Happy International Women’s Day!
It’s a global celebration that honours the many social, cultural, economic and political achievements of women. Every March 8th, people around the world celebrate the contributions of women who have shaped countries, nations and communities, inspiring future generations for years to come.
This International Women’s Day, let’s take a look at three women who have paved the way for women in various industries, and created significant impact on the development of Singapore as a nation!
Hajjah Fatimah was a tradeswoman and philanthropist who was originally born in Malacca in 1797. It was then part of the British Straits Settlements, and she grew up savvy enough to become a successful trader who went on to own several businesses in Singapore. In addition to being a successful entrepreneur, she was also known for her generous donations to charitable causes, including building mosques, schools, and hospitals.
She became a pioneer in advocating for the education of women in Singapore. She was a founding member of the first Malay women’s group in Singapore, which aimed to improve the lives of women and children. Hajjah Fatimah strived to build a future for more Malay women to pursue higher education, achieving management positions and taking on more leadership roles
If you’re a local Singaporean, you might have come across the Hajjah Fatimah Mosque. Hajjah Fatimah was a victim of two robberies and a fire, but managed to escape unscathed. As a sign of gratitude towards the Almighty, she then decided to donate her land to build a mosque, which eventually became her resting grounds.
Sophia Blackmore was born in 1857 in Australia and arrived in Singapore in 1887 as a Methodist missionary. She was the first female missionary in Singapore, who went on to advocate for safe education for girls, which was not widely available at the time.
In the first month of her arrival in Singapore, she sought the help of the Indian community to establish a school for Tamil girls. The fathers of these girls provided money, furniture and a space for a school at Short Street, which then became the well-known Methodist Girls’ School of Singapore.
Sophia then went on to speak out against traditional Chinese families, who used to believe that girls did not need education. She worked hard to go door-to-door, recruiting girls from primarily the Peranakan community to set up the Anglo-Chinese Girls’ School in 1888, which eventually became the present Fairfield Methodist Secondary School. Sophia also set up a boarding home for abandoned children, orphans, runaways and refugees.
Until today, Sophia Blackmore’s legacy lives on, as both schools are still in operation today and have produced many successful women leaders in Singapore!
Constance Goh was born in Singapore in 1931 and was a pioneering activist for rightful family planning.
After World War II, Constance established a feeding centre in Havelock Road to provide food for displaced and impoverished children. During this time, she realised that a big portion of the children were not orphans, but their parents could not afford to feed them as they had big families.
She then started to advocate for family planning, in order to get people to stop having large families that they could not provide for. In 1949, she worked to suggest that family planning advice and services be made available to infant welfare centres and clinics.
In 1952, she co-founded the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) with like-minded women from other countries. Constance Goh also served as the first female president of the Singapore Council of Women, where she worked to promote women’s rights and gender equality.
Celebrate International Women’s Day with Simply Hamper Singapore today!
Got a special woman in your life worth celebrating? Purchase gifts for her from Simply Hamper today! We have a wide range of hampers, flowers and other gift boxes in Singapore, perfect for any and all occasions.
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