Singapore to provide more workplace opportunities for women
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the white paper will address three broad areas government policies and programmes can help in leveling the playing field for women: more equal workplace opportunities, more caregiver support and increased protection for women, both physically and online.
PM Lee was speaking at the closing session of Conversations on Singapore Women’s Development where he said the government will study the issue Conversations on Singapore Women’s Development (CSWD) has brought up during a year-long review of issues concerning women to develop and implement these proposals.
The CSWD initiative was launched in September last year, and 160 conversations involving more than 5,700 participants have since been conducted.
Women’s home responsibilities can spillover to affect their career progression, with some employers reluctant to hire, promote or groom female employees. In some cases, it is serious enough to constitute workplace discrimination, Lee said, adding that it is “unjust”, and employers should not “let prejudices become obstacles to women’s progress”.
Besides legislating fair treatment for female employees under the Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices, the prime minister said more measures will be implemented to improve childcare arrangements to make it easier for mothers to go back to work, or better still, not leave the workforce in the first place.
Lee also said the Ministry of Health (MOH) will also look at enhancing the Home Caregiving Grant, which helps families to alleviate the cost of care, to better support women who have caregiving responsibilities, as well as providing more support for the well-being of caregivers.