SINGAPORE: The recently released findings of an international survey have shown that nearly two-thirds of Singaporeans believe there is inequality between men and women in terms of social, political and/or economic rights in the country.
But almost half of Singaporeans are scared to speak out, due to the fear of repercussions, according to a study on attitudes towards gender equality.
The study, jointly conducted by global market research firm Ipsos and the Global Women’s Leadership Institute of King’s College London, surveyed more than 22,000 people in 32 countries worldwide. Singaporeans who participated in the survey were between 21 and 74 years old.
According to the survey, 63 per cent of Singaporean respondents believe that gender inequality exists. 23 per cent of Singaporeans said they had heard sexist comments against women from friends or family members in the past year, while 16 per cent had witnessed sexism in the workplace.
However, when it comes to speaking out for women’s rights, 44 per cent of Singaporeans are scared to speak out and advocate the equal rights of women because of what might happen to them. This ratio is above the global average of 37 per cent, although it ranks behind neighbouring Malaysia, Thailand and India.
12 per cent of those who expressed fear about speaking out had concerns about how doing so might impact their careers.
The survey also found that 17% of Singaporeans believe that the status quo of gender equality cannot be changed.
However, as many as 65 per cent of locals expressed hope that they can take steps to promote gender equality, a number which is higher than the global average. 62 per cent said that “women won’t achieve equality in Singapore unless men take actions to support women’s rights too.”
The troubling findings in the Ipsos report come just shy of two years after the Government released its White Paper on Singapore Women’s Development. Aimed at shifting mindsets to embrace gender equality, the paper contains 25 action plans on how Singapore society can uplift women.
Send in your scoops to firstname.lastname@example.org