Message from Prof TOMMY KOH
Adviser, Unifem Singapore

The most conspicuous parts of the United Nations are the General Assembly, the UN Security Council and the UN Secretary General. The United Nations is, however, much more than this. It has been the stage where ideals have borne fruit and made global and local changes possible over the 65 years of its existence.

Take the ideal of gender equity. For thousands of years, women have been treated as second class human beings. Even in 1945, when the United Nations was founded, women did not have the right to vote in 21 of the 51 Member States. In the space of decades, the United Nations has brought about a revolution in the status of women, particularly, after the adoption of the Convention of the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).

Although we have come a long way in our quest for gender equity, there are still challenges that we must continue to work against: the trafficking of women and girls for prostitution; the practice of aborting female foetuses because of a preference for boys; the practice of forcing young girls into marriages and the practice of mutilating their genitals. We must intensify our efforts to end all forms of violence against women – whether in armed conflict or in a domestic setting. In addition, we must continue to work for the rights of women to education, employment and to lead dignified and empowered lives.

I have been an adviser to UNIFEM Singapore for more than a decade. I have watched the organization grow from just the will and perseverance of a few good women to what it is today – a strong, unified and dedicated organization that is engaged, not only in projects in Singapore, focused on ending violence against women and empowering women, but also working with NGOs around the region against the sex-trafficking of women and children.

I would like to commend UNIFEM Singapore and its team of dedicated women, and a few good men too, as well as the many individuals and corporate donors who have embraced the cause of gender equity and have supported UNIFEM Singapore in its mission.

I hope this year's SNOW ball will help UNIFEM Singapore raise much needed funds for its good work.

I wish everyone a magical evening ahead.

Ambassador Prof Tommy Koh

Ambassador Prof Tommy Koh's ties with the United Nations go back many years. He was Singapore's permanent representative to the United Nations from 1968 to 1971 and again from 1974 to 1984. He was president of the third United Nations conference on the law of the sea from 1981 to 1982 as well as chairman of the preparatory committee and the main committee of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development from 1990 to 1992.


For the past decade, the National Committee for UNIFEM Singapore has been hard at work at building a safe environment for women and children in developing nations across the region. Be it encouraging women empowerment in Nepal and Laos or battling violence and sex trafficking in Batam and Aceh. Be it running regular school talks, celebrating International Women's Day or fighting for a Day off for domestic workers. Be it holding SNOW fundraisers, or partnering with local banks and brands to help those less privileged.

For more detailed commentary on UNIFEM's projects these past ten years, check out our commemorative book HERE.

To view UNIFEM's 10 Year Anniversary Video now online, please visit HERE.


UNIFEM InCONVERSA-TION Series was launched with an up close and personal conversation with Dato Ambiga, winner of the 2009 International Woman of Courage Award. She is a resolute advocate of women's equality and their full political participation. In the face of death threats and intimidation, she has emerged as a strong voice of tolerance and justice.

Our October InConversation speakers were Mony Pen from Cambodia (click on podcast) and Anush Gupta from Goonj, winner of Lien Centre 3i Challenge.

UNIFEM Singapore Latest News



Women and girls hardly ever fight the world's wars, but they often suffer the most. Increasingly, they are the direct targets of fighting, when sexual violence is deliberately used as a tactic of warfare.

And yet fewer than 10 percent of the people who negotiate peace deals are women, and only about three dozen individuals have been convicted and jailed by international war crimes tribunals for committing or commanding widespread sexual violence.

Sexual violence in conflict is NOT inevitable. It can be stopped.

Ten years ago, in its landmark resolution 1325, the United Nations Security Council called for women's full and equal participation in all elements of peacemaking, and for prevention of this kind of violence. But implementation of this historic resolution has been too slow.

Make Women Count for Peace

Add your name to this petition and ask your government to support three steps to implement Security Council resolution 1325:

  • Prosecute those who command and/or commit sexual violence and exclude them from armies and police forces after conflict.
  • Ensure that women participate in peace negotiations and all post-conflict decision-making institutions.
  • Increase the number of women in troops, police forces and civilians within international peacekeeping efforts.


Thanks to UNIFEM and TBWA/Tequila Singapore, saved by the bell will now have a new connotation. Log on to our SoundOut website or on Sound Out Facebook to pledge your support against sex trafficking by 'ringing a bell.'

This campaign looks to raise awareness among Singapore's general public about the horrors of sex trafficking and what you can to do to stop it. The website contains up-to-date information on the issue, a calendar highlighting relevant events and contact information for schools and organizations looking to get involved in the fight against commercial sex.

Ring a Bell today. Who knows maybe you'll save someone from becoming a victim tomorrow.


UNIFEM Singapore is proudly launching our first "Invest in Her Life and Shape Her Future" membership - loyalty card.

In addition to existing benefits, UNIFEM members will also receive special discounts and offers by our partner merchants like special offers for yoga classes.


TRADE, The Movie
Friday, 30th April 2010 | 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Levels 2 & 3, VivoCity, HarbourFront Precinct

RSVP to to secure your attendance.


UNIFEM Singapore launched it INSPIRING WOMEN podcast with 10 inspiring women who shared their personal stories and what motivate them to do the amazing work that they are doing.

Listen to podcast featuring Melissa Kwee, Claire Chiang, Elim Chew, Dr Susan Lim, Noeleen Hayzer, Somaly Man, Mony Pen, Ibu Robin Lim, Nadya Hutagalung and Bridget Lew.

Visit These Campaigns

Sound Out

Help Anna

Day Off

Stop Child Sex

Our Network
UNIFEM Bangkok

[flash intro] [home] [about us] [gender issues] [make a donation] [be a member] [be a volunteer] [current projects] [upcoming events] [learn more] [contact us] [site map]

© Unifem Singapore 2008. All Rights Reserved