SINGAPORE - From urging more flexible work arrangements to greater protection for victims of domestic violence, the White Paper on Singapore Women's Development unveiled on Monday (March 28) outlines the Government's plans to improve the lives of women here.
It took in feedback from the ground to enhance respite care options for caregivers - of which the bulk are women - as well as to allow elective egg freezing.
Here are the 25 action plans laid out in the report.
Area 1: Equal opportunities in the workplace
1. New laws to ensure fair employment practices, plus ensuring those who come forward to report issues have their identities protected and are not retaliated against.
2. New Tripartite Guidelines on Flexible Work Arrangements by 2024, to require employers to consider employees' flexiwork requests fairly and properly.
3. Career mentorship, networking opportunities and training programmes for women at work and re-entering the workforce.
4. Encouraging greater utilisation of parental leave.
5. Revised Singapore Exchange Listing Rules and Practice Guidance to the Code of Corporate Governance to support greater board diversity, including gender diversity.
6. Council for Board Diversity will lead efforts to increase women's representation on boards.
Area 2: Recognition and support for caregivers
7. Respite care options to be enhanced; Household Services Scheme will be expanded to include basic child- and elder-minding services.
8. Home Caregiving Grant will be increased from $200 a month to up to $400 a month.
9. Greater access to affordable and quality pre-schools; a child and maternal health well-being strategy will be developed.
10. Awareness of caregiver support initiatives will be ramped up, with a push for community-based peer support networks.
11. More support for caregivers of persons with disabilities and children with developmental needs.
Area 3: Protection against violence and harm
12. Penalties for three sexual offences have been raised, and the Attorney-General's Chambers will generally object to rehabilitative sentences for adult offenders who commit sexual and hurt offences.
13. Greater protection for victim-survivors of family violence, including a helpline with expanded capacity and multiple modes of reporting, such as a mobile app.
14. More awareness and accessibility of resources for victims of online harms.
15. Strengthened support and awareness of resources on workplace harassment.
16. New national framework to promote safe sport.
17. Promote values of respect and safety through education - from pre-schools to institutes of higher learning.
Area 4: Other support measures for women
18. Enhanced support for single parents.
19. Greater support for divorcing or divorced women, including the option of divorce by mutual agreement of the irretrievable breakdown of marriage, as well as better enforcement of maintenance orders.
20. More support for low-income families with children, such as piloting a child-minding service out of usual childcare centre operating hours.
21. Elective egg freezing to be allowed in 2023 for women aged 21 to 35 years, but only legally married couples can use this for procreation.
Area 5: Mindset shifts
22. Women's Charter has been updated to better reflect women's equal status to men in marriage.
23. Gender stereotypes about careers will be addressed through education; Character and Citizenship Education curriculum in schools will address equity of familial roles.
24. Develop gender-responsive standards under the Singapore Standardisation Programme.
25. A public garden will be dedicated to honouring and celebrating the pioneering spirit of Singapore women.