Celebrating International Women’s Day 2018, the SMU way

6 Mar 2018

The Singapore Management University (SMU) is presenting a colourful and creative slew of activities in observance of International Women’s Day (IWD) 2018. Spearheaded by the Office of Dean of Students in collaboration with SMU Women’s Connection (SWC), the host of activities will be taking place on SMU campus in the heart of the city, and is open to all students, faculty, staff and members of the public.

Pledge your support at the SMU #PressForProgress booth

In line with IWD 2018’s global theme of #PressForProgress, SWC is setting up a  #PressForProgress booth at the SMU Basement Concourse near Koufu Foodcourt. Students, faculty and staff will be encouraged to show their commitment towards gender parity by writing out their pledges and to be able to literally press a tangible sticker to show their support or interest, or to indicate that the pledge resonated with them.

“We also wanted to involve staff and faculty members in this IWD celebration, so we approached SMU President, Professor Arnoud De Meyer and Dean of Students, Professor Paulin Tay Straughan to write their pledges out,” said Stephanie Sim, President of SWC since 2017 and a Year 3 undergraduate at SMU School of Law. Both Professor Arnoud De Meyer and Professor Paulin Tay Straughan’s pledges will be displayed at the SWC’s #PressForProgress booth.

“We hope to raise awareness on the importance of gender parity, by starting a conversation among the community through our #PressForProgress booth,” added Stephanie. The booth also provides an opportunity for the SMU community to read others’ pledges or experiences with gender equality/inequality.

SWC members hope the activity will inspire the community to be more aware of gender bias and stereotypes. “Change starts from each person, and if we can influence one’s thoughts or behaviour in this respect, our community will be strengthened as we forge towards a future where we maintain a gender parity mindset,” Stephanie said. 

Show your support by giving the newly created ‘Purple for Parity’ drink a try

The colour purple has come to represent valiant efforts to achieve gender parity and an international symbol for the women’s rights movement around the world. In celebration of International Women’s Day, SWC collaborated with SMU’s B3 Alumni Bistro to create a brand new concoction. SWC members chose to select ingredients that would infuse the drink in a delicate shade of purple ombre, in a nod to IWD.

To enhance awareness for gender equality and parity, this unique concoction will be served on a specially designed give-away coaster which shares quotes of gender inclusion.

According to Stephanie, “We named the drink “Purple for Parity”, since the goal of our International Women’s Day celebrations is to encourage gender parity within the SMU community. The alliterative use of “purple” and “parity” was meant to add a fun twist. Through the coasters which come with quotes on gender inclusion, we hope consumers can pick up on ways to advance gender parity through this fun manner.”

The “Purple for Parity” lavender earl grey tea mocktail will be sold at B3 from 5 March to 9 March.

The process of creating a drink from scratch was both eye-opening and educational. SWC members gained valuable lessons through the exercise, of teamwork, communication and events management. Being able to advance a social cause made the project even more meaningful to the team.

Stephanie commented, “A key learning point was the importance of being organised and adhering to timelines. As there are many aspects of the project that need to be tied together, coordination is required between SWC, the team of staff helping us and the external vendors for the designs. We are fortunate to have such a team of supportive staff from SMU to guide us throughout our project, from the very inception stages to the execution of the event.”

Stephanie and members of SWC hope the activities lined up to celebrate and observe IWD 2018 will enhance awareness among the SMU community of the imperative for gender parity. “We hope our project will be a conversation starter, so that people may share their thoughts and ideas for gender parity in our community. IWD is a day of celebration, of the toils the previous generation laboured through to get our world to where we are today, and also for the future generation of all we are to achieve in the time to come.”

Other activities to look out for include the SMU IWD Lunchtime talk with Dr Amanda Kraus, Director of the University of Arizona’s Disability Resource Center. There is also a specially curated book selection on global women’s issues and gender parity available at the Li Ka Shing Library from 7 to 9 March 2018.


[Featured photo: SWC members, staff of the Office of Dean of Students, and SMU B3 Café mixologists collaborate in mocktail-making efforts, to mark International Women’s Day 2018.]







Last updated on 7 Mar 2018.

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