Category: International Women’s DayPage 1 of 3
International Women’s Day, which takes place on 8th March every year, is a global movement celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women around the world. It also puts on the forefront the further need for equality between men and women.
In celebration of International Women’s Day 2023, we’ve curated our favourite interviews with some incredible women in Singapore whom we love and respect. We hope that their stories inspire you to acknowledge their contributions and join them in fighting the good fight.
“I started volunteering in the gender advocacy scene at 16 because of my single mother. Growing up, I witnessed her financial and mental health struggles as she became both the sole breadwinner and homemaker almost overnight.”
“My latest work, ‘To Kill The Birds & The Bees’, is a satirical slice of life film that talks about sex education – or lack thereof – in Singapore. It follows the crazy sexual encounters of four Singaporeans and how they unfold.”
“Society puts a huge pressure on us to be attached to someone, to want children and to reach other societal milestones. Ann is wondering: ‘Do I really want that? And on what terms do I want that? Is it possible to find what you want, and what does it require of our partners?’”
“And to everyone who’s watching this play, I hope you come to realise that it’s okay if your life is turning out differently from what you thought it would be. If you want to remain unmarried until the age of 35, so be it. Don’t want kids? That doesn’t make you any less normal. Go write your own story.”
“What convinced me to take up this role were the many cultural touchpoints that I very much identify with. Faith talks about our struggles with work-life balance, societal and self-imposed pressures, and the gender roles that we conform to or rail against.”
“When the audience watches ‘The Fourth Trimester’, I hope they understand that at the end of the day, it’s not about embodying or being an ‘ideal’. We shouldn’t be so dogged by the idea of perfection that we lose what it means to be in the present.”
“So it always comes back to the same question of ‘Are you happy?’ And what does it even mean to be happy? Does it even matter? Because it’s really hard to be happy in Singapore. There are so many expectations and it’s all very heartbreaking.”
“Age 15, fascinated by the Pixar movie Wall-E which inspired an idiosyncratic habit of collecting toilet rolls, I kickstarted a national environmental initiative – ToiletRollSG – with the aim of recycling cardboard toilet rolls to be sold…”
Humans of Sentosa | “If your job isn’t your cup of tea but you still work for financial reasons, then work will feel like a drag. But if you love what you do, you’ll look forward to work everyday.”
In Part 1 of ‘People of the Arts: Stories from Singapore to Germany’, Weish talks about finding her voice through theatre in these dire times.
“I’ve never looked at someone on social media and said that I want her butt or that body. Because firstly, it’s totally different genetics. And secondly, what she does day to day, God knows! How would I ever know whether she’s suffering or really happy?”
“During those two years, he was sober for only six months. Yet everyday, being sober was a mental battle for him, and I wasn’t aware of it. Whenever he was on edge and I triggered him, it took everything within him to restrain himself from drinking his problems away.”
“Radio gave me my calling, that I should spread joy and laughter wherever I go, and to make a difference, one life a day. And that’s exactly our philosophy at MADLY Gems – to spread joy and beauty and make a difference in a person’s life, one bespoke piece at a time.”
Humans of Sentosa | “When I started paddleboarding back in 2014, I remember seeing lots of trash floating on the water. One day, I decided to bring a trash bag with me and started picking up trash. People thought I was crazy for collecting rubbish out at sea on my paddleboard…”
People of Legends | “I guess I had to learn to be super independent. And thanks to boxing, I learnt to be more confident, even without the presence of a male figure. In the past, guys would be overly touchy, be it at work or in public spaces. Some customers would lean on me and even touch my butt.”
“I think people who discriminate against others don’t get a lot of exposure or knowledge about people of different races and religions. Somehow, they have been influenced wrongly, so they assume the worst. Just get more information before you spread rumours or hate.”
Humans of Sentosa | “But now when I go home and sleep at night, I can sleep properly because I feel like I did something good that day. So no matter which industry you’re in, as long as you’re happy doing your work, I think that’s all that matters…”
“I’ve been a workaholic my whole life. For someone who’s been working the way I have for the past 16 years, it’s a bit hard to adjust, right? I just love working. But I also realise there is more to life. I should enjoy myself more and take care of the people around me.”
Humans of Sentosa | “Here, you get to see hawksbill turtles that come to lay their eggs and dolphins that swim around our coast. It’s very cool.”
“If I have any advice for other caretakers, it’s to learn to have empathy and compassion for yourself. I think many times we think that we can do better and must do better. But we are human and there is only so much you can do for yourself and your loved ones.”