8 inducted into S'pore Women's Hall of Fame

When Madam Saleha Mohamed Shah became a journalist in the 1950s, the workplace was very much a man's world.

Only about one in five women of working age was employed.

"There was no place for women then. But I wanted to show society that women could also do what men could," said the 86-year-old, who hoped to pave the way for women to be treated equally.

Women like Ms Lee Mei Yi faced fewer obstacles because of her gender when she joined the Republic of Singapore Air Force in 2004.

Madam Saleha and Ms Lee, 38, were among eight trailblazers who were inducted into Singapore Woman's Hall Of Fame on Wednesday, which was also International Women's Day.

The others honoured for breaking barriers were fashion designers Celia Loe and Esther Tay, early childhood education pioneer Khoo Kim Choo, humanitarian worker Janet Lim, artist Amanda Heng and author and playwright Ovidia Yu.

President Halimah Yacob, speaking at the ceremony at Istana, said that while women in Singapore have achieved significant progress over the years, there are still gender stereotypes and barriers that limit them from achieving full potential.

Citing the shortage of women in leadership positions, she hoped that work to introduce workplace fairness legislation and to entrench flexible work arrangements will encourage women to participate more fully in the workplace.

Ultimately, gender equality and the empowerment of women go beyond legislation and policies, said Madam Halimah.

The Straits Times


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