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Source: Singapore Press Holdings. Reproduced with permission

Civil Society & Activism

Following the end of the Second World War, women in Singapore were more politically conscious, eager to make their mark on society beyond the confines of their homes. They played a big part in rebuilding society following the Japanese Occupation, staffing feeding centres and setting up the first family planning association as a volunteer effort, out of the belief that no family should have more children than it could provide for.

It was important work, but indicative of the mindset surrounding “women’s work” at the time – the women’s associations mostly focused on charitable social work. As Dr Phyllis Chew writes,

“Existing associations saw women as fulfilling important but supportive roles. ... Their energies were focused on fund-raising for the needy of society and on traditional feminine courses such as cultural dances, cooking, art and handicraft classes. Women’s rights was not an issue; what was important was how women could contribute towards making society a better place for all concerned.” 1

Involvement in the women’s movement invited “censure or ridicule from their families and peers.”

In this environment, the Singapore Council of Women (SCW) – launched in 1952 – was a different creature. The organisation was born from a meeting called by Shirin Fozdar, who had been an active advocate of women’s rights in India before she and her husband moved to Singapore. At the meeting, she highlighted the plight of many Singapore women and pointed out that the work done by welfare groups “could not ameliorate the legal disabilities under which women have been suffering and which were the root cause of many of the social evils. 2 The SCW sought to tackle these root causes and later identified polygamy as a major problem.

Shirin Fozdar (1977).
Source: Singapore Press Holdings. Reproduced with permission

The group believed they needed a large membership to make an impact upon society, but recruitment was a difficult process. When interviewed by Phyllis Chew, Amy Ede and Elizabeth Choy — both members of the SCW’s pro tem committee — said that in those days, involvement in the women’s movement invited “censure or ridicule from their families and peers.” 3

The SCW worked with the Malay and Chinese communities as part of its work to end polygamy, and also lobbied legislators and political parties. It was an uphill task, as many political parties were unwilling to take on women’s issues for fear of treading on religious and cultural sensitivities that would lose them popular support.

Founding members of PPIS.

The SCW was not alone. Another group had formed in 1952 — Persatuan Pemudi Islam Singapura (PPIS), or the Young Women’s Muslim Association. PPIS advocated for an Islamic family court to provide protection for Muslim wives, as men could then divorce their wives simply by saying “I divorce you” three times before a religious judge.

What is Syariah law?

Syariah law is the Islamic legal system based on teachings of the Quran and the traditions of the Prophet. The law encompasses both religious and secular aspects of everyday Muslim life. Because of how the law is derived, there is varied interpretation and implementation of it within different Muslim societies today.

Related themes Family

Their work bore fruit in 1958 when the government set up a Syariah Court to oversee marriage and family matters. Khatijun Nissa Siraj (often known as Mrs Mohamed Siraj), one of PPIS’s founding members, became the Syariah Court’s first female social worker.
 Counselling women who needed support was difficult but necessary work. Mrs Siraj remembers how she had to raise money for milk powder to be distributed among mothers who had not received adequate amounts of child support from their husbands. “They were feeding their babies tea!” she recalled during an interview for this feature. “Teh-o, with no milk or anything. It was terrible.” 4

In pushing for the rights of women, the SCW found the most support for their cause in the People’s Action Party (PAP). Spurred on by members of the party’s Women’s League, the PAP took a strong stand on women’s rights and in 1959 campaigned with the promise of “One Man One Wife” in their election manifesto.

Introduction: The Women’s Charter

The Women’s Charter was a piece of legislation passed to protect the rights of women and girls in Singapore. It deals with issues such as polygamy, divorce and the division of matrimonial assets. It also provides for protection against domestic violence. It applies to all Singaporeans, with the exception of those married under Muslim law when it comes to divorce.

Related themes Civil Society Violence Family

Following the PAP’s success at the polls in 1959, the Women’s Charter was introduced in the Legislative Assembly in 1960. The Women’s Charter Bill was passed on 24 May 1961. It was the culmination of all of SCW’s work, outlawing polygamy and offering Singaporean women more protection under the law. Its passage also pushed the Muslim community to improve the lot of Muslim women.

Their major objective accomplished, the SCW began to run out of steam and was eventually deregistered in 1971. However, its contribution left an indelible mark on Singapore by bringing women beyond self-help groups to assert their place as equal partners in society.


Service to communities

After the dissolution of the SCW, there was a lack of a dedicated women’s organisation pushing for gender equality in Singapore. Still, this did not stop feminists from speaking up and doing what they could.

Dr Nallammah Ruth Tan (1966).

Dr Nallammah Ruth Tan (née Navarednam, and often known as Nalla Tan), was a doctor, academic and writer who constantly spoke up for women’s rights. In 1972 she called for a new national council of women to represent all women in Singapore and involve women in the nation-building process.

She was also vocal about prejudices and mindsets that presented barriers to women entering the workforce or reaching top positions in their workplaces.

Nalla hits at ‘bias’ against women for top posts. Click here to view full article.
Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings. Reproduced with permission.
Nalla hits at ‘bias’ against women for top posts.
Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings. Reproduced with permission.

“When … men who should know better like certain psychiatrists and people in the public eye who come out with statements like ‘women who go to work are responsible for juvenile delinquency’, ‘they neglect children’, ‘women should stick to their place in the home’ — such statements are calculated to produce neurosis and a guilt complex in the minds of women,” she said in 1976, in what was decried by The Straits Times as “one of her strongest attacks on male prejudice against working women”. 5

Other professional women also came forward. The Singapore Business & Professional Women’s Association was formed to help working women advance their careers, while the Singapore Association of Women Lawyers (SAWL) was set up by 16 practising lawyers in 1974.

“A group of us formed SAWL to disseminate the law – the Law Society was not doing any of this at the time – and educate women about their rights, especially around employment and domestic violence,” said founding member Anamah Tan. 6 “We went to speak to the young factory workers in Jurong, which had just been developed back then; we handed out pamphlets on the Women’s Charter and gave free legal counselling by working with community centres. We also did a radio programme and produced books such as You and the Law.”

“… the European women are leaving and the Asian women are coming…”

Women also organised themselves to provide services to the needy, making sure that the underprivileged did not get left behind as the nation progressed. The British has announced in 1968 that their military forces would pull out of Singapore by 1971; this would also mean the departure of British wives who had been very involved in community service. In response to the growing gap, the Asian Women’s Welfare Association (AWWA) was set up in 1970.

“[W]e really wanted something to sort of stand out and indicate that it is the local ladies who are going to do this,” said AWWA president Mrs Vimalavathy Thilliampalam Kulasekaram in an interview with the Oral History Centre in 1994. 7 “So I suppose one bright spark thought, the European women are leaving and the Asian women are coming, and I think that’s how the name came in.”

Leaena Tambyah joined AWWA as a volunteer in 1972, working with the elderly as well as with children with multiple disabilities. She had trained as a social worker in Birmingham and previously worked for the Social Welfare Department in Singapore. In 1979 she was instrumental in the setting up of a playgroup for children with disabilities, which eventually grew to become AWWA School. In 1991 she introduced a mobile therapy service called Therapy and Education for Children in Mainstream Education (TEACH ME), which provided assistance to children whose parents could not afford the money or the time for therapy sessions in hospitals.

AWWA focused on providing services, but did not shy away from advocacy work as and when it was needed, such as pushing for compulsory education for children with disabilities. Another one of their challenges had to do with the need for a Certificate of Entitlement (COE) for one of their vans in the TEACH ME programme.

“I think it may have been our second van, and it was being refurbished in the workshop and then they slammed COE on,” Tambyah recalled. “And I tell you, I wrote to everybody. Nobody wanted to do anything.” 8

The issue was finally resolved when she managed to meet the Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports Abdullah Tarmugi and explain AWWA’s predicament to him. “I told him: I said I’ve been writing, asking for exemption from COE. We can’t afford another $20,000 plus! He said, ‘This is so ridiculous. Write to me.’ So I wrote to him and after that we got an exemption and all other welfare vehicles got exemption.”


Entering research and advocacy

The Great Marriage Debate

The Great Marriage Debate refers to a period in 1983-1984 when the PAP government tried to encourage highly-educated women to get married and have children. For example, it formed the Social Development Unit in 1984 to help university-educated men and women in the public service to socialise, in the hopes that this would lead to marriage. It also introduced a series of financial and social incentives to encourage graduate women to marry and have more children. This rhetoric irked many young graduate women, who came together to speak out against such pronouncements.

Related themes Civil Society Politics Family

The lack of an organisation devoted to gender equality, compounded by the complete absence of women in Parliament, meant that women’s issues often took a backseat in the 1970s. This changed in the 1980s, as women began to organise and groups emerged once more.

With many women’s organisations working on various issues, there was soon a call for a coordinated national women’s body. The National Council of Women (NCW) was inaugurated in 1975 for this purpose, but did not manage to distinguish itself from other associations, or establish enough affiliations with a majority of the women’s organisations in Singapore. 9

Following NCW’s unsuccessful attempt, women from a variety of organisations – including the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) Women’s Programme Committee and the People’s Association (PA) Women’s Executive Committee – met to discuss the need for a coordinating body who could advocate for women in Singapore.

The meeting led to the establishment of a pro tem committee, and the Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations (SCWO) was incorporated in 1980. Board members were made up of representatives from different women’s groups, and its mission was to “inform, advocate and educate, and work towards the goal of advancing the status of women and being the voice of women in Singapore.” 10

The SCWO Proterm Committee at a meeting.
Photo courtesy of SCWO.
Members of SCWO with then-Minister for Trade and Industry Goh Chok Tong at the Women’s Participation in the Next Decade conference in 1981.
Photo courtesy of SCWO.

Women’s shelters in Singapore

Women’s shelters provide a safe space for women in distress in Singapore to seek help, often in the form of counselling or legal advice.

See the Violence theme for more information on shelters for women in Singapore.

As a coordinating body, SCWO was able to examine various women’s issues, such as proposing in 1991 that Home Economics classes for girls in secondary schools be modified to Life Skills courses for both male and female students. The umbrella group has looked at violence against women, and in 1999 set up the Star Shelter, the first secular women’s shelter. SCWO was granted special consultative status by the United Nations (UN) Economic and Social Council in 2014, allowing them to attend events and conferences, use UN facilities and submit written statements to UN agencies.

“SCWO also advocates for the collective interests of women in Singapore through its participation in regional and international platforms,” wrote SCWO’s board members in an email response to questions for this feature. “In its capacity as national coordinating body of women’s organisations, SCWO submits and/or presents statements and reports for the Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) and ASEAN Women Entrepreneurship Network (AWEN) and ASEAN Confederation of Women’s Organisations (ACWO) meetings.” 11

Women’s decade of uneven gains. Click here to view full article.
Source: The Sunday Times © Singapore Press Holdings. Reproduced with permission.
Women’s decade of uneven gains.
Source: The Sunday Times © Singapore Press Holdings. Reproduced with permission.

Graduate Mothers’ Priority Scheme

Under this scheme, the offspring of university-educated women with three or more children would get priority in primary school registration. In the same year, the government announced that $10,000 would be given to low-income, less-educated women below the age of 30 who sterilised themselves after the first or second child.

Related themes Family Reproductive Rights

The 1980s was also a time when the government was embarking on large-scale campaigns to address the falling fertility rate. The Graduate Mothers’ Priority Scheme was introduced to give priority to children of university-educated women when it came to registration for primary school. The pressure was on for young men and women – especially young women – to get married and have children before it was “too late”.

“Many of us felt the injustice of being ordered around, being told to do this or that, but never being consulted.”

Partly as a reaction to all this rhetoric, the National University of Singapore Society held a forum in November 1984, “Women’s Choices, Women’s Lives”. The forum was organised by Zaibun Siraj, daughter of Mrs Mohamed Sirah, and Dr Vivienne Wee, and brought together women from different professional backgrounds. Speakers included orthopaedic surgeon Dr Kanwaljit Soin, director of the National Library Hedwig Anuar and deputy Sunday editor of the Singapore Monitor, Margaret Thomas.

Participants of the forum were upset by all that was being said and done by the government in their family and population policies, particularly how women were being singled out as being responsible for the falling fertility rate.

Singapore women strive for greater equality. Click here to view full article.
Source: The Sunday Times © Singapore Press Holdings. Reproduced with permission.
Singapore women strive for greater equality.
Source: The Sunday Times © Singapore Press Holdings. Reproduced with permission.

“Many of us felt the injustice of being ordered around, being told to do this or that, but never being consulted. … Most of us felt very, very angry that we were not consulted on such important issues. I think that we were all at boiling point when that forum was held,” Lena Lim said in an interview with Lenore Lyons in 2005. 12

Following the forum, it was felt that there was a need for an organisation that would specifically focus on improving women’s social and legal status in Singapore. “Looking at the present number of women’s organisations in Singapore, I couldn’t see how I could fit in anywhere. I had these different views about a woman’s role, and these other groups were largely social groups, and they weren’t really interested in advocacy work or bringing changes to the status of women,” forum organiser Zaibun Siraj recalled in an interview for this feature. 13

The Origins of AWARE

The Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE) was launched in 1985 after a year of discussion to write and refine the organisation’s structure and constitution.

International efforts to support women also found space in Singapore. The Singapore Committee for UN Women (originally known as UNIFEM Singapore) was set up in 1999 to support both local and international efforts to “provide women and young girls with access to leadership development, economic independence and a life free of violence and abuse.” 14

Foreign Domestic Workers

Thousands of women from countries such as Myanmar, Indonesia and the Philippines come to Singapore every year to work as Foreign Domestic Workers (FDWs). FDWs perform the housekeeping and caregiving labour that allows for Singaporean women to enter the workforce, and live-in with their employers. This live-in aspect, compounded by the exclusion of domestic workers from the Employment Act, often leads to abuse and exploitation such as the denial of time off.

Related themes Migration

As one of only two National Committees of UN Women in Asia, the group reports to both the Singaporean authorities as well as the UN Women headquarters in New York, and supports local efforts to advocate for better quality of life for women. Collaborating with other organisations, they have been involved in advocacy work like the Day Off Campaign in Singapore, which from the late-2000s pushed for a mandatory rest day a week for foreign domestic workers. The Singapore Committee for UN Women has also campaigned against human trafficking through a series of campaigns, and strives to end violence against women through the Help Anna campaign. 

The Help Anna Campaign

The Help Anna campaign (http://helpanna.com/) led by UN Women raises awareness of the fact that one in ten women in Singapore report experiencing physical or sexual violence. Through a series of scenarios, the campaign emphasises that abuse and violence takes many forms, and encourages members of the public to pledge to end violence against women.


Constance Singam at Work


The AWARE Saga

The women’s movement got its next shake-up in 2009, when a group of women from a conservative church managed to take over AWARE by winning 9 out of the 12 available seats on the executive committee.

The drama that unfolded after this takeover became a major milestone in the women’s movement in Singapore, attracting the interest of many more Singaporeans and rejuvenating feminist work in the country.


AWARE’s Constitution then allowed individuals to stand for elections even if they had only just joined the organisation as members. “We were too trusting,” recalled founding member Margaret Thomas, adding that they had never imagined a scenario in which this vulnerability would be exploited. 15

That year, AWARE’s annual general meeting – usually not particularly well-attended — was stacked with new members, who nominated and voted in new women to the executive committee.

“Still in a state of shock, I had to acknowledge to myself that AWARE may have been taken over by a group of women who may not have subscribed to AWARE’s inclusive culture,” former AWARE president Constance Singam later recalled in her memoirs. “It had fallen into the hands of an unfamiliar group of women, all Chinese, all Christian, with the exception of Caris Lim and Chew I-Jun from the old Exco.” 16

After numerous meetings between members of the “Old Guard”, they decided to challenge the new executive committee at an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) on 2 May 2009.

“This was the most inspiring moment in democratic exercise. … A lot of people were saying they found their voice.”

Dr Lai Ah Eng, a lifetime member of AWARE, recounted her experience of the EGM in a chapter of the book The AWARE Saga: Civil Society and Public Morality in Singapore. She described the scene at the Suntec City Convention Centre that day, with supporters for each side decked out in different colours: “It was a strange unprecedented sight – young ‘white shirts’ versus middle-aged ‘red shirts’, but they kept a respectful distance from each other. In a different situation, they could have been groups of mothers and daughters stretching out to hug each other.” 17

“The queue wound down three levels of the building. … Three thousand people, from all walks of life had signed up for AWARE membership to attend the EGM. This was a record in the history of civil society,” Singam wrote.

The EGM saw an outpouring of expression from both sides, and a long queue of people lining up to speak.

“This was the most inspiring moment in democratic exercise. … A lot of people were saying they found their voice. You should have seen the queues, we didn't have an opportunity to talk! I had to be dragged up and somebody had to take away the mic from people who were queuing up so I could speak! But people found their voice, and I remember one mother saying she wished she had brought her daughters,” Singam recalled. 18

The EGM finally concluded, after over eight hours, with a vote of no confidence in the “New Guard”, and a new executive committee elected with a mix of old and new members of AWARE. Its effects, though, had a wider impact beyond the governance of a gender equality organisation.

“In 1985, AWARE was formed as one of the first civil society organisations in a context of strong state and social authoritarianism. … It did not obey the traditional authoritarian ‘shut up and sit down’ reproach but built up the ‘stand up and speak out’ approach, and in doing so has made many contributions to Singapore women and society,” wrote Dr Lai in her chapter’s conclusion. “The AWARE in 2009 showed that this spirit was alive and kicking when it ‘booted out’ unacceptable ethics and practices. In doing so, it also debunked the myths that Singaporeans are politically apathetic and that Singapore’s public life is uneventful, as its impact reverberated through discussions among groups and individuals long after.”


The post-saga revival

With AWARE safely back in the hands of the “Old Guard”, changes were made to prevent a repetition of 2009’s dramatic events. The organisation now requires all applicants for member to declare that they share AWARE’s values of gender equality and “diversity of race, age, culture and sexuality”.

“…a new awareness in civil society that values of pluralism and secularism can no longer be assumed but need to be defended and promoted.”

“The key thing about the saga is that after the exercise in democracy and the surfacing of an important issue for Singapore to grapple with, internally for us the key thing was that we decided to professionalise,” said Thomas in an interview for this feature. 19 The organisation decided to make advocacy paid work, so that people would be compensated for their efforts and the organisation did not have to solely rely on the work of volunteers.

As the “Old Guard” asserted the importance of secularism, plurality and diversity during the AWARE saga, it found support among other civil society groups, such as migrant rights groups Transient Workers Count Too and the Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics, the Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations and UNIFEM Singapore (now known as the Singapore Committee for UN Women).

“This wider mobilisation signifies a new awareness in civil society that values of pluralism and secularism can no longer be assumed but need to be defended and promoted. In this shift of awareness, AWARE is playing a leading role such that relations between AWARE and a wider community of civil society organisations have become closer and more mutually supportive,” wrote Dr Vivienne Wee in her chapter for the abovementioned book The AWARE Saga. 20


New movements, new voices

New voices joined the women’s movement in 2011, when a small group of young Singaporeans got together to organise SlutWalk Singapore to address slut-shaming, victim-blaming and rape culture.

Poster from Slutwalk 2011.
Source: Vanessa Ho.

Vanessa Ho was one of the first to come up with the idea of having SlutWalk in Singapore. In an interview for this article, she recounted, “We started a closed Facebook group. … We added in all our friends who[m] we thought might be very supportive of this. We get them together and just kind of brainstormed how it was going to be done in Singapore, the relevance in Singapore, and it was amazing[,] this Facebook group exploded to like 800 members in a few months. Just friends of friends adding friends of friends. And these were people who were supportive of the cause. We knew at the time that there was a good base. So we called for a meeting ... about 10, 12 people turned up and that was the very first team for SlutWalk.”. 21

SlutWalk received significant support and input from Singapore’s punk community, mobilised by co-organiser Cher Tan. Although subsequent SlutWalks received less attention and were less successful than the first, the events brought new faces to the women’s movement and established stronger relationships between young activists.

“I think the relationship has definitely gotten a bit closer. You get punk bands playing in the We Can! Festival. There's a new appreciation for punk culture,” said Ho. “I wouldn't say that it has fully developed, but I say that there are more people from the punk community coming into the women’s rights movement and vice versa.”

“[I]t is phenomenally important to focus on young men when discussing how to combat violence.”

Read more on similar campaigns past and present in Violence

[link to Violence where it mentions No To Rape, etc.]

Related themes Violence

The discussion of violence against women continued with the launch of the We Can! campaign in 2013. Through the use of workshops and forum theatre, the campaign has brought their message to schools and communities, encouraging Singaporeans to sign on to become Change Makers and part of the movement.


“I think it is phenomenally important to focus on young men when discussing how to combat violence. Young men, along with women, need to be engaged in discussions on sexual consent, healthy and equal relationships, personal boundaries, bodily autonomy, masculinity and on the gender roles and stereotypes that they see around them,” wrote campaign coordinator Kokila Annamalai in an email interview. 22

The increased adoption of technology also led to new ways for advocacy to be spread to members of the public. For example, AWARE was able to use online crowdfunding platforms to raise money for the Sexual Assault Care Centre (SACC) to provide support to women who have been victims of violence.

Social media platforms also allowed Singaporeans to speak out against sexist stereotypes. In 2014, 17-year-old Agatha Tan published a letter she had written to her principal regarding a relationship workshop she had attended in school that used demeaning and sexist stereotypes of men and women. The workshop booklet, which Tan shared online, referred to women as “gals” and suggested that women don’t really mean what they say. “[S]omething else I found distressing was that the workshop seemed to emphasize and enforce traditional gender roles in a relationship,” wrote Tan in her letter. “According to [Focus on the Family], “gals” – as it is written throughout the booklet – are fragile and need guys’ support, and everything a guy does in the relationship is excusable simply because he is a guy and is wired that way.” 23


Penguingate

The organised read-in held outside the National Library drew a large crowd, including families of all kinds.

In 2014, action once again arose in less predictable quarters when news broke that the National Library would remove and destroy children’s books such as And Tango Makes Three and The White Swan Express, which featured adoptive and same-sex parents. In a series of events that came to be dubbed “Penguingate”, the decision drew criticism from Singaporeans, and two young mothers – Germaine Ong and Jolene Tan – decided to organise a read-in at the National Library.

“I really appreciated that all kinds of families came and read together. There was at least one family with three generations present. A friend of mine who's in her 40s attended with her elderly mother. Others who identified with the feeling of being deemed ‘non-traditional’ were very enthusiastic in their support: interracial couples with their kids, for instance, came and read books in both their native tongues,” wrote Ong in an email interview for this article. 24

The event was simple but significant. Instead of being spearheaded by established activists or NGOs, it had been organised by young mothers, and attracted the support of numerous other parents and families who might not otherwise have participated in collective action. NLB eventually changed its mind, placing And Tango Makes Three and The White Swan Express in the adult reference sections rather than pulping them.

Ong admits that it wasn’t an easy decision for her to make, but one that eventually had a big impact: “It was hard for me to even set up that Facebook group, and I spoke to a lot of people whose opinion I respect before I dared to be one of the two organisers of this read-in. Once I committed to it, though, I became very cognisant of the power inherent in two young mothers taking such a public and visual stand. … I don't know about Jolene but for me that required digging really deep to find courage I didn't know I had.”

Although early activism ebbed and flowed according to the generation’s needs, the women’s movement has grown steadily since the 1980s. The use of technology and social media has allowed individuals to learn more about feminism and the feminist movement, as well as participate in modest but significant ways. The challenge for today’s activists would be to continue to find ways to harness this vibrant online space and channel it towards pushing for substantial and meaningful policy change.

  1. Chew, Phyllis Ghim Lian. “The Singapore Council Of Women And The Women's Movement'.” Journal of South East Asian Studies 25 ( doi:10.1017/s0022463400006706.
  2. Choy, Elizabeth. “The Founding of the Singapore Council of Women” (Minutes of Ladies Meeting on 20th Nov. 1951 at 352-A Tanjong Katong Road). Reproduced at http://www.postcolonialweb.org/singapore/gender/scw/founding1951.html.
  3. See note 2
  4. Siraj, Khatijun Nissa and Zaibun Siraj. Interview with Kirsten Han, 24 February 2015.
  5. “Don Hits At 'Plot' To Give Women Guilt Complex.” The Straits Times, 1 November 1976. Accessed [17 December 2014]. http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/newspapers/Digitised/Article/straitstimes19761101.2.95.aspx.
  6. Tan, Anamah. Interview with Leigh Pasqual, 22 December 2014.
  7. Thilliampalam Kulasekaram, Vimalavathy. “Women Through The Years: Economic & Family Lives.” Interview by Annie Chua. Oral History Centre, National Archives of Singapore, 16 June 1994. http://www.nas.gov.sg/archivesonline/oral_history_interviews/record-details/bd1d4ea2-115f-11e3-83d5-0050568939ad.
  8. Tambyah, Leaena. Interview with Kirsten Han, 15 January 2015.
  9. Chew, Phyllis and Tan Ee Sze. “Singapore Women – Looking Back (1950 – 1989).” In Voices and Choices: The Women’s Movement in Singapore, 1st ed., edited by Jenny Lim Lam and Phyllis Chew, 82-147. Singapore: Times Press, 1993.
  10. Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations board. Email interview with Kirsten Han, 12 March 2015.
  11. See note 10.
  12. Lyons, Lenore. “The Birth of AWARE.” In Small Steps, Giant Leaps: A History of AWARE and the Women’s Movement in Singapore, 1st ed., edited by Mandakini Arora, 84–117. Singapore: AWARE, 2007.
  13. See note 4.
  14. UN Women. Email interview with Kirsten Han, 3 February 2015.
  15. Thomas, Margaret. Interview with Kirsten Han and Lydia Shah, 25 February 2015.
  16. Singam, Constance. Where I Was: A Memoir From The Margins. Singapore: Select Books, 2013..
  17. Lai, Ah Eng. “Shut Up And Sit Down! Stand Up And Speak Out!: The AWARE EGM As Performance Of Civil Society In Singapore.” In The AWARE Saga: Civil Society And Public Morality In Singapore, edited by Terence Chong, 1st ed., 133–155. Singapore: NUS Press, 2011.
  18. Singam, Constance, Margaret Thomas, and Vivienne Wee. Interview with Kirsten Han, 18 November 2015.
  19. See note 18.
  20. Wee, Vivienne. “AWARE Re-Pluralised, Re-Secularised.” In The AWARE Saga: Civil Society And Public Morality In Singapore, edited by Terence Chong, 1st ed., 156–174. Singapore: NUS Press, 2011.
  21. Ho, Vanessa. Interview with Kirsten Han, 19 January 2015.
  22. Annamalai, Kokila. Email interview with Leigh Pasqual, 20 January 2015.
  23. Tan, Xing Qi and Belmont Lay. “17-year-old JC girl gives Focus on the Family the tongue-lashing they deserve for their pathetic gender stereotypes.” Mothership.sg, 7 October 2014. Accessed [8 April 2015]. http://mothership.sg/2014/10/17-year-old-jc-girl-gives-focus-on-the-family-the-tongue-lashing-they-deserve-for-their-pathetic-gender-stereotypes/
  24. Ong, Germaine. Interview with Kirsten Han, 30 January 2015.