To empower queer women towards greater involvement and presence in the community
Advocacy for LBTQ women's rights at CEDAW
Sayoni was at the United Nations in Geneva in October 2017 to bring Singapore LBTQ women's issues to the forefront. The CEDAW Committee heard our concerns and raised recommendations related to LBTQ women in their Concluding Observations for the Singapore government.
Sayoni is a Singapore-based feminist, volunteer-run organisation that works to uphold human rights protections for queer women, including lesbian, bisexual and transgender women. We organise and advocate for equality in well-being and dignity regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity/expression and sex characteristics.

We believe that everyone has a part to play in improving the lives of LBTQ people. Donate or volunteer with us.

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We collect data and raise awareness about LBTQ issues


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My take is that activism or human rights advocacy is often an incremental process and takes the farsightedness of doers and dreamers alike. Sometimes the tipping point and real changes only come when we are gone from this world.But we do not stop trying for the sake of ourselves and those after us. We do not forget the silent cries of our community. Similarly, activists at home are spurred on to multiple levels of engagement.


Since 2008, there were many moments that were difficult for us. Because this was a first time involvement, we soon found out that there was widespread ignorance of the issues at hand.  Much of the surprises came from seasoned activists in women’s groups and gay people themselves. We realised that all alike has been unable to connect the dots on the multiple institutionalised discrimination across numerous platforms in our government system. We were horrified at what we found and the understanding on how it will impact us at every stage of our lives was chilling. It dawned upon us quickly that there is much work to be done.

One of my most dramatic memories related to our 3 years work on CEDAW was being under siege by extremists in Surabaya. Trapped in my hotel room with death threats looming below the building. Azusa from Japan patiently shared with us her experience at the United Nations. On hindsight, the intolerance and violence we experienced strengthened our resolve to do whatever is necessary to address this injustice.


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:

1. the website at
2. Facebook at
3. Twitter at _sayoni



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