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 despised my hair when I was a kid because I was bullied excessively for having curly hair. In primary school, kids would throw staple bullets and pour eraser shavings into my hair. At that age when you’re so young and just want to be accepted, it was so hard to fit in.”
“I would always get judgemental stares from my male counterparts. I’ve even experienced ‘mansplaining’ by boys who were convinced that I wasn’t as good as them. They’d make snide comments like, ‘You sure you know this? You don’t look like you understand.’”
People of Legends | “In 2015, a family member whom I was close to committed suicide. It’s taken me a few years to talk about this without crying. With time, I’ve been able to speak about it to a couple of close friends, but beyond that, I don’t really bring it up in conversation.”
“Every year on her birthday, I make sure that my daughter says a prayer for her biological mother. For most, birthdays are about others holding celebrations and buying you gifts; but, birthdays are actually not about you. They’re about your mum, the one who gave you life.”
“The biggest thing I’ve learnt on this journey is that self-care is crucial, especially in parenting. As the saying goes, ‘You can’t pour from an empty cup.’ Anything can happen with the kids, but when I become dysregulated with my emotions, that’s when things go down the drain…”
People of Legends | “I think boxing has helped me manage my ADHD because it forces me to concentrate and stay calm, which is something I am still working on improving, given that my mind often goes into overdrive.”
“I started experiencing anxiety and depression when I was 10-years-old. Being the only Malay girl in Chinese Dance, I was bullied a lot in school. Although I was accepted by my friends and teachers in the CCA, I was ostracised by people of my own race.”
“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.”