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Women and the ASEAN Charter

Posted by theonlinecitizen on March 27, 2008


Working for an ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism

An Invitation

Women and the ASEAN Charter

Forum to celebrate International Women’s Day and to discuss the role women play in the ASEAN Charter and the envisioned Human Rights Body (Article 14).

MARUAH Singapore joins the international community in commemorating International Women’s Day by hosting public forum to discuss the role of women in Singapore as well as in ASEAN.

The forum will include the following speakers and the accompanying subjects:

Mr Peter Low – The ASEAN Charter & an ASEAN Human Rights Body: What is it? And how it will affect Singapore.

Ms Braema Mathi – The ASEAN Charter and Women’s Rights.

Ms Constance Singam – Women’s rights in Singapore: what does it mean?”

– Mr Benny Ong – Dollars and cents: socio-economic rights of women.

The forum will end with a question and answer session that will be open to all.

Date : Saturday, 29 March 2008

Time : 3.00 pm – 5.00pm (Registration opens at 2.30pm)

Venue :Function Hall, 5th Storey Podium, URA Building, Maxwell Road


About MARUAH Singapore

MARUAH Singapore is the Singapore focal point for the Working Group for an ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism. We are a group of individuals who have made a commitment to this process of facilitating for an ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism. We believe that such a process will be good for the region and for Singapore.

We come from all backgrounds – professionals, students, homemakers, academics,

activists, lawyers, doctors, writers – to give our best shot to make some difference on the ground and at policy-level. We coalesced into a group on September 14th and have been growing ever since – gaining clarity in our mission, in the tasks ahead and in our commitment.

MARUAH means Dignity in Malay, Singapore‘s national language. We are keen to impress that Human Rights is all about maintaining, restoring and reclaiming one’s dignity at the individual, regional and international level.

More information on MARUAH Singapore is on

About the Working Group for an ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism

The Working Group for an ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism’s (Working Group) primary goal is to establish an intergovernmental human rights commission for ASEAN. It is a coalition of national working groups from ASEAN states which are composed of representatives of government institutions, parliamentary human rights committees, the academe, and NGOs.

The Working Group follows a step-by-step, constructive and consultative approach when it engages governments and other key players in the region. It is recognised as an entity associated with ASEAN under the ASEAN Charter.

More information on Working Group for an ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism is on

About International Women’s Day

Please visit for more details.

Speaker Profiles

Peter Low
Peter Low is a trial lawyer and has about 30 years’ experience in court work. He is a former President of the Law Society. He has been and is still involved in Human Rights issues under the auspices of the Law Society as well as in his court work.

Braema Mathi
Braema Mathi is a former Nominated Member of Parliament; a former President of AWARE and current Vice-President of AFA. She led Transient Workers Count Too and its precursor, The Working Committee 2 from 2002-2007. She is also a founding member of MARUAH.

Constance Singam
Constance Singam was the chair of the Singapore NGO (Non-Government Organization) committee for the 4th UN World Conference on Women and served as the President of AWARE. She was also the President of the Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations from 1990-1993.

Benny Ong
Benny Ong is the founding director of a Life Planning Associates Pte Ltd and the current VP of the Society of Financial Service Professionals (Spore Chapter). He has lectured part time at the Singapore Institute of Management for several years on the subject of Financial Planning and has conducted many seminars for churches, financial institutions and voluntary groups. He has also contributed numerous articles to the Singapore Exchange Journal, the Business Times and the Impact Christian Communication Magazine.



One Response to “Women and the ASEAN Charter”

  1. The day since women liberation was declared all over the world, the world is getting upside down.

    I study most religious scriptures and they painted women as playing a supporting role to the men. So far I have not read any scripture advocating the superior role of women.

    To make the world more peaceful, women should let the men to lead in politics. In business, I am not too sure.

    What I want to hightlight is countries with women head of state or president, like Philippines, Argentina, England, Netherland etc etc. These countries will have major problems. If you study Sri Lanka, the country was worst when it has a woman president.

    Basic human rights depends on the individual country or enthic group. Women circumcision is practised only in certain countries. Honour killing is also practised in backward countries and their citizens who migrated to the West. If the country concerned does not stop this sort of atrocities, how do you expect the people behave decently.

    Even in Singapore, a slap on other people was considered a criminal case but now most are considered civial cases of minot violence. This is breeding violence on the part of Singaporeans who bully others.

    My advice is not to let too many women into politics. And don’t let them head the country as president. This is bad omen for the country. People in the Philippines should know this better than others because they have 2 women presidents.

    My system of government is to appoint a young man as president as a figure head of state. He should be married with at least a son. His main duty is to meditate and eat vegetarian food. To conwuer the world is actually conwuering self.

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