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Population size: 

5,971,313 [1]

Economic Empowerment

There have been notable efforts to progress women's development, particularly in the workplace, in Singapore in recent years. The Whitepaper on Singapore Women's Development was a groundbreaking report launched at the end of March 2022 detailing current progress towards gender equality in Singapore and 25 collective action plans by the government and the community designed to improve the lives of women in the country [2].

Women in Singapore have equal rights and protection at a legal level in the workplace under the Employment Act and other legislation. Employment rates for women are increasing (from 53% in 1994 to 75% in 2021), including at more senior levels although overall figures still remain low. The percentage of women on boards of Singapore's Top 100 listed companies increased from 7.5% in 2014 to 19.7% in January 2-22 [3]. Although women make up around 64% of the labour force, Singapore's gender pay gap remains around 16%, a figure that has changed very little over the past 20 years [4].

Women represent a higher-than-average percentage of total STEM intake in autonomous Universities at 41%. However, gaps seem to widen when women enter the workforce. Only 58% of women with STEM qualifications work in related jobs, compared to 70% of men, and only two thirds of women who start their careers in STEM stay on in the field. Although women have a high level of interest in STEM subjects, they are being drawn away from careers in STEM - this suggests that workplaces in these fields are not places where women thrive [5].

A significant barrier for women in the workplace in Singapore include high levels of workplace sexual harassment and gender discrimination. Research reveals that over 70% of women in Singapore agree that gender discrimination exists in the workplace [6]. Furthermore, a 2021 survey showed that 2 in 5 workers encountered some form of workplace sexual harassment in the preceding five years and 163 new cases of technology-facilitated sexual violence against women were reported in 2021 [7].

Another significant barrier for women's equal economic participation at all levels is inequality in domestic and care work. Women in Singapore face a "triple shift" that includes their careers, raising children and caring for elderly parents. A Mckinsey study found that women and mothers are three times as likely as fathers to do most of the housework and caregiving and, although Singapore's full-time female employment rate has been rising over the past 10 years, this has not been mirrored by greater equality in shares of domestic and unpaid care work [8]. Furthermore, stay-at-home fathers in Singapore face stigma and family workplace policies continue to signal that childcare is a woman's responsibility and therefore reinforce harmful gender stereotypes [9].

Women's Participation in Politics

A record number of women entered Singapore's Parliament after the 2020 election so that 29% of seats available were help by women, a figure that has remained largely unchanged since but is an improvement from 23% in 2019 and is the highest figure to date. It is worth noting that, in 1996, this figure was 5%. There is still much to be done to improve diversity in Singapore's Parliament, however the general up