An Act to provide for monogamous marriages and for the solemnization and registration of such marriages; to amend and consolidate the law relating to divorce, the rights and duties of married persons, the protection of family, the maintenance of wives and children and the punishment of offences against women and girls; and to provide for matters incidental thereto.
Select Committee on the Women's Charter Bill [L.A. 10 of 1961] (1961), Official Report, Singapore: Government Printer
The Women's Charter was an Act of the Singaporean Parliament passed in 1961. The Act was designed to improve and protect the rights of females in Singapore and to guarantee greater legal equality for women in legally sanctioned relationships (except in the area of Muslims marriages, which are governed separately by the Administration of Muslim Law Act). Among other things, the Act provides for the institution of monogamous marriages, the rights of husbands and wives in marriage, the protection of the family, and the legal potentialities with regard to divorce and separation. The Women's Charter was successfully campaigned for by Madam Chan Choy Siong, wife of Ong Pang Boon, a former Cabinet Minister of Singapore.
In January 2011, the latest amendments to the Charter were passed. These amendments introduced provisions to facilitate marriages in Singapore, address divorce and its impact and strengthen the enforcement of maintenance orders.