Women’s rights group Aware elects new board, veteran journalist named president

SINGAPORE – Women’s rights and gender-equality group Association of Women for Action and Research (Aware) elected a new board final Saturday (April 23), with editorial and public relations marketing consultant and veteran journalist Ong Soh Chin elected president.

At the annual basic assembly, held over Zoom for the third 12 months in a row because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Ms Ong ran unopposed for her first time period as Aware president, taking on from Ms Margaret Thomas, who held the place from 2018 to 2022.

Incumbent treasurer Aarathi Arumugam retained her place on the board unopposed.

Meanwhile, two candidates vied for the publish of assistant treasurer, whereas 10 candidates competed for the six board member posts.

In an e-mail interview with The Straits Times on Tuesday (April 26), Ms Ong, who has been an Aware board member since 2016, stated she has all the time recognized as a feminist and felt it was time to step up and contribute meaningfully to the trigger at this stage of her life.

She added that it’s an thrilling time for Aware and for Singapore generally, because the nation enters a new chapter in its journey to gender equality amid the Government’s White Paper on Singapore Women’s Development.

Noting that lots of the points coated within the White Paper and in latest authorities bulletins – reminiscent of the approaching anti-discrimination regulation, elevated help for caregivers and single dad and mom, and the necessity to respect lesbian, homosexual, bisexual and transgender communities – have been vital planks of Aware’s advocacy, Ms Ong stated the group will proceed to work with supporters from civil society, the personal sector and the Government to additional these causes.

“We will… be looking at advancing conversations and actions in the public sphere, to show that gender equality is a win-win situation for all, and not just women,” added the journalist and editor with greater than 30 years of expertise.

Ms Ong has labored at varied publications, together with The Straits Times, the place she coated arts, leisure, politics and present affairs, amongst different issues.

She has additionally headed the communications and editorial departments at Netflix, the Institute of Policy Studies and Shell.

Meanwhile, Ms Thomas, the outgoing president and one of many founding members of Aware, stated essentially the most important growth throughout her time as Aware president was the landmark speech in September 2020 by Law and Home Affairs Minister Ok. Shanmugam when he argued the case for gender equality to be made a elementary worth in Singapore.

She added that this has been the mission of the group since its founding in 1985, “so it was very gratifying to hear a Cabinet minister finally emphatically agree with our mission”.

Ms Thomas will proceed to be a board member.

Aware govt director Corinna Lim, stated that the board “features not just ethnic diversity, but age diversity – with members in their 20s and their 70s – and a range of professional experience, with individuals from academia, civil service, law and different corporate environments”.

The different members of the board are Ms Elisa Kang, Ms Penelope Shone, Ms Teo You Yenn and Ms Zheng Huifen, who’ve served a minimum of one earlier time period on the board, and Ms Fikri Alkhatib, Ms Kathy Park and Ms Laavanya Kathiravelu, who’re newcomers.

In all, 87 Aware members attended the annual basic assembly.

Aware stated in its assertion that additional project of board positions for the primary and second vice-presidents and secretary will happen on the new board’s first assembly subsequent month.

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