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Statement by the Permanent Mission of Singapore during Panel 2 of the Annual Full-Day Discussion on the Rights of Older Women and their Economic Empowerment, on 28 June 2019

28 Jun 2019

 

Mr. President,

 

Singapore aspires to be a city for all ages. The average Singaporean woman, is expected to live to 85.4 years of age and almost half of Singapore’s population is expected to be at least 65 years old by 2050.

 

To prepare our people for this major demographic shift and the future of work, the government launched a $3 billion Action Plan for Successful Ageing in 2016 that includes initiatives such as SkillsFuture, under which Singaporeans aged over 40 enjoy subsidies of up to 90% to attend courses to develop, retrain and reskill themselves. Such initiatives not only empower our older women by enhancing their job and training opportunities, but also encourage all Singaporeans to embrace lifelong learning and take ownership of their career development needs before they enter their senior years.

 

We also support employers to re-design jobs for older workers and create age-friendly workplaces to enable older persons to continue working if they want to. Under the Workpro scheme grants are available to employers to re-design workplace practices, processes and jobs. In addition, the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices, comprising government officials, employers and union leaders, educates and supports employers to adopt age-inclusive employment practices.

 

Mr President,

 

          Across the world, women typically shoulder a greater responsibility for caregiving, which affects their earning capacity and financial security. To enable women to enjoy their senior years with peace of mind, we must facilitate their higher participation in the workforce, provide more opportunities for full-time work, and re-balance traditional gender roles.

 

In 2016 Singapore extended compulsory paid paternity leave to two weeks and introduced measures allowing mothers to share up to four weeks of their paid maternity leave with their spouse.

 

We have created a Tripartite Working Group on Older Workers to review our retirement and re-employment age, and to help our women earn and save more for retirement. We have also introduced measures such as the WorkPro Work-Life Grant and the Tripartite Standard on Flexible Work Arrangements to encourage employers to offer flexible work arrangements and thereby help women remain in the workforce.

 

Thank you Mr President.

 

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