Women through the Years: Economic & Family Lives

About Project

The Women through the Years: Economic & Family Lives collection started in 1995 and interviewed women on their experiences as Singapore underwent rapid changes in its historical and social contexts from the 1950s.

The project aimed to record the productive and reproductive roles of women, and captures the diversities and complexities of these individuals’ economic and familial lives in Singapore, set within rapidly changing historical and social contexts. The continuities and discontinuities in women’s productive and reproductive work conditions were traced across generations, enabling among other things, the implications and impacts of social policy to be better understood. In addition, the project also covers aspects of authority, decision-making, and values in Singapore families; social attitudes and policies on women’s multiple roles; and women’s perceptions and views on gender equality.

Interviewees belonged to various categories (marriage status, child status, dependents, productive and/or reproductive work etc), as well as backgrounds (immigrant origins, ethnicity, social class etc). Interviewees include Mrs Peggy Chen, who was an investigator at the Social Welfare Department, and Mariam bte Baharom, who was an actress who worked at Cathay Keris Studios.

The lead for the project team was Dr Lai Ah Eng.

Names of Interviewees in Women through the Years: Economic & Family Lives