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Shirin Fozdar Annual Lecture

The Shirin Fozdar Annual Lecture serves as a platform where students, advocates, policy-makers, businesses, institutions and the public are encourage to enter into dialougue in order to address the challenges women face today. Every year, Shirin Fozdar Programme is honoured to invite prominiet speakers to drive discussion on significant social issues. 

Since Singapore became independent, life spans have increased by about 25 years but this remarkable feat has not always evoked celebration or innovation. With the rising silver community becoming a national conversation topic in Singapore, this timely lecture places the spotlight on the feminization of ageing, as well as the opportunities and benefits of changing demographics. In her recently published book, Silver Shades of Grey: Memos for Successful Ageing in the 21st Century (2018), Dr Kanwaljit Soin explores the gender inequalities faced by women in their old age, and advocates for gender-sensitive strategies to be adopted by individuals and policy-makers alike, in order to realize inclusive and successful ageing for all.

Dr Soin shares her rich perspectives on the dividends of longevity and embracing of old age.

Dr Kanwaljit Soin
Orthopaedic & Hand Surgeon, Social Activist & Author
DR KANWALJIT SOIN is a practicing medical specialist and was the first female Nominated Member of Parliament of Singapore. She is a founder of two organizations that uplift the status of women and the less advantaged in society: WINGS (Women’s Initiative for Ageing Successfully) and AWARE (Association of Women for Action and Research). In recognition of her outstanding and selfless contributions to society, she was presented with the “Women Who Make a Difference Award” by the International Women’s Forum in Washington DC in 2000, the “Lifetime Achievement Award” from The National Committee for UNIFEM, Singapore in 2006, and inducted into the Singapore Women's Hall of Fame in 2014.

13 September 2018 (Thursday)

4.30pm - 6.30pm

Ngee Ann Kongsi Auditorium
SMU School of Accountancy
60 Stamford Road, Singapore 178900
Throughout the world, the opportunity and appeal of cities is beset by challenges and compromises. Cities continue to attract people looking for upward socio-economic mobility, and companies looking to create value. They are clusters of ideas and ideals, where the future is often more present than the past. In many cases, they are bastions of progress, tolerance and justice. Yet, as cities develop, the management of density and diversity becomes a more pressing issue. The clustering of people and businesses puts pressure on housing, transportation, natural resources and public services. It causes inequalities and inter-group tensions to become pronounced, and traditions to be eroded.
These dynamics are most acutely felt in the postcolonial world, where the development trajectories of many cities have been shorter and steeper than their European and North American counterparts. Compounding the problematique is the emergence and proliferation of digitally-enabled methods of urban management in recent years, which have added a new set of challenges to the ongoing development of urban environments.
Prof Kong shares her thoughts about the promises and shortcomings of cities in development, and ventures some suggestions as to how to address some of them.
Professor Lily Kong
Provost and Lee Kong Chian Chair Professor of Social Sciences, Singapore Management University 
PROFESSOR LILY KONG is Provost and Lee Kong Chian Chair Professor of Social Sciences at the Singapore Management University. She is internationally renowned for her research on social and cultural change in Asian cities, with analyses of myriad dimensions of urbanscapes, from religious landscapes, cultural monuments, creative clusters, to urban heritage and conservation.  Amongst her more than 100 publications are the following books: Conserving the Past, Creating the Future: Urban Heritage in Singapore (2011), Arts, Culture and the Making of Global Cities: Creating New Urban Landscapes in Asia (with Ching C-H and Chou T-L, 2015), Food, Foodways and Foodscapes: Culture, Community and Consumption in Post-Colonial Singapore” (with Vineeta Sinha, 2015) and Religion and Space: Competition, Conflict and Violence in the Contemporary World (with Orlando Woods, 2016).  
An award-winning researcher and teacher, Professor Kong has received five international fellowship awards including the Commonwealth Fellowship Award and the Fulbright Fellowship Award. She has also won an award from the Association of American Geographers for her contributions to the study of religion.  She is a member of Singapore’s Public Service Commission, and Board member of A*STAR, Centre for Liveable Cities, Housing and Development Board, Mt Alvernia Hospital, National Heritage Board, Singapore Art Museum, and member of the Social Science Research Council.  She has also been active on numerous other local and international committees, including the Founders’ Memorial Committee and the United Nations University Council.

8 September 2017 (Friday)

4.30pm - 6.30pm

Mochtar Riady Auditorium, Level 5
Singapore Management University
Administration Building
81 Victoria Street
Singapore 188065
Dr Heyzer discusses women's transformational leadership as well as some of the key gender issues and struggles of our time, highlighting some of her work on gender equality and women’s empowerment in the United Nations. She will also examine how the countries’ acceptance of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda at the UN General Assembly 2015 can transform our societies to bring about inclusive growth, social justice and environmental stewardship, so that all our daughters and sons can inherit a more Sustainable, Secure Future of Shared Prosperity.
Dr Noeleen Heyzer
Social Scientist and Former Under-Secretary General of the United Nations 
NOELEEN HEYZER was the first woman to serve as the Executive Secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific since its founding in 1947. She was also the United Nations Secretary General’s Special Adviser for Timor-Leste, working to support peace-building, state-building, and sustainable development in fragile states.

Dr Heyzer was the first woman from outside North America to head the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) becoming its longest serving Executive Director for 13 years (October 1994–August 2007). She was a founding member of several international women’s networks and has served on numerous boards and advisory committees of international organizations, including the UNDP Human Development Report, the High-level Commonwealth Commission on Respect and Understanding chaired by Nobel Laureate Prof. Amartya Sen, appointed a jury member of US, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s Innovation Award for Women’s and Girl’s Empowerment, 2010, and on the Board of Trustees of the National University of Singapore. Dr Heyzer is currently Lee Kong Chian Distinguished Fellow at Singapore Management University and Visiting Distinguished Fellow at the Rajaratnam School of International Studies.

Dr Heyzer has received numerous awards for leadership, including the Dag Hammarskjold Medal in 2004, for her work on Women, Peace and Security. The First International Recipient of the Aletta Jacobs Prize (March, 2014), University of Groningen, Netherlands; The Woman of Distinction Award (2003) from the UN-NGO Committee on the Status of Women, New York, USA. She was the first woman to receive the Eminent Alumni Award from the National University of Singapore and was inducted into the Hall of Fame, Singapore, 2014. Dr Heyzer holds a BA Hons and a MSc from Singapore University, a PhD from Cambridge University.


2 September 2016 (Friday)

4.30pm - 7.00pm

Mochtar Riady Auditorium, Level 5
Singapore Management University
Administration Building
81 Victoria Street
Singapore 188065


Last updated on 20 Nov 2018 .