Include all policies in debate on gender equality

Former journalist Margaret Thomas and former Nominated MP Kanwaljit Soin in their opinion piece ask why CareShield Life premiums should be pegged to gender, but not other factors such as educational attainment and ethnicity (Three niggling questions about CareShield Life; July 19).

Their question is reasonable.

However, other national policies such as national service and the National Physical Fitness Award (Napfa) test differentiate on gender but not on educational attainment and ethnicity.

This is despite the 2010 National Health Survey showing that obesity, a major marker of fitness, varies with ethnicity and education level.

If Ms Thomas and Dr Soin wish to advocate gender neutrality, it would be good for them to raise the issue in the overall context of Singapore policy.

The debate should cover the largest ramification of gender neutrality for our country, that is to our NS policy.

Sivanesh Sivarajan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 21, 2018, with the headline 'Include all policies in debate on gender equality'. Print Edition | Subscribe