7 Outstanding Honourees Inducted Into Singapore Women’s Hall of Fame 2021
To commemorate International Women’s Day (IWD) this year, which is also the Year of Celebrating SG Women, the Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations (SCWO) inducted seven ladies, six of them posthumously, into the Singapore Women’s Hall of Fame (SWHF).
At the induction ceremony held at the Istana on March 8, Singapore president Halimah Yacob, who is also SCWO patron and a 2014 SWHF honouree, presented trophies to pioneering dancer and choreographer Santha Bhaskar, as well as the representatives of pioneering public health nurse Ida Mabel Murray Simmons, outstanding sportswoman and educator Mae Noeline Oehlers, pioneering illustrator Kwan Shan Mei, pioneering social worker, educator and activist Myrna Braga-Blake, trailblazing sports administrator and lawyer Annabel Pennefather, and the first female commercial pilot Teo Ah Hong.
The seven women join the ranks of 160 others, who have been inducted into SWHF since it was launched by SCWO in 2014.
In her opening speech, SCWO president Junie Foo touched on the IWD theme this year, which is #ChoosetoChallenge gender bias and inequality, and to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements, in this case, those who have contributed to Singapore’s development and growth.
Meanwhile, president Halimah highlighted that the seven women exhibited traits that many Singaporeans, regardless of gender, should emulate by daring to dream and working hard to making those dreams come true. She also expressed hope on the ongoing review and conversations on Singapore women’s development and that the recommendations in the white paper, which is due later this year, can be introduced in practicable and pragmatic ways.
President Halimah also launched the Awesome Women of Singapore children’s book, a collaboration between SCWO and homegrown publisher Epigram Books, which features the inspiring stories of the 160 women in the Hall of Fame and the work of 10 local illustrators. SCWO will also kick off its Project Awesome: Dare to Dream initiative to inspire young Singaporeans, especially girls, to dream big, aim high and chart their own path in life.
And to commemorate the Year of Celebrating SG Women as well as IWD, president Halimah also unveiled a new orchid hybrid named Papilionanthe SG Women and dedicated the flower to all women here, as a symbol of their continued progress, contributions and aspirations.