All Cash Flows From The Old Asset Are Zero Matrimonial Assets and Empowerment – Do Men Have Rights in Singapore?

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Matrimonial Assets and Empowerment – Do Men Have Rights in Singapore?

Imagine you were to bring the Taliban to Singapore and task the Taliban with allocating relative places for men and women in universities based on students’ GCE ‘A’ level examination results. How is that expected from the Taliban?

They want to make sure that only men win and win big. By manipulating the statistics, they used to play cards against women students. How? Well, imagine a point system where:

(a) Marks for each subject will be aggregated for all students; (b) the average marks for each subject shall be calculated from the total marks; (c) the examination results of each child who exceeds the average in a given subject shall be given a weightage of ‘one plus X’ (where X is the extent to which his mark exceeds the average); (d) Conversely, the examination results of every girl who exceeds the average in a given subject shall be given a flat mark of ‘one’;

And the Taliban will proudly conclude from a point system that boys are superior in intelligence to girls based on the number of X’s they score for the subject. And what about the rest of the subjects? The Taliban will point their rifles at you and declare with a straight face that boys and girls score the same for other subjects based on their ‘flat’ measurements. By this logic, the Taliban would conclude that boys are superior to girls and that more university places should be allocated to boys.

Civil war will be on our hands. Feminists will be dismayed at the Taliban’s fanatical ways of working! Readers may think that the above scenario is very inappropriate. And thankfully so. But something similar happened in 2005 at a high-profile international organization – something similar but with the genders reversed. And it is incredible that there is no civil war yet.

In 2005, the World Economic Forum published a report entitled Women’s Empowerment. The report was loaded with lots of data, charts and tables, and scientific sounding statistical concepts. The report concluded on page 16 that:

“A true model of gender equality does not exist. Given the dismal international picture, no one who studies gender inequality can doubt that no country in the world has yet achieved it… We hope that this work will stimulate policy. Makers have strengthened their commitment to the idea of ​​women’s empowerment. To mobilize political will, energy and resources together with aid agencies and civil society organizations to make and realize gender equality.”

This was an indictment of policy makers around the world, including the United States of America which ranked 22nd behind Sri Lanka (a war-torn country facing a civil war at the time) and Colombia (a country facing drug trafficking). toting chieftain). Singapore ranks 65th behind African nations Ghana, Uganda, Namibia and Botswana. How did this happen? An allusion will be found thrown in the appendix on page 21 where it is said that:

“This scale obscures the fact that many countries have met or exceeded the equality benchmark for some variables. For example, some countries have more girls than boys. Under the previous method, the top-performing country, Sweden, with 1.26 girls for every boy in secondary school, had 7 points, while countries that have reached par like Korea only get 3.04 points.

“In the current index, since all variables are distance concepts and are calculated as the ratio of female values ​​to male values, each variable is measured on a 0 – 1 scale where 1 is defined as the equality benchmark. The distribution is reduced here to the equality benchmark so that in the previous case, Sweden and Korea get 1 point each.” The indicator showed that previous years’ reports had taken both figures of women outpacing men and men outpacing women. However, until the 2005 report, only statistics showing men outperforming women were held to support the conclusion that there was no gender equality. This was achieved by neutralizing all statistics in which women outperformed men – i.e. cutting such statistics to ‘1’ for equality. This fanatical modus operandi was the image of the fictional Taliban story above.

The 2005 methodology hid the true diversity of women’s achievements, and notably women outperformed men in many areas. The bigoted approach adopted by the 2005 report leads the reader to suspect that: if the sectors in which women outperform men are considered with equal weight, they will balance out the other sectors that the 2005 report relies on.

An alternative view of the true gender statistics can be found in an article entitled The Gender Divide: The author observed that the underrepresentation of women in various sectors and leadership positions was not due to gender discrimination, but because (a) women had more lifestyle options – meaning more options for a better work-life balance; and (b) women were given priority that led them down a different path than straight up the corporate ladder.

In Singapore, the Women’s Charter was a last-century affirmative action for women based on gender inequality at the time. If a survey of gender equality had been conducted on Singapore, a third-world country half a century ago, there is no doubt that a strong case for its affirmative legislation would have been made. Half a century later, there is general parity in the number of men and women studying in our universities and in our workforce. There is great doubt whether a women’s charter is still needed in first-world Singapore.

Various aspects of the law have been discussed in the various articles in this series on Men’s Rights. What remains is our law relating to matrimonial property. In the United Kingdom, Baroness Ruth Deitch, a former lecturer in family law at the University of Oxford, has said that London has become the divorce capital of Europe due to generous awards of matrimonial property by British courts to women upon divorce. Her observations suggested that the distribution of marital property may be fair among divorcees at the lower end of the economic scale, but at the higher end of the economic scale it was: (a) unfair (disproportionate to the amount of effort expended); (b) humiliating women (i.e. the majority who were honest and hardworking); and (c) encouraged sham marriages (ie women who married rich men for money). With this indictment of divorce laws in the United Kingdom, it is time for Singapore to examine our own divorce laws.

If you ask Paul, a divorcee who had to transfer half of his matrimonial home to his ex-wife, whether the law is fair in Singapore, you will get a resounding ‘no’. They would say that the family court applied a double standard. In line with the spirit of the Women’s Charter to protect women, the family court ordered Paul to disclose all his bank records, expense receipts and other records that could reveal hidden assets. But when Paul applied to disclose his ex-wife’s records of how the investment bonus was paid in cash from an insurance brokerage company and disappeared (rather than the banking system), the family court was incredulous and asked why. Tracking wife’s property when the main focus should be on his (husband’s property). The Family Court declined to order disclosure.

If you ask Paul, he would also say that family court relies too heavily on the ‘clean break’ ideal. The Family Court felt that divorcees should be freed from each other’s liens on joint property. He lived in a mature estate with his wife and son and had been trying to sell en bloc for years. The sale was canceled after the economic downturn. The couple clashed over money issues (including money losses from property investments) and were left with only an en bloc sale to get out of their financial mess. He offered to buy the ex-wife’s share of the matrimonial home. The court rejected the en bloc sale and ordered Paul to transfer his share in the matrimonial home to his ex-wife. A few years later, Amblock’s sales were successful, and his ex-wife took advantage.

And if you’re trying to appease Paul, that this argument was for the good of his son? In that case, the transfer should be made to someone in trust for his son, he will counter it. Ex-husbands fight tooth and nail to prevent their wealth from falling into the hands of their ex-wives. But most ex-husbands will fight less if their assets fall into the hands of their children. This brings us back to the question of whether a family charter is more appropriate for Singapore today.

The Mahila Sanad was an affirmative act of the last century for the protection of women. Obviously, the family court considered that the best way to protect the interests of the child is for the husband to transfer the matrimonial home to the wife who has the care and control of the child. This was allegedly done in the best interest of the child. But it immediately benefited the ex-wife. And that led to many unnecessary lawsuits over the distribution of matrimonial property.

On the other hand, a family charter, by its very name, would suggest that the laws are for the benefit of all parties. Because of such legislation, the family court may be more interested in the assets of both husbands and wives and may be more inclined to transfer the father’s assets/windfall to his children (rather than ex-husbands to ex-wives).

Finally, with less consequences, women may be less willing to go to divorce court. If a woman can be surprised that her respected and beloved father is unfaithful, she might see her faithful husband in a better light — like the wife in the short story Sex Rhythm and Videotape.

Jonathan Lee

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