Stories of inspirational women in Singapore to be taught as lessons for children and youth

The book, launched on International Women's Day on March 8, featured 160 women from the Singapore Women's Hall of Fame. PHOTO: EPIGRAM BOOKS

SINGAPORE - A book on the life stories of honourees in the Singapore Women's Hall of Fame (SWHF) will be used as a teaching guide to inspire children and young people.

Copies of the children's book, Awesome Women of Singapore, will be distributed to all primary and secondary schools, madrasahs, and homes for children and youth in April by the Singapore Council of Women's Organisations (SCWO).

They will also receive a range of teaching aids and interactive tools to help the young think about their goals in life and how to overcome obstacles they might face.

The initiative, Project Awesome: Dare to Dream, was announced by SCWO on Tuesday (March 9). It is supported by Deloitte Singapore and the School of the Arts (Sota).

The book, launched on International Women's Day on Monday, featured 160 women from SWHF, including Dr Oon Chiew Seng, the first gynaecologist in Singapore to go into private practice, and women's rights activist Shirin Fozdar, who founded the now defunct Singapore Council of Women.

"Many of the awesome women were trailblazers who, driven by their vision of a better life, broke through structural and cultural barriers and carved out new paths for themselves and for others," said SCWO.

The book also showcases the works of 10 local women artists who were commissioned to draw the portraits of 100 women in the hall of fame.

Besides distributing the book to target groups, SCWO also plans to conduct a pilot between April this year and March 2022 to gather feedback from teachers and students to refine the programme.

By 2026, the project aims to have 50 per cent of Singapore's students participate in at least one of its activities.

Ms Margaret Thomas, who chairs the SWHF working committee and is a member of the SCWO Board, said: "We are keen to work with many more community partners - corporations, educational institutions, civil society organisations, individuals - and to build an awesome community."

At present, Deloitte Singapore is committing funds, while students from Sota helped design Project Awesome's logo.

Noting that the Government has embarked on a national review of women's development and will present these findings in a White Paper later this year, Ms Thomas added that the book will help in the effort to "show boys that women are as capable as men in all areas, and it will give girls strong role models".

Members of the public can contribute to the fund-raising efforts for Project Awesome, which include a campaign on, at this website.

This article has been edited for clarity.

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