Forum: Focus on obstacles to gender equality

Office workers at Raffles Place on Sept 30, 2020.
Office workers at Raffles Place on Sept 30, 2020.PHOTO: ST FILE

Last month, Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam announced a comprehensive review of issues affecting women (Review of women's issues to change mindsets on equality, Sept 21).

It is high time we take a national approach towards issues concerning gender equality.

I concur with Mr Shanmugam that the focal point of dialogues should be the underlying cultural and structural issues which have led to entrenched values and mindsets hindering gender equality.

Speaking from the perspective of a social work student, the profession has seen, heard and dealt with countless situations where the crux of a concern stemmed from the power imbalance between genders.

However, as we champion gender equality and address the gender inequalities in our society, let us not forget that gender equality is not just about women's issues.

Men too face gender-based discrimination, assault and violence.

Perhaps we can consider shifting our focus to achieving gender equity where we treat men and women fairly based on their respective needs. Nonetheless, it is heartening that the Government is taking the first step in tackling the issue of gender equality, and I anticipate the positive changes it will bring about in the future.

Thong Ling Yink, 23

University undergraduate

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 19, 2020, with the headline 'Focus on obstacles to gender equality'. Print Edition | Subscribe