To empower queer women towards greater involvement and presence in the community
OUR VISION
Advocacy for LBTQ women's rights at CEDAW
Sayoni was at the United Nations in Geneva in October 2017 to bring Singapore LBTQ women's issues to the forefront. The CEDAW Committee heard our concerns and raised recommendations related to LBTQ women in their Concluding Observations for the Singapore government.
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Sayoni is a Singapore-based feminist, volunteer-run organisation that works to uphold human rights protections for queer women, including lesbian, bisexual and transgender women. We organise and advocate for equality in well-being and dignity regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity/expression and sex characteristics.

We believe that everyone has a part to play in improving the lives of LBTQ people. Donate or volunteer with us.

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We collect data and raise awareness about LBTQ issues

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Stereotyping

Next, censorship is applied through media codes and policies to pathologise consensual, adult relations between women such that only negative stereotypes are permitted for broadcast. Their constant, cumulative effect informs behaviour and shapes public opinion, contributing to discrimination against sexual minority women.

In Employment

Sexual minority women are excluded from employee spousal and maternity benefits which are based on marital status. We have no legal recourse for discrimination at the workplace and face risks of additional repercussions if we use existing grievance mechanisms.


In Education

Children in school are subject to bullying and ostracism by their peers because of their perceived sexual orientation or expressed gender identity. There are no policies and regulations to protect them explicitly from such discrimination or abuse.

Furthermore, the State mandated that all sex education providers exclude crucial, potentially life-saving information on sexuality for sexual minority women. This contributes to a higher prevalence and risk of depression, suicide, substance misuse and deliberate self-harm among them.

In Health

Women in same-sex partnerships are excluded from access to spousal medical rights, financing and family planning.

Conclusion

These are but some of the prevalent, systemic discrimination detailed in our report.

While discrimination against women in Singapore is being addressed on various levels, discrimination against sexual minority women has been overlooked or minimised because we are relatively invisible in Singapore.

Consequently, sexual minority women experience not only discrimination as women but as sexual minorities. Our gender identity and sexual orientation intersect with multiple identities such as socio-economic status, ethnicity, age, religion and disability, to create unique forms of discrimination.

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See our previous reports:

Singapore LBT's concerns debut at United Nations review (CEDAW)

Our CEDAW journey - Journal 1

Our CEDAW journey - Journal 2

Our CEDAW journey - Journal 3

Our CEDAW journey - Journal 4

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