Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10497/4646
Title: 
The Singapore Council of Women and the women's movement
Authors: 
Issue Date: 
Mar-1994
Citation: 
Chew, P. G. L. (1994). The Singapore Council of Women and the women's movement. Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, 25(1), 112-140.
Abstract: 
The greater part of the historical literature concerning Southeast Asia says little about women because, following the western tradition, writers have concentrated on those individuals associated with decision making and power, areas where men have featured predominantly. Although women have contributed significantly to social and political movements, they have been neglected in historical accounts and often, their contribution has been excluded altogether. Even studies dealing specifically with legislation involving women's rights in Singapore such as the Women's Charter, have given insufficient attention to the part played by women in laying much of the preliminary groundwork.

To redress the situation, this article focuses on the activities of the Singapore Coun
cil of Women (SCW) and the women's movement in Singapore. It tells how from the
year of its inception (1952) to the passing of the Women's Charter in 1961, the SCW
became the first women's organization which boldly sought to change existing laws af
fecting women through legislation. The group's single-minded thrust against the prac
tice of polygamy gained its widespread publicity and for the first time in Singapore's
history, excited and engaged the loyalty and energy of a broad spectrum of women
towards achieving a common goal. The SCW was strikingly successful. Within five
years, the Muslim Ordinance was passed which included many of the demands which
were first brought to public attention by the SCW. Within eight years, in 1961, the
Women's Charter granting most of their demands, became law in Singapore.
URI: 
ISSN: 
0022-4634
Other Identifiers: 
10.1017/S0022463400006706
Appears in Collections:Journal Articles

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