Singapore represented at the first World Francophone Women’s Forum (20 March 2013)
Mrs Sher-Yen Wee, Director, Market Development, The Old Parliament House, has been invited by Institut français to the first World Francophone Women’s Forum, a landmark event bringing together 400 women from civil society throughout the world. These women engage on a daily basis in the struggle for recognition of their fundamental rights: access to schools and education, gender equality, women’s representation in the political sphere. Held on 20 March 2013 at the Musée du Quai Branly, Paris, France, the Forum has been open by Mrs Yamina Benguigui, Minister Delegate for French National Abroad and Francophony, attached to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr Abdou Diouf, General Secretary of Francophony, Mrs Irina Bokova, Chief Executive of Unesco and Mrs Michelle Bachelet, Chief Exceutive of ONU Women. Mr François Hollande , President of the French Republic, gave the closing speech at the Palais de l’Elysées
Mrs Sher-Yen, who speaks French fluently, had the opportunity to speak about how TOPH reaches out to the underprivileged children in Singapore through the arts: "The Forum Mondial des Femmes Francophones was an eye-opener for me. As someone managing a fund for financially disadvantaged children to get training in the arts, and as a woman from Singapore where I believe women’s and children’s rights and gender equality are in place, it was distressing for me to hear about the horrific violence still practiced in many parts of the world against women and children and where even their basic rights are non-existent. The forum could not be more timely as there is an undeniable urgency for global action to eradicate all kinds of brutality and inequality to them. In this, I am really heartened that France is so committed to this cause and I personally hope that one day, we women in Singapore can rally to help make a positive difference to the lives of their less fortunate peers. And it gave me great pleasure to meet many women from around the world where we could all communicate with each other in French."
There are currently 120 million Francophone women in the world; by 2050, their number will have grown to over 350 million.
More information about the Forum: