Our Presidents

Mrs. Seow Peck Leng

Founding President, Mrs Seow Peck Leong

1954 - 1991



SWA's Founder, the late Mrs Seow Peck Leng (neé Chua Seng Kim 17 September 1911 - 13 April 2007) was a politician, educator and advocate for women's rights. She was one of the first women members of parliament in Singapore and the only woman of an opposition party at the time.

Mrs Seow first went to Singapore Chinese Girls' School then Raffles Girls' School and started teaching in 1930. She was an active member with the Singapore Teacher's Union.

A confident and caring woman, she went on to join the Singapore Council of Women led by Shirin Fozdar in 1952. She became the principal of the Cantonment School in 1954 the same year, she founded the Siglap Girls' Club, to help underprivileged girls in Singapore. And in 1957, she expanded the mission of the club and renamed the group to Singapore Women's Association. She was President until 1991.

Mrs Seow was voted into Parliament as a candidate of Singapore People's Alliance (SPA) in 1959. She was the only opposition MP woman in Parliament at the time. Mrs Seow was able to work with members of the other party, the People's Action Party (PAP) to work towards gender equality. She was involved with helping to pass the Women's Charter, and the 1962 provision for equal pay for equal work in the civil service sector. She lost her seat in 1963 and retired from politics in 1965.

Mrs Seow Peck Leng then focus her efforts on charity work and devoted herself tirelessly to improving the lives of people – especially women. She cared deeply for women in the lower strata of society. She felt that the upper strata, who were aware of their rights and privileges, should be educated to become responsible citizens. During her time as an MP, she advocated the organization of centers that could advise the poor on where and how they could obtain help, as well as the formation of more youth clubs. She also campaigned for improving literacy rates amongst women, as well as for men to take a more active role in housework.

In 1975, she then focus her efforts on charity work. Mrs Seow promoted Miss Singapore World beauty pageant shows for charity and encourage women to help the less fortunate. In 1977, she was given a plaque of Life Patronage of the International Variety Club for raising the most charity funds. The Ministry of Social Affairs awarded her a Certificate of Appreciation for "valuable services rendered to others. And in 1977, Mrs Seow added another title, Miss Singapore International to beauty pageant.

Mrs Seow passed away on 13th April 2007. The strides that she made in fighting for the rights of women and people will forever live on.


Mrs Seow had left us a legacy. In 2005, she was honored on the Wall of Fame created by the Singapore Council of Women's Organisations (SCWO). In 2014, she was added to the Singapore Memory Project and was inducted into the Singapore Women's Hall of Fame.

Ms. Susy Chia Boon Neo

President of SWA from 1991 to 2002 

Susy is an educationist like our founding president. She has been actively involved with SWA since she joined the association in 1956. SWA was then known as Siglap Girls' Club and in 1991, Susy became the second President of SWA.

In 2001, Susy was elected President of the Federation of Asia-Pacific Women’s Association (FAWA) during the Convention in Jakarta, Indonesia. SWA hosted FAWA Convention in Singapore in 2004 during her term. Susy been involved with the Singapore VisionCare Programme (SVP), an initiative for seniors in the early detection and prevention of any eye disorders, thus improving vision and quality of life. SVP was launched by SWA Founding President, the late Mrs Seow Peck Leng in April 1990.

During her term, Susy witnessed many successes of the various SWA projects.

Ms. Sara Mei Woo

President of SWA from 2002 to 2016 

Ms Sara Mei or Mei Woo is involved with Singapore Women’s Association (SWA) since 1975. Sara was elected President in March 2002 and appointed Advisor in 2014. SWA in 1959 is a founding member of the Federation of Asia-Pacific Women’s Association (FAWA) and Sara is actively involved since 1982. She had the opportunity to work closely with and learning from our Founding President, the late Mrs Seow Peck Leng and was involved in the FAWA Convention held in Singapore in 1982, 1986 and as chair in 2004. Sara was elected International President 2014-2016 in Seoul, Korea and in October 2016 Singapore, SWA hosted the 22nd FAWA Convention. At the 23rd FAWA Convention in Manila, Philippines, Sara is appointed Advisor since 2018. She also served two terms with the SCWO Board.

Sara is instrumental in organizing fund-raising events for SWA’s local and overseas projects like film benefit, Himalaya. And in 2018, she launched Project Taking Charge for women from abused families living in shelters. Sara attended the UN Forum ‘85 World Conference on Women in Nairobi and Beijing+25 in 1995. Presented country papers at FAWA Conventions, chaired Panel of Speakers and Workshops.

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