Women’s Charter in Singapore – What is this statutory document and what does the Charter apply to?

 

The Women’s Charter  (Chapter 353 of the Statutes of Singapore) was an act passed in 1991, enacted to protect and advance the rights of women and girls in Singapore. The last amendment to the Charter was made in February 2014 by Social and Family Development Minister Tan Chuan-Jin.

 

The Charter which applies to all men and women in Singapore with the exception of a few conditions for persons married under the Muslim Law, spells out provision in relation to:

 

(a) Relationship between husband and wife

 

(b) Relationship between parents and children

 

(c) Termination of marriages

 

 

(e) Protection against family violence

 

(f) Penalty of offences against women and girls

 

 

Persons married under Muslim Law are exempted from sections of the Charter pertaining to issues related to:

 

(a) Divorce

 

In 2016, the Charter was amended in order to reflect evolving trends in families in Singapore. The proposal bill was met with huge support from Singaporeans, with many supporting the change of emphasis by placing more empathizes on the child’s interest rather than on other aspects of the divorce. The Charter was modified with the aims to better prepare couples for marriage, to further enforce the administration of maintenance orders and to alleviate the impact of divorces.

 

Below are a few of the key proposed change to the Charter:

 

(a) Extending marriage preparation to all marriages where at least one party is a minor aged 21

 

(b) Divorcing couples with minor children will have to attend a mandatory parenting programme

 

(c) There will be spousal maintenance to disabled husbands or ex-husbands

 

 

Should you be interested in finding out more of the proposed changes, you may read key changes to Women’s Charter of Singapore. You may also refer to the entire text of the Women’s Charter (Chapter 353 of the Statutes of Singapore) at the Singapore Statutes Online website.

 

Please visit our main Huffe portal to find out more about Divorce in Singapore and to gain more information about finding a Divorce Lawyer in Singapore.

 

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Having handled over 10,000 divorces since 2006, Ms. Beatrice Yeo, the Founder and Principal Lawyer of the firm, is widely acknowledged as one of the best divorce lawyers in Singapore.

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