Monday, 27 April 2009

TWC Statement on AWARE: 27 April 2009

TWC2 is very concerned about the AWARE leadership takeover. AWARE has been an important important partner in our work to improve the welfare of migrant workers in Singapore and champion for their rights. AWARE has ensured that issues of discrimination against migrant domestic workers are not left out in the CEDAW report and has consulted us in preparing the shadow reports. We have also joined hands with AWARE through its White Ribbon Campaign to raise awareness of the issue of violence against migrant domestic workers. As an established organisation that runs an effective and structured helpline for women in distress, AWARE has been generous in sharing its expertise with nascent organisations such as TWC2. AWARE's social worker and volunteers have helped us in training our volunteers to staff our helpline service for migrant workers. In addition, AWARE has also taken on issues concerning the vulnerabilities of foreign brides in Singapore and the trafficking of women and children for cross-border sex trade.

The above examples, show that AWARE is far from being a single-issue organisation obsessed with promoting homosexual issues. AWARE is a dynamic organisation that has stayed true to its core mission of championing for the rights of women underpinned by values such as inclusiveness. By advocating the issues concerning migrant domestic workers, foreign brides and trafficked women and children, AWARE has shown that it understands the multiple forms in which discrimination and marginalisation of women can take place as Singapore becomes more globalised. This is largely attributed to a competent leadership that truly understands the multiplicities of gender inequality and the complex social processes that underpin gender discrimination. If AWARE's future stand to be shaped by a group of individuals that do not have a solid understanding of gender inequality and whose motivation is driven by a single-issue objective, we risk losing a valuable partner in our work. Singapore may also stand to lose as more than two decades of advocacy work that aim to tackle the roots of gender inequality may be lost because of a lack of vision.

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