Making Citizen Babies for Papa: Feminist Responses to Reproductive Policy in Singapore

Lenore Lyons

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This paper examines recent debates about reproductive policy in Singapore by examining the responses of two different groups of women - women Members of Parliament and feminist activists. Women currently make up 10% of MPs in Singapore. Although this figure is low when compared to average rates of female representation globally, it is the highest level in Singapore since Independence. All these women are members of the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) in power since 1959. While publicly supportive of the view of the PAP male elite, this group of women has introduced a level of critique into reproductive policy not previously seen by the Singapore public. Local women’s groups too have played a visible role in public debates about population policy. The feminist group, the Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE) has had a long interest in reproductive policy issues and released its own position paper to address the government’s recent policy making. This paper examines the responses of these two groups of women towards the PAP’s pro-natalist stance. It explores the extent to which these women have challenged the PAP as well as the obstacles to an independent feminist voice on population matters.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationFrederiksberg
PublisherAsia Research Centre. Copenhagen Business School
Number of pages26
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2005
Externally publishedYes
SeriesCopenhagen Discussion Papers


  • Singapore
  • Population policy
  • Reproductive policy
  • Total fertility rate
  • Feminism
  • Women in politics

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