« All News

Seasons of Womanhood

Image of Seasons of Womanhood

Singapore women have made great progress over the years, but there is always more we can do to support women and men partnering each other as equals, for both to pursue their aspirations freely and to the fullest (MSF, 2022).  As the year of Celebrating SG Women draws to a close, I took a journey to examine what it means to be a woman through the seasons of life.  Through this lens, I look back on my growth in the multiple roles of women I play in life.

Spring:  Think of the delicate shoots sprouting through the dirt. 

It is a season of discovery.  Filled with vibrancy and awakening of the senses.  It is a time to absorb and soak up knowledge of the world while being firmly grounded to family.  I am a girl growing into her role as a student.  I am disciplined – for being mischievous, for not completing my homework in time.  I simply cannot wait to declare to the adult world that I want to watch my favourite TV programme without being told to go and finish my homework.  I know that things will eventually work out.  I gather strength and am impatient to flourish in the heat of summer.

Summer: With all the fruits yield. 

The girl grows to be a poised, young lady.  I sprout my arms wide open to embrace wifehood, motherhood, a desirable career.  In this season, I learn that even the most beautiful growth can be challenging.  It takes a lot of effort to seek out the sun, to put aside the traditional roles and expectations of women, to choose how to define myself and how I want this world to perceive me.  Change is difficult and requires courage and determination

In growing into her role as the CEO of Trip.com, Ms June Sun shared in the CNA leadership summit 2022 that she faced biases and assumptions in her career progression as an Asian female leader.  In recent years, we see fairer employment practices being put in place to support women.  It takes enlightened bosses to provide job opportunities for women to take on leadership positions and not be “penalized” for their childbearing and caregiving responsibilities.

In the family front, women are still faced with unequal home and caregiving responsibilities.  Some continue to be controlled and live in fear of their spouses.  To combat family violence, MSF has stepped up efforts to “break the silence” by addressing this taboo openly.  To prepare couples getting married, I am involved in empowering men and women to create healthy, safe and respectful relationships from the get-go.  In our own families and workplaces, we can take steps to support and facilitate female colleagues to play their multiple roles, take a strong stance again violence and abuse and reinforce the culture of safety and respect.

Autumn: A mature women, mentoring younger women – sharing wisdom acquired through the years.

With strong mentorship and support around her, Ms June Sun managed to rise above the male-dominant working world. Now, she hopes to empower more females into taking up leadership roles in corporations.

Autumn is a time for me to refresh my mind-set and empower younger women.  I make peace with my past and reframe the stories of my life.  Some were wonderful, some not so great.  As a mother, I learnt to let go and not hold on to a set way of mothering my 19-year-old daughter.  I let her fly as I remember I too had longed for freedom at her age.  I take on students for work internships and smoothen their paths as they make their first foray into the workplace.  I make decisions that will bring me forward, not hold me back.  I decide to worry less and be more thankful.  To take a slower pace of life, to be gentle with myself and stay focused on the ones that I treasure most.  Every journey had its ups and downs.  But with all these rich experiences in my knapsack, I can bravely step into the winter season.

Winter: Like a beautiful tree covered in frost, there is an elegance to old age.

The thought of entering this season brings me a multitude of mixed emotions. Fear of the unknown is real and terrifying.  My mother, born in the 40s’, have hospital visits marked all year round on the hanging calendar.  Friends and loved ones seem to pass on more frequently.  One thing is for sure, life continues to grow in this season.  We put to rest old mind-sets that no longer hold true.  There is still much to learn and embrace.  The pandemic has taught us many lessons – a primary one is the constant need to adapt to changes.  Dani Dipirro in her book, “Grow Through It” provides some food for thought.

  • Accept – Taking note of our strengths and weaknesses to accept and not resist what these changing seasons bring to our life. Everything is fleeting, not easy but will pass.

  • Balance – Each season has its highs and lows but are necessary for growth.

  • Change – Change can be unpleasant, but as you go through life’s seasons, do not strive and wish for it to be summer always, learn to look for the inspiration in your winters.

Written By: Isabelle Ng, Marriage Counsellor, Fei Yue Community Services


BBC security correspondent, Published 21 December 2021, Retrieved 6 April 2022 from https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-59739563#:~:text=Princess%20Haya%20fled%20from%20Dubai,to%20Dubai%20against%20their%20will.

Watch: CNA Leadership Summit 2022 – Women inspiring change, Retrieved 6 April 2022 from https://cnalifestyle.channelnewsasia.com/women/cna-leadership-summit-2022-international-womens-day-306121

Seasons of Womanhood, Retrieved 25 April 2022 from https://www.lifegivinglinen.com/blog-the-way-of-women/seasons-of-womanhood

DiPirro, Dani (2020). Grow Through It. Tarcher Perigee-an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

White Paper on Singapore Women’s Development (2022). Retrieved from https://www.reach.gov.sg/participate/conversations-on-singapore-womens-development