The organizational members of the Women and Children Affairs Committee have largely been replaced, according to a notice published in the Official Gazette. Approximately one third of previous organizational committee members have been replaced by the government with new groups.
The organisations that have been removed from the committee include Sisters of the Good Shepherds’ Mutual Assistance Center for Women, Creche Sin Meng, the Methodist Church, the Ze Ai Charity Association, and the Zonta Club of Macau. These organisations have been replaced with new members, namely the Macao Chamber of Commerce, the Macao Youth Federation, Macau Association of Female Servants, Macao Catholic Family Advisory Council, and the Macao Media Workers Association.
The Women and Children Affairs Committee was established in 2016. Its objectives are to work towards development goals in relation to women and children in Macau, and contribute to policy development on domestic violence issues and other matters affecting women and children.
According to a report by All About Macau, President of the New Macau Association, Icy Kam, voiced her doubts over the government’s standards for appointing members to the committee.
Kam believes that the decision to remove the Sisters of the Good Shepherds’ Mutual Assistance Center for Women from the membership has also removed an important source of professional opinions on women and children matters. Kam also cited a report to note that none of the five new associations have specialised experience in women and children’s services.
The activist postulated that the government is seeking to hear different opinions by changing the constitution of committee membership. However, there are other organizations which have been appointed as the committee members since 2016 when the committee was established.