In an attempt to take their first step towards stopping domestic violence, a group of 23 students organised “A Woman’s Worth Conference”.
Domestic violence is a term used to describe abusive behaviours by one partner to another in relationships such as dating, marriage and even friends, usually by men against women.
On Nov 9, more than 800 students and several members of the public gathered at the Convention Centre for “A Woman’s Worth Conference”.
The conference hosted an interesting panel of reputable speakers, including Dr Kanwaljit Soin from Women’s Initiative for Ageing Sucessfully (WINGS), Ms Pang Kee Tai from Promoting Alternatives To Violence (PAVe), Ms Dana Lam from Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE) and Ms Nguyen Thi Kim Anh from Oxfam Quebec (a dynamic organization that aims to abolish poverty and inequality).
The programme line-up featured many speeches. Topics touched on included relationship-based violence, gender equality and trafficking of foreign women into Singapore.
Facilitated by Daniel Martin of 938LIVE Hour CampusLive programme, a heated discussion titled “A Woman’s Worth in a Globalised World” took place between the panel of speakers and the audience.
“A Woman’s Worth Conference” is part of the S.T.O,P! Campaign initiated by the School of IS. The team of 23 students, led by Mr Chong Ching Liang, a lecturer from School of IS, was inspired to raise awareness about domestic violence after visiting Vietnam where the group found the problem to be very prevalent in their society.
Serene Yap, 19, a second-year Mass Communication student and a member of the organising committee felt that “the trip to Vietnam was an invaluable experience that made her see through the façade of the beautiful country”.
When the team came back from the trip, they found out that the problem is also present in Singapore.
According to PAVe, date violence is on the rise. After much research, the team also found that many youths were actually unaware of it.
Through the campaign, the organisers hoped to educate NP students about relationship-based violence .
Priscilla Su, 19, a second-year Mass Communication student and leader of the organising committee, says, “The more we learnt about people around us, the more we wanted to try and make a difference in our society, or if not our society, at least in our immediate environment.”
During the event, Mr Chong also repeatedly reminded students to “open” their minds to world issues such as human trafficking.
The event not only opened the audience’s minds about relationship violence, it also changed Ms Nguyen’s opinion about youths.
“I have [previously] turned down student offers but I am so impressed [with what I saw today] – that students can actually manage such a huge event to raise awareness,” said Ms Nguyen.
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