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International Women’s Day 2021
March 8 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Ahuva Good Shepherd – Small Group Care in Singapore brought to our young residential mission participants the awareness of International Women’s Day and the long history behind this significant day. They were also been informed of various historic events like the Women’s Suffrage that was ratified in the 1920s, and the Equal Pay Act that was passed in the 1970s. These historic events brought to awareness that many of the rights and privileges that girls and women enjoy today used to be things that they had to fight for in the past.
Our residents are aged between eight and thirteen. Though they are young, they were able to share about their rights as girls and women. They knew that things like education, the right to vote, and the ability to be in different leadership positions are things that should be entitled to both genders.
During the workshop, we focused on the right to education as all of them are part of the education system right now. In Singapore, both girls and boys are privileged to have access to good education. This is unlike many other countries in the world today. More than 100 million girls around the world today do not attend school due to various reasons like poverty and gender stereotypes. Stereotype of men as the provider has also led to boys being prioritised when it comes to education and girls are often associated with domestic responsibilities.
Our young mission participants were able to express sadness for these girls in other nations, and they were challenged to make a difference in the areas they could in the future. On a personal level, it was also an opportunity for them to reflect and be thankful that they can enjoy the education they are receiving today.
Our young mission participants discussed what are some stereotypes that have been cast on them as girls/women, and how these old mindsets and societal expectations limit them as girls/women today. Especially for girls raised in Asian families and male-domineering cultures, things like being in a soccer team and being an engineer is not common. However, they believe that the role that a girl has is limitless. She can be both pretty, dainty, and also a leader at the same time. She can be an innovator and a leader, and someone who has the ability to lead both men and women.
In line with the IWD’s theme this year, our young residents participated in the #ChooseToChallenge. They challenged the doubts that they had as girls, the labels that have been put them, and challenged the women in their lives to be who they want to be.
At the end of the workshop, we also incorporated the Emotional Regulation (ER) Drill that our ministry does daily as part of the Trauma-Informed Positive Behaviour Intervention and Support model and framework (TIPBIS). They wrote about the women in their life who inspired them, and how they set goals to become the women they look up to. One of them wrote about her mother’s resilience in working hard to provide for her. This girl was determined to work hard in the future just like her mother. For some of our girls who do not have positive relationships with their parents, other women like their school teachers and mentors who played a big role in their lives. Another child’s inspiration was her befriender, who has spent many weekends with her. The befriender’s kindness towards her has left a remarkable impact on her, inspiring her to also look out for others.
It was heart-warming to see how our young mission participants who could bring to remembrance these women figures, and that they don’t have to look far to celebrate and honour the exemplary women in their lives.
Written by Ng Hui Wen
Social Service Assistant
Ahuva Good Shepherd – Small Good Care