If you’re a Singaporean woman, it is important to understand the rights that you have under the Women’s Charter. This law, which was first enacted in 1961, provides legal protection for women and children in Singapore, and lays out the rights and responsibilities of individuals in various situations, such as marriage, divorce, and family-related issues.

Legal protection for women in Singapore

One of the most important provisions in the Women’s Charter is that it criminalises domestic violence, including physical, emotional, and financial abuse. This provides women with legal protection against abuse and offers a range of remedies, including personal protection orders and mandatory counseling for offenders.

Another key provision of the Women’s Charter is that it provides for the division of matrimonial assets upon divorce, ensuring that women are not left without financial support. The court is able to make orders for the division of matrimonial assets and also make orders for maintenance of the wife and children after divorce.

Rights for married women

As a married woman in Singapore, the wife is entitled to use her own surname and name separately. Both husband and wife also must have equal rights in the management of the family home.

A married woman may own property, and her property is not always her husband’s. A wife is also not obligated to pay her husband’s debt. Unless there are exceptional agreements proving otherwise, housekeeping allowance given by the husband to the wife shall be treated as belonging to both parties in equal shares.

If the wife lends money to her husband for his business and the husband goes bankrupt, the wife can reclaim the loan as a creditor, but she will be paid last in line after other creditors.

Rights for divorce

The Women’s Charter also provides for women to be able to file for divorce on grounds of cruelty, and to apply for a personal protection order to protect themselves and their children from further domestic violence.

It is important to understand these rights, as they provide an avenue for women who have faced abuse or have had their rights violated to seek justice. Failure to abide by the laws laid out in the Women’s Charter can result in severe consequences, such as fines or imprisonment.

In summary, the Women’s Charter provides a range of legal protections for Singaporean women, including protection against domestic violence, provisions for the division of matrimonial assets upon divorce and the ability to file for divorce on grounds of cruelty, and the ability to apply for a personal protection order to protect oneself and their children from further domestic violence. Understanding these rights is important in order to seek justice in case of any violation of rights. Any false complaint or frivolous claim will be dealt with and punished accordingly.

Engaging a Lawyer

If you would like to know more about your rights, or have any issues specific to the Women’s Charter, you should consult a lawyer who will be able to guide you through your options.

Mr. Amarjit Singh Sidhu of Amarjit Sidhu Law Corporation has represented numerous clients in a wide variety of matters over the years, from traffic offences and high-profile criminal cases to family and divorce matters. With a vast knowledge of Singapore’s laws and a wealth of experience, Mr. Amarjit Singh Sidhu will be able to provide valuable and timely advice for your situation. For more information, feel free to contact us for a consultation.