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Title: For the good of the nation: 'Strategic egalitarianism' in the Singapore context
Authors: Lazar, M.M. 
Issue Date: 2001
Citation: Lazar, M.M. (2001). For the good of the nation: 'Strategic egalitarianism' in the Singapore context. Nations and Nationalism 7 (1) : 59-74. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: In this article, I introduce the concept of 'strategic egalitarianism' in relation to women's co-optation into nationalist projects in Singapore. By strategic egalitarianism, I mean the granting of equality to women that is contingent upon meeting particular pragmatic nationalist objectives. For example, the granting of equal educational and employment opportunities by the government in the 1960s was necessitated by Singapore's economic survival as a newly emerging nation. By the 1980s, another pragmatic national concern dealing with rapid decline in population growth emerged, requiring that women prioritise the role of motherhood. A complicating factor in the procreationist discourse is the government's eugenic policy that favours the 'right' kind of women, in particular, to bear the 'right' kind of babies for the continued vitality of the nation. In the course of this article, I examine the problem with strategic egalitarianism, which shifts its ground depending on the nationalist goals of the day, and the implications this has for Singapore women.
Source Title: Nations and Nationalism
ISSN: 13545078
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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