Singapore — The Progress Singapore Party (PSP) held the launch of its Women’s Wing on Saturday (Jan 30), with the event being broadcast on the party’s Facebook and YouTube channels.
The launch was opened with an address by Ms Wendy Low, the chairwoman of the wing.
Ms Low, who was in the five-person PSP team that contested in Tanjong Pagar GRC in the General Election last year, said she was encouraged by the diverse women she met during her campaign who showed interest in politics.
The PSP Women’s Wing was inspired by its party values of democracy, justice, equality, peace and progress. It was started to cement the party’s commitment to these values and as a way to include and address women’s needs.
A seven-point inclusivity agenda for the Women’s Wing was highlighted at the launch. It included salient issues such as eradicating sexual violence and harassment, anti-discrimination legislation as well as the need to develop a “care economy” where women are uplifted, validated and can, therefore, thrive in their own ways.
The event then proceeded to the panel discussion, featuring Ms Anita Kapoor, Ms Joanne Soo, Ms Preeti Nair, Ms Nurul Fathiah and Ms Hazel Poa.
Ms Kapoor expressed confidence in the possibility of a female Prime Minister in Singapore. However, she also highlighted the need to account for not just Singaporean women but also foreign domestic workers who are often not included in mainstream discourse.
Ms Soo then shared her experience of preparing to climb Mount Everest with other women, an expedition that took almost five years. She recounted the challenges of convincing family members and friends which only strengthened her resolve to become the first woman to summit Mount Everest.
Taking risks is never easy, a point acknowledged by Ms Nair, a local influencer and media personality best known for her satirical comedy videos that often go viral on social media.
She said that it was a difficult decision to leave her job to pursue her career but she thankfully had encouragement from her boss and family. More recently, in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, Ms Nair and her friends raised S$350,000 for migrant workers.
Ms Fathiah, an early childhood educator, stressed the importance of getting to know the cultural practices of others in a multicultural society, a lesson she tries to ingrain in her students.
Finally, it was the turn of Ms Poa, one of the two PSP Non-Constituency Members of Parliament, the other being Mr Leong Mun Wai.
She detailed the motivations and challenges of joining politics as a woman. She hoped to contribute towards a robust and diverse political landscape in Singapore which informed her decision to join PSP in the first place.
As an NCMP, she will be pushing for legislation concerning gender equality, protection from violence and harassment as well as greater recognition of caretakers in Singapore.
While encouraged by the growing number of women joining politics, she hopes to see women represent at least 30 per cent of MPs in the future.
At the end of the launch, those present and those watching the event online were addressed by PSP leader Dr Tan Cheng Book. He thanked the panellists for taking the time to be at the event, as well as his wife for her support throughout his political career.
Samira Hassan is an intern at The Independent SG. /TISG
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