We have had so little time to write about our CEDAW journey here due to the frantic pace. I believe if we try, most of our sentences will be incoherent anyway due to the fatigue level we’re experiencing.
But we soldier on. We are doing everything we can because so many people are depending on us to speak up for them. The joke between us is that we have only seen a two-block radius of New York between the hotel and the United Nations.
The United Nations experience has been particularly uplifting for us. Most moving of all for us is to see the UN CEDAW committee’s efforts to understand the issues of discrimination against women in every country. They asked us thoughtful questions about our social, political and cultural context. There were times that they went out of their way to be encouraging to us knowing how difficult things can be.
Moving around the United Nations allowed us to catch a glimpse of the many atrocities committed against fellow human beings. We were horrified to see the state of the human condition and the cruelty committed by perpetrators.
At the same time our presence here now is a result of the seed planted by other human rights defenders. Back in 2007, IGLHRC lobbied a committee member to ask the Singapore government about discrimination against homosexuals. The replied came back as there was none. When we saw that, we were outraged. This single act of activism and question became the impetus of our 3 years journey into CEDAW. With much optimism, we hope that our efforts will spark off initiatives back home.
Follow our tweets on the Singapore govt’s response to the CEDAW committee on the 22nd of July 10pm to 5am. (Singapore time)
22nd of July 10am – 5pm (New York City time)
See our media advisory to learn more about CEDAW, the Committee’s questions and the State’s responses.
For updates on Sayoni’s participation in CEDAW, visit: