SINGAPORE — Monica Baey, whose public criticism of National University of Singapore’s (NUS) handling of her sexual harassment incident led to changes on how the institution deals with such misconduct, was one of three individuals honoured by gender-equality group AWARE at its annual gala on Saturday night (2 November).
Baey was given the Woman of Courage award, while sociologist Teo You Yenn (Woman of Insight award) and author Liyana Dhamirah (Woman of Resilience award) were the other honourees.
“When we reflected on the people who sparked conversation and inspired real action in Singapore this year, You Yenn, Monica and Liyana immediately stood out to us,” said Corinna Lim, AWARE’s executive director.
“In their own ways, each of them faced substantial challenges getting her message out into the world, but against the odds they made people listen, and Singapore is the better for it.”
Saturday night’s gala dinner at Shangri-La Hotel raised around $600,000, exceeding AWARE’s targeted amount of $500,000, the largest donation sum raised by the 34-year-old organisation through a single event.
Donations were raised through AWARE’s annual pledge, “donor’s draw” lucky dip, silent auction and a new live auction segment, as well as the net proceeds from the sale of tables at the gala dinner.
About 500 people attended the event.
This year’s pledge shone a spotlight on AWARE’s long-standing research and advocacy work. Lim cited recent reforms such as the repeal of marital rape immunity and the decriminalisation of suicide as changes successfully advocated for by the organisation.
AWARE’s research team also published the report “Make Care Count” this year, examining the financial impact of eldercare on female caregivers in Singapore. Upcoming projects include a report on foreign domestic workers performing eldercare in Singapore, and the career effects of workplace sexual harassment on female workers.