Significant Achievements & Events
|Started as a Girls’ Club – Siglap Girls’ Club. |
Original aim was to serve the needs of under-privileged girls.
|One of the Founder members of the Federation of Asian Women’s Associations, headquarters in Manila. |
Biennially, a conference would be held in one of the Asian countries to discuss matters concerning the welfare to Asia, and to promote goodwill and understanding among women in Asian countries.
|After the People’s Association took over all activities for the Youth Movement, the Club concentrated on its senior members. |
Changed its name to Singapore Women’s Association. The aim is to encourage women to play a more important role in the educational, cultural, social and economic development of Singapore.
Also known as Persekutuan Wanita Singapura during the days of Singapore’s merger with Malaysia.
|To help the early HDB residents in the 60’s to adapt to the modern facilities and amenities. SWA conducted a survey on “New Life in New Home” to find out the effects of this move on the people concerned. The 74-page report in the form of a book, “New Life in New Homes” was published in 1965. Copies of the report were sent to the National University & Libraries at their request. |
|With the aim of promoting racial harmony and understanding. SWA staged the “Malam Peranakan” at the Victoria Theatre which illustrated how Malay and Chinese cultures had been unconsciously blended into a new culture and how willingness to understand and appreciate one another’s culture, and tolerance, co-operation and understanding among the various races in Singapore had made it possible for Singapore to progress from the swamp-land and fishing village that it was a century ago to her present status of an important port and busy city. |
Besides encouraging racial harmony, the said show was also of great cultural value. The authenticity of the cast that included people over 70 years of age, the ceremonies, furniture and costumes were antiques from the said era. This gave people of Singapore, especially the young, an insight into the customs and traditions practiced in Singapore a century ago.
|SWA organized a seminar on the Women’s Charter. Thousands of customary marriages were rendered null and void because of the 1967 amendment in Section 21 of the Women’s Charter. |
In 1973 the Government decided to grant amnesty and to give more publicity on the ruling. As a result more than 10,000 marriages were legalized.
|One outstanding project which the SWA initiated and which was later completed by the Association for the Blind is the White Cane Club and Recreation Centre where blind people can spend their leisure happily and profitably. Funds were raised through bazaars and film premiers. |
|In response to the call for representations from the public by the Committee on Juvenile Crime and Delinquency, the SWA conducted a Forum on Motivations and Prevention of Crime & Delinquency – under the leadership of experts from the Central Narcotics Bureau, the Probation & Aftercare Dept., the Social Science Dept. of the Singapore University, a psychiatrist, and an author who has made a study on the effects of religion on society. |
Members from the Police, Education and Social Welfare Departments, Women’s organizations and Student Bodies participated from the floor. A copy of the report on the Seminar was sent to the Committee on Juvenile Crime & Delinquency at the request of its Chairman, Mr. Tan Boon Chiang who was present at the Seminar.
|The Committee on Drugs Abuse Among Youths invited SWA to present its views & recommendations on the subject. A consultation was held with experts on the matter & a memorandum with positive recommendations was sent to the said Committee on 19th July. |
One of the recommendations was that a Treatment & Rehabilitation Centre for girls, similar to that provided for boys should be set up. The recommendations had produced the desired results.
Rehabilitation of drugs addicts through the Teen Challenge was planned. Teen Challenge is an after-care programme for men and women who have completed treatment at government centers.
|SWA has been organising beauty pageants to raise funds for its community projects and for various welfare homes like the handicapped, the retarded, the sick, the old folks and also to the National Safety Council for the promotion of road, home and industrial safety. |
Besides generating funds, such pageants also provide the opportunity for young girls to be exposed to community services. The contestants are taken to various welfare homes. Not only are the girls made aware of the needs of the less fortunate and handicapped but they also learn how best these people can be helped.
|SWA organised a Christmas appeal and collected over $150,000 for the Children’s Charities with the help of the Kiwanis Club, a few women organisations and the wives of the Diplomatic Corp. |
|To celebrate International Women’s Year, SWA invited women’s organisations in Singapore to a gathering where each women’s association was given an opportunity to talk about the contributions it had made towards the social, economic, spiritual and physical development of Singapore, generally and of women in particular. This information was published in the SWA International Women’s Year – “Souvenir”. |
To commemorate this auspicious event, SWA established a Women’s Year Scholarship’s Fund to help deserving students, especially girls who cannot afford to continue with their studies.
|In the international arena, SWA has established links with similar organizations from abroad: |
SWA participated in the International Conference on the Status of Women, which was held at and organised by the University of Wisconsin in April 1975.
October 1975 – SWA sent 2 delegates to the World Congress for the International Women’s Year held in East Berlin.
December 1975 – SWA was represented by Mrs. Seow at the Asean Seminar on Integration of Women in Development as well as the meeting of Asean Women Leaders. Both meetings were held in Jakarta.
|SWA became one of the founder members of the Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations which has 23 women organizations affiliated to it then. |
The founder President of SWA, Mrs. Seow Peck Leng who represented SWA in the council was elected one of its Vice-Presidents and appointed to head the Education and Personal Development Committee.
Under her chairmanship a conference on “Women’s Participation in the Next decade” was held where over 200 people, mostly women, and including university dons, MPs and Heads of various Government Departments and other dignitaries participated actively. The then Minister for Trade and Industry gave the keynote speech. Later forums on “Joining Forces for Nation-Building” and on “Women and Manpower Planning” were organized by the SCWO.
|SWA in her capacity as one of the founder member of FAWA hosted the FAWA Interim Conference in Singapore. Nearly 200 women leaders from 11 Asian countries came to Singapore for the Conference. The Theme was “Towards a Better Quality Of Life”. |
|SWA played an active role in assisting the police to form Neighbourhood Watch Schemes. SWA members have formed such groups in various areas. |
|To help bridge the generation gap among members of the extended family and to promote filial piety in the 3-tier family, SWA with the help of the Extramural Studies of NUS, organized a 3-tier family camp-workshop at Pasir Ris that proved a great success. |
The sole object of the exercise was to promote understanding, tolerance, cooperation and harmony among the members of the extended family.
|To get senior citizens to express their needs, SWA again jointly with EMS of NUS, organized a workshop on “Towards A Golden Age” for senior citizens. The participants expressed their desire to pursue income-generating hobby courses, so that they can have more independent, happy and fruitful lives. Courses on mushroom cultivation (13/12/83) and a seminar-workshop on small businesses for senior citizens have been conducted under the auspices of EMS of NUS. |
|A brainstorming session on “Dangerous Littering” was held at Sheraton Hotel. It was jointly conducted by the SWA and National Safety Council with the aim of finding ways and means of discouraging this menace and thereby working towards a safer and better quality of life. |
The resource persons included sociologist Dr Ong Jin Hui, head of Sociology Dept., National University of Singapore; psychologist Mrs Elizabeth Nair, President of Psychologist Association; psychiatrist Dr Wong Yip Chong from the Singapore Nursing Home and forensic pathologist Professor Chao Tze Cheng. The rest of the committee comprised members of the National Safety Council, the Singapore Women’s Association and an Education Ministry Official.
The four-hour session produced five recommendations.
|FAWA celebrated its 25th Anniversary in the Philippines where the “Role of Women Organisations in the Development of Women and Children” was discussed. SWA sent 8 delegates to this conference. At this conference SWA’s founder President was elected FAWA President. |
|Published and launched an educational and community magazine, “Family Digest” with the aim of providing a sense of direction and guidance on issues and problems related to family life and life in general. Sponsored by Asia Foundation and Lee Foundation on a two-year project. The magazine was distributed free of charge to individuals and organisations like the NUS & libraries which will disseminate the knowledge to people who need guidance. |
|SWA participated in the World Forum ’85 in Nairobi, Kenya, East Africa where 35,000 women from all over the world attended the 7-day conference for women. |
|“The Arthritis and You” Programme at Bukit Gombak Community Centre. |
|Launch of Singapore VisionCare Programme (SVP) by Mr. Yeo Cheow Tong, then Acting Minister for Health - |
SWA in collaboration with other voluntary bodies: the National Safety Council, the Association for the Visually Handicapped, NTUC and the Singapore National Eye Centre founded the Singapore VisionCare Programme. The main objectives of the programme are:
1. Public education on the prevention of blindness, eye-care, eye diseases and treatment available
2. To deliver Eye Care Services to the Community in terms of detecting any eye disorders and improving vision and therefore quality of life.
Since then, many of our members have assiduously sacrificed their week-ends to run this programme. To reach out to the elderly, volunteer doctors ( from the Singapore National Eye Centre(SNEC); National University Hospital(NUH); Tan Tock Seng Hospital and those in private practice; and members of SWA conduct eye screening sessions on Sundays in partnership with Community Clubs; Old Folks’ Homes, mosques - for citizens above the age of 40 to detect any such eye problems.
The SVP is one of the on-going projects of SWA.
|Founder-President, Mrs. Seow Peck Leng stepped down as President after 30 over years of sterling leadership. |
Mrs. Susy Ts’ai, a retired principal was appointed the 2nd President of SWA.
|First publication of in-house newsletter for members – “Contact”. |
4th Quarter 1992 SWA relocated its office premise from Tan Boon Liat Building at Outram Road to Serangoon Central. Mr Chin Harn Tong, then MP for Aljunied GRC officially opened the premise on 25th April 1993.
|SWA joined SCWO with other Singapore women’s organizations to participate in the World Conference for Women in Beijing. |
|Since 1996 Through our Immediate Past President, Susy Ts’ai, SWA had been actively involved with the Singapore Eye Bank. The main objective of the eye bank is to increase public awareness of cornea donation. |
20th July 1997
|Organised the Association’s 1st Family Walk fund raising project – held at East Coast Park. The objective is to encourage families to join in this fun and healthy activity and to help raise funds for the needy and SWA’s other community projects. |
This event is held biennially.
|SWA was instrumental in setting up the volunteers’ pool to promote child safety at the Child Safety Centre at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital. The aim of this Centre is to help promote awareness of child injuries at home and its prevention. This project is jointly organized by KK Women’s and Children ’s Hospital, National Safety Council and Singapore Women ‘s Association. |
SWA undertook a project to help the under-privileged children in Nepal.
Since then SWA had been sponsoring a teacher’s salary and prize money for top 2 students of a village school, Shree Chandi Primary School for 5 different levels. The objective of the prize money sponsorship was to encourage the under-privileged children to have at least a basic education.
|Revised the Mission Statement to reflect the changing times. |
• To encourage women to play a more important role in the educational, cultural, social and economic development of Singapore.
• To give financial and social assistance to the handicapped, the underprivileged, the physically, mentally and socially sick.
• To raise funds for the purpose of implementing its objects.
• To bring cheer to the less fortunate.
The Revised Mission Statements:
A non-governmental and non-profit organisation committed to actively :
1. Provide opportunities for women to help one another socially, educationally, culturally and to serve the community especially the elderly.
2. Enhance better health, livelihood and social status for women and children.
3. Promote fellowship, cultural interests and participation in the community activities locally and globally.
15 & 16 Jan 2002
|A film benefit – “Himalaya” was held to raise funds in aid of 3 beneficiaries in Nepal. The $100,000 fund-raising project was supported by the Nepal Council General, the French Embassy and National Council of Social Service. Sponsored by Lee Foundation and an MNC. The beneficiaries were: |
1. Nepal Youth Opportunity Foundation – Nutritional Rehabilitation Home in Kathmandu – for seriously ill children who have been prematurely discharged from hospital due to lack of space.
2. Prisoners Assistance Mission – a refuge in Kathmandu which rescues children from a life in prison with their criminal parent(s) as there is no one else in their families who can afford to take them in.
3. Tindhara Pipaldanda School – a broken-down school struggling to cope with educating children from the surrounding 16 villages, from Class 1 to class 9.
|Ms Woo Choon Mei, HR Manager with a multi national organisation and an active member of SWA since 1975 became the 3rd President of SWA. |