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Senior Parliamentary Secretary Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim Reiterates Singapore's Commitment to Enhance Women's Economic Participation

Type: Press Releases

Topic(s): Women Empowerment


1. Senior Parliamentary Secretary (SPS) for Social and Family Development, Associate Professor Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, led the Singapore delegation to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Women and the Economy Forum (WEF) in La Serena, Chile. The APEC-WEF is an annual meeting of leaders from the public, private, non-government and academic sectors to discuss the empowerment of women across APEC economies.

2. This year, Singapore’s delegation comprised eight representatives from the Government, civil society and private sectors, signaling strong partnership and collaboration across various sectors in advancing women’s economic empowerment. The delegation included Mrs Laura Hwang, Singapore's Representative for women's rights on the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC), Ms Lavinia Thanapathy, 3rd Vice-President from Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations (SCWO) and Ms Teresa Teo, member of Business and Professional Association for Women (Third Chapter).

3. In his address at the High Level Policy Dialogue (4 October), SPS Faishal highlighted Singapore’s experience in promoting an enabling environment for women in Singapore to maximise their economic potential and be empowered to manage family and career aspirations. For example, Singaporean girls and boys are given equal access to quality and affordable higher education. Singapore also promotes flexible work arrangements and shared parental responsibilities to help women remain in the workforce while juggling family responsibilities. SPS also talked about Singapore’s initiatives to improve women’s representation on boards (See Annex A for SPS’s address).

4. SPS Faishal joined a panel discussion with public and private representatives from Chile on reducing the digital gender gap and promoting more women in STEM. During the dialogue, SPS shared about Singapore’s focus on digital inclusion to ensure that all Singaporeans have access to technology, the ability to seize the opportunities and reap benefits of technology in everyday living. For example, girls and boys are exposed to emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence in school. The SkillsFuture Movement also provides Singaporeans with opportunities to learn more skills after they enter the workforce and develop to their fullest potential.

5. Ms Lavinia Thanapathy, 3rd Vice-President from Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations (SCWO), was part of the delegation as a civil society representative. She mentioned, “In Singapore, the government is working with groups like the SCWO to unlock the full economic potential of women. I am delighted to participate in the APEC WEF conference alongside SPS and fellow delegates from Singapore. This platform is an opportunity for us to share our successes and listen for ideas from other nations to create greater equity for women to impact our economic growth positively”.



The APEC-WEF is an annual meeting of leaders from the public, private, non-government and academic sectors to discuss and exchange views on empowerment of women across APEC economics.
This year, the Government of Chile hosted APEC-WEF, with the theme “Advancing the inclusion of women in the economy”. There were 4 cascading priorities (i) Increasing the participation of women in non-traditional sectors; (ii) Bridging the digital literacy gender gap; (iii) Advancing women’s economic empowerment through data; and (iv) The endorsement of the Santiago Roadmap on Women and Inclusive Growth, which seeks to advance women’s economic participation in the APEC region by 2030.

Speech - APEC 2019.pdf