe in yourself and be prepared to take risks
3. Learn as many skills as possible as nothing you know is ever wasted
So how and where can this beautiful necklace be bought?
The Emporium, Millenia Walk – 9 Raffles Boulevard, #01-84 Millenia Walk
Come share the joy of fashion while supporting Singapore Committee for UN Women's Help Anna campaign, by donating your gently worn fashion apparel and accessories. This Club 21 Cares initiative gives new life to the fashion items you no longer need, through the Singapore Committee for UN Women's charity sale.
As a token of appreciation, each donor will receive:
One Club 21 Thank You Voucher offering a 10% discount across Club 21 stores in the Hilton and the Four Seasons hotels, and Forum the Shopping Mall, except Pomellato.
One voucher for a free hot beverage from Supernature, Singapore’s leading retailer of organic and natural products, and sister company to Club 21.
One voucher for a one-year digital subscription to Harper's magazine
One copy of the June issue of Harper's magazine
One voucher for a one-year digital subscription to Icon magazine
One copy of the June issue of Icon magazine
Celebrate the women you love
The Singapore Committee for UN Women supports programmes that provide women and girls with access to education, healthcare, economic independence and a life free of violence and abuse. Whether for Mother’s Day or just because, you can support the Singapore Committee for UN Women's youth education programmes when you shop or dine with our partners.
We hope you'll take this opportunity to celebrate the women that matter most in your life.
When you celebrate Mother's Day or dine in May with our restaurant partners, you can make a donation to our youth awareness and empowerment campaigns. These restaurant partners are serving as donation collection points for us, so why not celebrate for mom or just because and support our work too?
Looking for the right gift for mom, yourself, or the special person in your life? Shop with our merchant partners-- proceeds from your purchase will benefit the Singapore Committee for UN Women's youth awareness and empowerment programs.
The Lady Boss- A profile of the leading business women in Singapore. Linen & More- Beautiful textiles, clothes and home decor. For members only: Linen & More is offering a 20% discount on all regular price items when you shop in store. Present your membership card at purchase.
Hom Yoga - Hom Yoga inspires a fresh and modern approach to practicing hot yoga. For members only: Hom Yoga is offering 20% off the purchase of a 10-class card (regular price $359). Present your membership card at purchase.
Veil Shop- Fashion inspired by urban living, quirkiness, irreverence and humour. For members only: Veil shop is offering a 10% discount on all regular price items when you shop in store. Present your membership card at purchase.
Fundraising – Full time Internship and Full Time Volunteer Positions
The Singapore Committee for UN Women
Deadline to apply: 1 May 2014
Reports to: General Manager, Executive Director and President
Objectives: Take ownership of all fundraising activities and acquisition of sponsors for the SNOW gala dinner. Establish and continue corporate engagement with monetary return. Continue to cultivate relationships with partners, sponsors and donors. Look after a portion of communications which includes quarterly newsletters and annual reports. Know how with design software is a plus.
Create and market UN Women as a valuable partner to potential donors and partners, with great returns. Continue these relationships throughout the calendar year.
Work under pressure with responsibility of not only the success of an event on your shoulders, but also the financial success of UN Women.
Multi-task and event organize
Good verbal and written communication skills
Have an appreciation and knowledge about art, food and wine
Ability to network and foresee collaborative partnerships
Ability to pitch ideas professionally to top management including CEOs
Ability to practically weigh and justify your project’s returns for the organization
Events Management & Fundraising
Acquisition of Sponsors for the SNOW Silent and Live Auction
Management and Execution of SNOW Gala Benefit Dinner
Finding good synergy with event partners
Strategizing direction and creating unique strengths of the event
Preparation and logistics planning
Ensuring adequate publicity to attendees of event
In charge for overall execution on the day itself
Conceptualizing and Execution of fringe fundraising activities with individuals, organizations and corporations.
Maintain and grow donor, sponsor and corporate relations
Academic requirement: A Diploma or Bachelors Degree in Social Sciences, Communications, Journalism, or Marketing. Should you not hold the academic qualifications mentioned above, applicants are still encouraged to apply, only if you have extensive experience in fundraising and event management.
Duration: Preferred Start Date: Immediate. Preferred Minimum internship duration is 8 months to 1 year.
Work Permits: Singaporeans, Singapore Permanent Residents and DP holders are welcomed to apply.
What you can expect from your time with us:
Experience in working with multi-national organisations to address social issues
Networking and relationship building with individuals from different levels of management and from various industries
A huge sense of fulfilment from managing the event logistics from start to end
Cultivating an entrepreneurial spirit
Please note that housing, visas, travel, and insurance will not be covered.
Interested candidates may apply at: firstname.lastname@example.org
'Women in STEM' Ambassador talks about STEM
A faculty member in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Associate Professor Ong, one of the inspirational ambassadors for our ‘Women in STEM’ (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) programme spoke to the National University of Singapore about the journey that led her to her career as an Engineer and the opportunities for women in the field of Engineering. Professor Ong, whose research is in Augmented Reality as applied to assistive technology and rehabilitation to help the disabled and elderly gain independence in daily living, firmly upholds that women and girls should have the option to make an informed decision about pursuing a career in engineering.
On the 22nd of March, the W Hotel hosted a Charity Gala Screening of the movie 3.50 in partnership with the Singapore Committee for UN Women and Silver Media. The gala hosted over 200 people and raised nearly $5,000 for our anti-trafficking campaigns. It began with high tea and networking, followed by a screening of the film to a large audience and a panel discussion. The panel featured:
Mrinalini Venkatachalam: Program Manager of Public Awareness and Youth Initiatives at the Singapore Committee for UN Women
Eunice Olsen: television host, actress, film and tv producer, accomplished pianist and an avid volunteer from Women Talk TV Asia
Chan Gin Kai: Executive Producer of Silver Media and co-producer of 3.50
The film itself depicts the journey of a foreign journalist in Cambodia, played by Eunice Olsen, who stumbled onto the underbelly of sex trafficking in Cambodia. It followed her search for one particular girl who had been tricked into prostitution in the city of Phnom Penh unbeknownst to her mother in the village. Through the protagonists the film explores the various issues related to sex trafficking of women and young girls and attempts to shed some light on the complexity of sex trafficking in Cambodia.
After the film screened, the panellists addressed questions from the audience about the characters within the film and the inspiration behind the story-line. They also talked about ways to contribute to the Singapore Committee for UN Women’s campaigns to end the trafficking of persons in the region.
New initiative to encourage girls to pursue STEM careers
Together with our outstanding ambassadors and our innovative curriculum encouraging creativity, we hope to inspire more girls to embark on worthy careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). We will be launching the programme in mid-April, and would also love to have your support in conducting and facilitating these innovative workshops. As a volunteer, you will undergo training to become familiar with the curriculum and participate in at least three 5-hour sessions with the students. For more details on how you can empower the next generation of women through this programme, please email us at email@example.com.
Stay tuned for more information and opportunities!
On Thursday, March 13 the Singapore Committee for UN Women and MasterCard jointly hosted the official 2014 launch event for Project Inspire: 5 Minutes to Save the World. Over 90 social entrepreneurs, members of the media, corporates and members of the public were attendance. Notable attendees included members from last year’s winning team, Protsahan, as well as previous finalists from SMU Pendeza and Daughters of Tomorrow.
This event also featured a panel discussion that poses the question: “Does supporting promising social enterprises hold the key to women’s empowerment” with a panel representing academia, non-profit development, social enterprise, and corporate social engagement. The lively discussion was moderated by Jasjit Singh, Associate Professor at INSEAD Asia. The panel featured:
Harpreet Kaur, Manager at Bain and Company
Trina Liang-Lin, President of the Singapore Committee for UN Women
Georgette Tan, Group Head of Communications for Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Africa Region for MasterCard
Carrie Tan, Founder and Chief Livelihood Advocate for Daughters of Tomorrow and past Project Inspire Finalist
Gary Lee, Founder of SMU Pendeza and past Project Inspire Finalist
The panel discussion streamed live from the internet and featured thought provoking questions about the defining nature of social enterprise from the audience in person and online via Twitter.
To learn more about Project Inspire, go to projinspire.com.
Businesses Against Trafficking In Persons (BIZ@TIP) Conference
On February 27th 2014, the Singapore Committee for UN Women and H.O.M.E, in partnership with the Singapore government’s Inter-Agency Taskforce on Trafficking-in-Persons (TIP) will be hosting a multisectorial conference with business leaders and stakeholders from a variety of industries to address the issue of Trafficking in Persons within supply chains and labour practices across sectors.
The conference will bring together businesses and global experts to identify the scope of trafficking within sectors and focus on solutions, networks, and best practices to combat trafficking within supply chains and labour practices.
Trafficking in Singapore: The Role of Business
The role of business has been recognized as being fundamental in combatting trafficking globally. Businesses due diligence in labour practices and responsible supply chain management can play a vital role in identifying and preventing trafficking.
Singapore is a trafficking destination country for men, women, and girls from around the region. There are common misconceptions amongst both the public and businesses about the scope and prevalence of trafficking within Singapore. The Singapore government has recognized the existence and threat of trafficking in persons in Singapore and aims to bring together businesses in Singapore to learn from global industry leaders how to identify trafficking and understand tools and best practices to combat trafficking within their own sectors.
One person can make a difference, and every person should try. – John F. Kennedy
On February 27th 2014, the Singapore Committee for UN Women and H.O.M.E. in partnership with the Singapore government’s Inter-Agency Taskforce on Trafficking-in-Persons (TIP) and in collaboration with INSEAD, brought together influential and passionate business leaders and other interest groups to address the issue of human trafficking within supply chain and labor practices spanning several different sectors.
Several speakers addressed the issue and engaged the audience with their own experience and perspectives. The detailed conference report is now available for download at our website at www.bizattip2014.com. In the meantime, here are some highlights from the conference.
Jean Baderschneider (Chair, Global Leadership Council, Polaris Project, Vice-President, Global Procurement, ExxonMobil - Retired) spoke about the fundamental importance of addressing human trafficking within a company’s supply chain. She also stressed the important role that the private sector plays in helping to end human trafficking, noting that the combined buying power of businesses is about $83 trillion USD per year, and that trafficking accounts for nearly $32 billion per year (+/-). She noted that while difficult, it is possible to quantify the actual cost of trafficking for a business. She reminded us that that it is important to know and to understand actual cost of a slave vs. the cost of a free worker because it will help to raise awareness for the issue from a both a human and a business perspective. It is the responsibility of businesses to know their suppliers, to understand their supply chain and to act responsibly.
Bonnie Nixon (Senior Advisor at Sustainability Roundtable, Inc. Former Director of Environmental Sustainability at Hewlett Packard) spoke about the important role that companies and governments play in bringing not only understanding and awareness, but rather, measurable actions to the issue of human tracking. Companies need to begin by asking the right questions, having the right conversations and investing their money where the real issues are.
A special closed-door panel was held for employment agents. This panel explored the ways that recruitment practices and supply chains used by Singapore employment agents may contribute to exploitation of workers and to human trafficking in Singapore. The panel was attended by approximately 20 employment agents from both Singapore and the Philippines, as well as interested civil society members.
Perspectives on the way that trafficking may intersect with the employment agency business were offered by a Philippine anti-trafficking prosecutor and an industry representative. Singaporean perspectives were presented by HOME’s Executive Director, the head of the Association of Employment Agents (Singapore), and a representative from the Singapore Inter-Agency Taskforce on Trafficking in Persons.
A vibrant discussion followed, highlighting potential courses of action for employment agents (such as requiring a repudiation of exploitation of workers in supply contracts), the Government (such as tightening enforcement of violations of agency fee and kickback laws), civil society (such as providing hotlines for agents to report suspected trafficking cases), and employers (such as being willing to pay costs that would otherwise be passed onto workers).
Overall, it was clear that stakeholders have joint responsibility for combatting trafficking in the sector, and moving towards a model of sustainable and ethical industry practice.
To summarize, it was a very interesting conference and we were fortunate to be able to hear from such a broad range of industry leaders making great strides to help raise awareness to end human trafficking within their business sectors.
Project Inspire: Five Minutes to Change the World needs YOU
We started Project Inspire: 5 Minutes to Change the World, four years ago as a joint initiative from the Singapore Committee for UN Women and MasterCard to help young change-makers create a better world for women and girls in Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa. Project Inspire presents 18-35 year olds with a five-minute platform to pitch their inspired idea, for the chance to win a US$25,000 grant.
We need your help to make our fourth annual Grand Finals a success. Check out the numerous volunteer opportunities below, and even one internship position. Not interested in Project Inspire? We can use your help at a conference too.
As always, thanks for your interest in helping out! Together, we can create a just world for women and girls.
Project Inspire Fair Coordinator (x1 position available) The Project Inspire Fair is held on Grand Final day. 15 Social Enterprises are invited to participate in the Fair every year, of which 10 fair booths are reserved for Project Inspire Finalists, and the remainder for local Singaporean social enterprises.
Organisation and execute Project Inspire Fair
Liaise with local social enterprises to organise participation in Fair
Liaise with Finalists regarding participation in Fair
Creation of Fair booklet for guests to Grand Final event
Organisation of logistics to execute Fair on the day
Reports to Project Inspire Team Leader
Previous experience in event management is required
This role can be done remotely and requires less than 4 hrs. a week in time commitment. As a volunteer Project Inspire team member, you will be expected to make yourself available for Grand Final Day on Saturday 30th August. Being available for Grand Final week (26th - 31st August) would be ideal.
This position is available immediately and requires a commitment until September
Project Inspire Logistics Coordinator (x1 position available) 10 Finalists are flown to Singapore for a 5 day boot-camp. The have a full program throughout the week consisting of workshops, mentor meetings, events & talks.
Organisation & logistics for Grand Final week program
Creation of Finalist booklet to prepare for Grand Final week
Reports to Project Inspire Team Leader
Previous experience in event management is required
This role can be done remotely and requires less than 4 hrs. a week in time commitment. As Grand Final week approaches this may increase depending on the requirements of the Project Inspire team. As a volunteer Project Inspire team member, you will be expected to make yourself available for Grand Final Day on Saturday 30th August. Being available for Grand Final week (26th - 31st August) would be ideal.
This position is available immediately and requires a commitment until September
Networkers (x10 positions available) Singapore Committee for UN Women will be supporting a high-profile, large scale conference in July. We are seeking individuals who have a passion for meeting people, developing quality networks, as well as making conference attendees feel comfortable and welcome.
We are seeking outgoing, friendly and assertive Ambassadors to represent Singapore Committee for UN Women at the conference whilst assisting guests with any queries they may have. Volunteers will be required to perform report backs to the Team leader for each contact made at the conference along with contact details.
Full training will be provided in advance. On application, please state in less than 100 words why you like to network.
This March 8 marks the 105th commemoration of International Women's Day (IWD), a global day recognizing the movement for women's rights. In line with this year's theme, “Equality for Women is Progress for All”, we have several events commemorating IWD. From the launch of our 10 Thousand Heroes Pledge Campaign, to the opening of applications for Project Inspire 2014, there's something for everyone. We do hope to see you and your family at one of our events.
The United Nations began celebrating International Women’s Day (IWD) on 8 March during International Women’s Year 1975. Two years later, in December 1977, the General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming a United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace to be observed on any day of the year by Member States, in accordance with their historical and national traditions.
Increasingly, International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.
Volunteers Wanted: Project Inspire Country Ambassador
Project Inspire Country Ambassador
Reports to: Project Inspire Team Leader
Background: Launched in 2011, Project Inspire presents 18-35-year-olds worldwide with the opportunity to win a US$25,000 grant to assist an existing social enterprise which supports women and girls in Asia/Pacific, the Middle East or Africa. Now in its fourth year, Project Inspire is jointly organised by the Singapore Committee for UN Women and MasterCard.
Objectives: Together with the Project Inspire Team, the Country Ambassador will assist in managing a global social enterprise competition targeted at youth and a year-long digital campaign to promote women’s economic empowerment in support of the competition.
The Country Ambassador will assist the Project Inspire Team to publicise, drive submissions, and reach out to potential partners on behalf of the Project Inspire Team.
Fast track learning about the work field of social enterprises in your designated country.
To improve and expand an international competition which has run successfully in the past three years.
Work under pressure with responsibility of publicity about the competition and the subsequent Grand Final event in your designated country.
Knowledgeable and experienced in using social media as an outreach and campaign tool.
Familiar with Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
Experience in event management.
Good verbal and written communication skills.
Ability to network and maintain partners’ relations.
Ability to pitch ideas professionally to top management and partners.
Meticulous, detail-oriented and able to multitask.
Ability to work remotely and with frequent communication with the Project Inspire Team
Regional Social Media Campaign
Promote Project Inspire to Non-profit organisation and tertiary education institutions in Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa.
Support social media campaign on social enterprise and economic empowerment for women.
Generate content for social media campaign through research on social enterprise, economic empowerment for women, leadership and inspirational women profile.
Expand the online community of Project Inspire.
Support and publicise Project Inspire Grand Finals through satellite events
Support the Project Inspire Team through the management of remote events featuring the Grand Final live-streaming and pitching sessions.
Academic requirement: A Diploma or Bachelors Degree in Social Sciences, Communications, Journalism, or Marketing preferred. Should you not hold the academic qualifications mentioned above, applicants are still encouraged to apply, only if you have extensive experience in the areas above.
Experience in working with multi-national organisations to address social issues
Executing regional campaigns
Managing international events
Please Note: This position is a part-time voluntary role. The successful applications will ideally be the Country Ambassador for their home country. Applications are open for Ambassadors around the world.
Standing room only at Dr. Sally Yea's report release
On 6th February 2014, the Singapore Committee for UN Women, in partnership with Dr. Sallie Yea, launched a report entitled “Social Visits and Special Passes: Situational Analysis of Migrant Women Exploited in Singapore’s Sex and Entertainment Industry”. The launch also included a panel discussion where Mr Nicolas Lainez, a visiting affiliate at the Asia Research Institute and Ms Vanessa Ho from Project X joined Dr Sallie Yea as panellists.
Dr. Yea brought the attendees through the report focusing on trafficking and related forms of exploitation amongst adult women in Singapore’s sex industry, focusing on the experiences of Filipinas and Indonesians. She explained that the aim of the report was mainly to document in detail the current situation and to identify key concerns relating to the status and situations of trafficked and erstwhile vulnerable women in Singapore’s sex and entertainment industry. Finally, she also outlined broad recommendations for actions in relation to migrant women in Singapore that are applicable to support workers and NGOs, foreign consulates in Singapore and the Singapore government itself.
To complement the report, Nicolas shared his experience and research expertise on the migration of Vietnamese entertainers to Singapore, including the causes that motivate them to migrate and their entire migration experience including the departure from Vietnam and the arrival to Singapore.
The crux of the conversation was that a lot of these sex workers are often criminalised and also face violence on a daily basis by the public, their customers and/or law enforcers. Vanessa, experienced in working with sex workers, shared that this discrimination also restricts their access to health care, legal aid and other limited resources.
The report launch received an overwhelming response with close to 80 attendees from various sectors including the NGOs, tertiary students and academics, the government, media representatives and also interested members of the public.
2013 was quite a year for women and we hope these moments will set the stage for some big changes in the world in 2014! Here are our top 5 moments for women’s empowerment in 2013:
1. Malala Yousufzai rises from tragedy
After being shot and nearly killed by the Taliban for trying to attend school, Malala has regained her health and become a crusader for girls’ right to an education. She also published a book and started the Malala Fund, which helps programs that directly impact the quality and accessibility of education for girls.
2. Fawzia Koofi runs for President of Afghanistan
Although Ms. Koofi, Afghan politician and women’s rights activist, had to withdraw from the presidential race, the audacity of her dream to be Afghanistan’s first female president inspired us all. As a Member of Parliament in Kabul and the Vice President of the National Assembly she continues to be an avid advocate of women’s empowerment.
3. Dr Yeo Sze Ling honoured with Her World Young Achiever Award
At just age four, Dr Yeo Sze Ling contracted glaucoma, eventually losing all but the ability to see light. Not letting her disability bar her way to success, she not only attended a mainstream secondary school, but graduated top of her faculty with a degree in mathematics. She went on to obtain a PhD in Mathematics. Today she works as a research scientist in coding theory at A*.
4. Sheryl Sandberg ignites a conversation about leaning in.
With her book Lean In, Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg, started an important conversation about corporate culture, female power, the glass ceiling, and what women can do now to elevate themselves for the career long-haul.
5. Debbie Sterling creates Goldie Blox
Engineer Debbie Sterling challenged the perpetuation of gender roles when she created GoldieBlox, a book series and construction set that engages kids to build through the story of Goldie, the girl inventor who solves problems by building simple machines.
With so much progress in women’s empowerment being made, there is still plenty of work to be done in ensuring that women across the world live happy and fulfilling lives free of oppression, subjugation, and abuse. Make a donation or become a member today to help continue to make the world a better place for women.
Your friends at the Singapore Committee for UN Women
Executive Director's Message
The year-end holiday season in Singapore is a time of family, friends and festivities. It’s a fun and frenzied time when we try to squeeze in as much as possible into those final weeks of the year. In the midst of this avalanche of activity, we want to show our care for family, friends and the world around us. We want to take some time out to reflect on the year that has passed, and give thanks for all that we have.
On behalf of the Singapore Committee for UN Women team, I want to reach out and thank you, our friends and supporters, for investing your heart, time, and financial resources to the critical cause of women’s empowerment. As always, it is really because of you that we can continue our mission and grow as an organization of passionate and cause-driven people focused on the rights of women and girls in the region. This cannot be said enough.
Most recently we thank you for your contribution to Sheroes, our photography exhibition that showcases some truly extraordinary stories of ordinary women. Early next year we will follow up by recognizing the heroes among us – the men who take significant steps to better the lives of women.
Your contributions to our Black & White S.N.O.W. Gala dinner will help over 9000 Karenni survivors of violence through the UN Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women and International Rescue Committee. The survivors living in the Ban Mai Nai Soi and Ban Mae Surin refugee camps along the Thailand-Myanmar border will gain access to high quality care from community-based health centers, allowing them to heal quickly and safely. We invite you to continue supporting the Karenni survivors through our Monthly Giving program. A small amount given every month will go a long way in helping the women supported by the UN Trust Fund.
Project Inspire is our global social entrepreneurship competition for young change-makers, and could not have happened this year without your support, our co-organizer MasterCard, and our knowledge partners INSEAD and Bain & Co. This year Project Inspire attracted 577 pitch proposals from over 60 countries and resulted in US$45,000 in grant prizes given to social enterprises benefitting women and girls. The grand prize winner, Protsahan, is working in the slums of Delhi with at least 100 adolescent girls facing abuse. The girls will be trained on design and handicraft skills to become Creative Micro Entrepreneurs, helping them escape poverty and the risk of sex and other exploitative work. Social enterprise Ka Tutandike won US$10,000 in prize money to help 100 young women living with disabilities learn the skills of beekeeping and create their own sustainable micro-business. An additional US$10,000 was awarded to Global Press Institute, to train four women in Bangladesh to become professional grassroots journalists. These women will be hired at a living wage as reporters for an international news agency and sourcing stories from some of the least-covered regions of the world.
In 2014 we are expanding our social entrepreneurship competition program to include secondary school students through our Youth for UN Women project.
We are tirelessly continuing to campaign against Trafficking in Persons (TIP). Following on the successful STOP Sex Trafficking campaign, we have partnered with HOME to created Biz@TIP to raise awareness of trafficking within the business sector. With the support of a grant from the Singapore Inter-Agency Taskforce on TIP, we are organizing a Biz@TIP conference in February for businesses to explore what they can do to combat trafficking, and what they can earn from industry leaders.
We are continuing to focus on the Singaporean community through our public education activities. Since 1999 we have reached out to almost 100,000 (and still counting) individuals, students, volunteers, members, advocates, activists, civil society, sponsors and business leaders across Singapore. Since 2006, we have been spreading an important message about the prevention of abuse and violence against women through the Help Anna campaign, talk sessions, and workshops. More than 50,000 students and adults across Singapore have attended our talks on this subject to date. Your purchases at our recent Buy to Save sale of gently used designer wear helps us continue to run this key campaign.
We note that more and more foreign domestic workers (FDWs) are enjoying a regular rest Day Off after MOM mandated a weekly day off starting this year and phased in as work permits are received and renewed. We are continuing our Day Off campaign efforts, started in 2008, to urge employers to actually give the rest day, now rather than giving a payment in lieu.
As we reflect on our whirlwind 2013 and look ahead, we feel quite fortunate. While feeling fortunate, we are also somewhat overwhelmed by how much there is still left to do for the cause of women’s empowerment.
In 2014, we commit to continue to bring you influential speakers to inspire and motivate such as past guests - Afghan lawmaker Fawzia Koofi; Indian prison reformer Kiran Bedi; and, CNN anti-trafficking Hero Anuradha Koirala. We also commit to continue our critical campaigns for social change, and to look outside our borders and support women in the region through our UN Women network of development efforts. We invite you to join us in our cause by becoming a Member, a Volunteer, a Donor, or to simply come to our many public education events. Together with you, 2014 offers us a fresh start to do even more!
With much gratitude,
Pia Bruce, Executive Director
On behalf of the Singapore Committee for UN Women team
Our Top 5 Moments in 2013
2013 was quite the year for the Singapore Committee for UN Women! Here are our picks of top 5 moments from our team:
1. Project Inspire results in US$45,000 in grants for social entrepreneurships
This year our social entrepreneurship competition, Project Inspire, attracted 577 pitch proposals from over 60 countries and resulted in US$45,000 in grant prizes given to businesses benefitting women and girls. The grand prize winner, Protsahan, is working in the slums of Delhi with at least 100 adolescent girls facing abuse. The girls will be trained on design and handicraft skills to become Creative Micro Entrepreneurs, helping them escape poverty. One of our US$10,000 prize winners from Uganda, Ka Tutandike, is helping 100 young women living with disabilities learn the skills of beekeeping as a social enterprise. The other US$10,000 winner, Global Press Institute, is training four women in Bangladesh to become professional grassroots journalists. These women will be hired at a living wage as reporters for an international news agency and sourcing stories from some of the least-covered regions of the world.
2. Singapore Inter-Agency Task Force funds Businesses Against Trafficking Grant
Following on the successful STOP Sex Trafficking campaign, we have partnered with HOME to created Biz@TIP to raise awareness of trafficking within the business sector. With the support of a grant from the Singapore Inter-Agency Taskforce on TIP, we are organizing a Biz@TIP conference for businesses to explore what they can do to combat trafficking, and what they can earn from industry leaders.
3. Fawzia Koofi brings her message of women`s empowerment to SNOW 2013
Fawzia Koofi is an Afghan politician and women`s rights activist. As a Member of Parliament in Kabul and is the Vice President of the National Assembly she has been an avid advocate of women`s empowerment. Narrowly escaping infanticide as a new-born, she shared her story with the attendees of the Singapore Committee for UN Women annual gala, S.N.O.W (Say No to the Oppression of Women), and inspired all in attendance.
4. Mandatory Day Off Law goes into effect
More and more foreign domestic workers are enjoying a regular rest Day Off after MOM mandated a weekly day off starting this year. We are continuing our Day Off campaign efforts, started in 2008, to urge employers to actually give the rest day rather than giving a payment in lieu.
5. Pia Bruce nominated as one of Diva Network`s High Heeled Warriors
Singapore Committee for UN Women Executive Director, Pia Brice, was nominated to be Diva Network`s ’High Heeled Warrior.’ The High Heeled Warrior Awards aims to recognise and celebrate women living in Asia who have contributed and created a positive impact in their community. The Awards also aims to increase awareness of the importance in the roles which women play in society be it in business, arts & entertainment, community service or education.
With so much progress in women`s empowerment being made, there is still plenty of work to be done in ensuring that women across the world live happy and fulfilling lives free of oppression, subjugation, and abuse. Make a donation or become a member today to help continue to make the world a better place for women.
Your friends at the Singapore Committee for UN Women
S.N.O.W. 2014 Colours of Matisse
We would like to extend our warmest gratitude to you for your generous support
at S.N.O.W. 2013. We hope that you had a wonderful evening filled with
gastronomic delights, glamour and goodwill. Your generosity and support at
S.N.O.W. 2013 will allow us to continue our important work towards promoting
gender equality and empowering women in Singapore and the region. We
look forward to seeing you again at S.N.O.W. 2014.
With much gratitude,
The Executive Committee and the Office Team
“There are always flowers for those who want to see them.”
The protection of your personal data is important to the Singapore Committee for UN Women. When you sign up to our website or events, we collect your personal data for the purposes of your involvement with us, such as volunteering, membership, donation, our managing and running of Singapore Committee for UN Women events, programs and research, and our marketing and promotional purposes. Singapore Committee for UN Women will not share your personal data with third parties without your consent. When you sign up to Singapore Committee for UN Women, you consent to us collecting, storing and using your personal data as described in this paragraph.
(a) notice an error in your personal data, or if your information has changed;
(b) wish to withdraw your consent to Singapore Committee for UN Women collecting, storing and using your personal data; or
(c) have any questions or would like more information about Singapore Committee for UN Women and your personal data,
please email firstname.lastname@example.org.