8th March is International Women’s Day.
It is a special time to recognise the contributions of women in Singapore and to also assess if we are fair to them and have observed their rights well.
Caregivers – they are usually the most unnoticed in any society. In Singapore it is still the women who do this primary job. They look after the family. But as Singapore ages, more of the caregiving of the elderly is carried out by the women in homecare or in institutions. Sometimes it is a Singaporean woman, and sometimes it is a foreign woman who works as a nursing aide in a nursing home or who is here as a foreign domestic worker. Often the foreign women who work as caregivers are the invisible workers.
We appreciate, though, the growing group of men who share the caregiving load or who do the bulk of this work.
As we approach Singapore’s 50th anniversary as an independent nation, it is important to recognise the contributions of women. In 2015 we ask that more thought is given to the caregiving community of Singapore women, and the women from other countries who come here to work as carers.
Like how our pioneering women, Seow Peck Leng and Shirin Fozdar, pushed for the welfare of women in the tumultuous pre-independence days, we too need to appreciate the work of women, stand by them for their rights and ensure that the work they do is recognised.
MARUAH is grateful for women, from all walks of life, past and present, who have contributed to Singapore. We wish all of them a happy International Women’s Day.