Did you know that The President of Singapore, Madam Halimah Yacob, was Her World’s Woman of the Year (WOTY) award winner in 2003?
More than a decade ago, the President was recogised for her work in the community championing women’s rights. That’s what Her World Woman of the Year is about - championing women who champion others.
Over the last 27 years, Her World has honoured some of the most interesting and high-achieving women in Singapore such as the likes of Madam Halimah, who went on to become our nation’s first female head of state last year.
Her World is one of the first local magazines to launch such an award dedicated to honouring such inspirational role models, hence this event is signature to the title and there’s really no other WOTY like ours.
Every year, hundreds of people gather in honour of that one woman who will be selected as Her World Woman of the Year and another outstanding woman will be named Young Woman Achiever.
Before we look forward to this event happening on the evening of Aug 24 (look out for all our updates on our website, Instagram, Facebook & YouTube), let's look back to some of the most interesting facts about Woman of the Year that you might not have known about.
1. This year, Madam President Halimah Yacob will be the WOTY 2018’s Guest of Honour. However, this will be not the first time she has attended this event. In 2003, Madam Halimah Yacob won the award herself for championing workers’ rights as a Member of Parliament. She was also the event’s Guest of Honour in 2013 and 2015. She will certainly be feeling at home at this year’s WOTY awards.
2. When chef and restaurant owner Janice Wong won the Young Achiever’s award in 2011/12, she added her own touch to the event. While some winners make speeches, or take glamorous photos, Wong used her own gastronomical talents to create something memorable. In the centre of the ballroom stood a striking monumental edible art piece that was enjoyed by hundreds of guests. Yum!
3. Though you should never ask a woman her age, Her World was more than happy to share its 55th anniversary alongside the 2015 WOTY awards. It was certainly the grandest WOTY held with over 400 guests attending—the largest attendance of the awards yet.
4. The 2015 WOTY awards would not have been complete without a glamorous art exhibition and even a live opera performance.
5. If you have ever been to the Shangri-La for an evening social within their ballroom you will understand why it has become the home for the WOTY awards. Since the launch of the awards, the Shangri-La Hotel has been the most welcoming venue to all our guests, befitting of such a prestigious event such as WOTY.
6. The WOTY is not just all about the partying, it also is a place to show respect to those in the community who have dedicated their lives to Singapore. In 2016, President Nathan passed away only a couple days before the awards. To show respect for his life, there was a moment of silence observed in his honour.
Photo: The Straits Times
7. This was not the only time the WOTY awards chose to showcase a full life. In 2010, for Her World’s 50th Golden Jubilee, Dr Oon Chiew Seng, 94, was the winner of the Special Award. She was chosen because of her dedication to the community and as an example of humility that we can all learn from.
8. Typically, the Young Woman Achiever award. which was introduced in 1999, would be awarded to one winner. But in 2008, not one, but two winners were chosen as the Young Women Achievers because of their extraordinary athletic achievements. Ms Yip Pin Xiu and Ms Laurentia Tan both competed in the Beijing Paralympics that year and had won medals, making them our worthy winners that year.