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Job Opportunity: Sayoni Program Executive (part-time)
Written by sayoni   
Tuesday, 10 November 2015 12:03



Founded in 2007, Sayoni is a community of queer women, including lesbian, bisexual and transgender women, who organize and advocate for equality in well-being and dignity regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression.



The Program Executive helps to conceptualize, manage and execute programs for Sayoni, including the following duties:

  • Run programs and organize events in line with strategic plan
  • Support advocacy for Sayoni's programs and other related issues at the local and international levels
  • Engage with relevant state- and non-state stakeholders
  • Assist in drafting materials (e.g. for human rights reports)
  • Coordinate internal and external meetings
  • Create presentations to market programs and proposals
  • Provide support for relevant programs as required
  • Work for 3–4 days a week for 1 year (from home or otherwise), with the possibility of conversion to full-time thereafter


  • Singaporean or PR
  • Identifies as queer and feminist, and shares Sayoni’s values
  • Experience (2–3 years) in a related field preferred but not mandatory
  • Knowledge of and experience working on SOGIE (LGBTIQ) rights and human rights mechanisms preferred
  • Knowledge of and experience with grassroots- and/or high-level advocacy preferred
  • Experience in research, preferably in the social sciences and humanities
  • Excellent interpersonal and event management skills a must
  • Able to communicate fluently in English (and preferably another official UN language)
  • Willing to travel overseas
  • Motivated and able to work independently
  • Degree from a tertiary institution preferred

How to apply

Interested? Email with your resume/CV and a cover letter about your skills and background by 31 December 2015.

If you have the right skills, passion and politics, we want to hear from you. Fresh grads are welcome to apply. Please mention ‘Program Executive’ in the subject line.


Last Updated on Thursday, 12 November 2015 18:37
Sayoni at 2015 ILGA-Asia Conference
Written by sayoni   
Sunday, 08 November 2015 00:11

sayoni at ilga-asia conference

Several Sayoni volunteers attended the 2015 ILGA-Asia regional conference held in Taipei, Taiwan, from 28-30 October this year. Besides learning from other Asian activists at the formal sessions, we also took the opportunity to share strategies and ideas in informal settings. This year's conference coincided with Taipei's 2015 Pride Parade, the largest pride march in the region.

It was the first time that this lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) conference was held in Taiwan. Co-organised by the Taiwan Tongzhi Hotline Association, the conference saw 300 activists from 30 countries, including Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, China, Malaysia and Singapore. Over a period of three days, activists held talks and workshops about the work they were doing within their organisations and regionally.

We heard about experiences from other countries that gave us much to reflect on. The host city, Taipei, was itself an interesting case. Even as its same-sex partnership bill has stalled in Parliament, Taiwanese activists Jennifer Lu and Victoria Hsu are standing for political office in Taipei; Lu also got married to her partner recently. And they are hardly the only out LGBTQ candidates in the city, which has a burgeoning civil society space. On our end, Sayoni's Jean Chong presented some of her thesis findings at a session with other Asian activists, explaining how Singapore, leaning on Asian exceptionalism, has exerted political control over the private lives of its citizens.

One of the key ideas that emerged from the conference was the concept of intersectionality, an idea that the ASEAN SOGIE Caucus, which Sayoni is a part of, actively incorporates in its positions. The Caucus is a network of diverse human rights activists in Southeast Asia that aims for the inclusion of SOGIE (sexual orientation, gender identity and expression) in human rights mechanisms in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. As Ryan Silverio, Regional Coordinator of the ASEAN SOGIE Caucus, said, “Applying intersectionality in our activism requires us to go beyond single-issue politics. We recognize that our experience of discrimination and marginalization is not just because of our sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.”

Despite the success of the conference, there were also gaps in the formal sessions, particularly when it came to women's issues. A petition that was eventually signed by most of the participants pointed out "the lack of space and diversity, including gender, age and other status on panel and plenary sessions". One of its recommendations was a quota system for sessions at the next conference to "ensure issues faced by diverse women are meaningfully addressed". (See the full statement here.)


Last Updated on Monday, 09 November 2015 01:10
Silent Protest at EEAS Human Rights Seminar
Written by sayoni   
Thursday, 04 December 2014 14:29

And this is what happened at the actual event, a day after the civil society statement. Thio Li-Ann, law professor and anti-gay rights crusader, was there to speak on the topic of international human rights law.



Activists stood in front of the stage with their placards and taped-up mouths, while two others positioned themselves with a rainbow flag in Thio's line of sight. Notably, they kept their silence, and their protest carried on alongside Thio's speech.

Last Updated on Monday, 13 April 2015 09:40
Statement of Concern on EEAS' Human Rights Day Seminar
Thursday, 04 December 2014 03:06

Thio Li-ann

Sayoni and nearly a hundred
civil society individuals and organisations issued this statement, dated 3 December 2014, in response to the EU Delegation to Singapore's invitation to Thio Li Ann to speak at a seminar commemorating Human Rights Day in Singapore.

The Straits Times: Civil society members protest law professor's invitation to speak at human rights seminar

The Online Citizen: Statement of concern on Thio Li-Ann as speaker at EU human rights seminar


We, the undersigned, write to express our disappointment at the choice of Prof Thio Li Ann as a speaker for the Human Rights Day seminar hosted by the EEAS European Union Delegation to Singapore.

It is a matter of public record that Prof Thio: -

1. believes the LGBT community is not entitled to the protections of human rights with respect to issues of sexuality, even between consenting homosexual adults.

Last Updated on Thursday, 04 December 2014 15:33
Court of Appeal’s Verdict on 377a Constitutional Challenge: A Missed Opportunity
Written by sayoni   
Thursday, 30 October 2014 17:25

Joint Statement by Singapore’s LGBT Community Groups

SINGAPORE, Thursday, October 30, 2014 –
We are greatly shocked and disappointed by the Court of Appeal’s ruling against appeals brought forth by Kenneth Chee, Gary Lim, and Tan Eng Hong, thereby upholding the constitutionality of Section 377a of the Penal Code criminalising sex between men.

Despite the authorities’ claim that this law will not be enforced, the existence of Section 377a has a wide-ranging effect not just on Singapore’s Gay men, but also its Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender communities.

It gives carte blanche for discrimination and reinforces prejudice, leading to censorship in the media and the aggravation of negative stereotypes, and impacting the health and wellbeing of a significant segment of society.

While we appreciate the Court’s position that it cannot assist in providing a judicial remedy to what it views as a legislative issue, we cannot accept its narrow interpretation of the constitution in this regard, and its view that this is an ‘insistence by a particular group or individual that its/his values be imposed on other groups or individuals’.

It is not an imposition for a segment to seek the same rights as the rest of society. To be viewed as equal in the eyes of the law, to feel safe at home, and to be protected against discrimination, mistreatment, even physical and emotional harm, is a right to which every Singaporean should be entitled, and not denied on the basis of whom they love.

With this verdict, an opportunity to showcase Singapore as a truly accepting, open and inclusive society – and a great place to live, work and play – has been missed. 

Last Updated on Thursday, 04 December 2014 02:56
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