Menstruation is holding back girls in parts of China. These teens try to help
When the fundraising campaign started last week, 17-year-old high school student Joyce Peng thought the target might have been too ambitious. The plan was to raise 90,000 yuan ($13,100) for sanitary products for girls in a remote, mountainous part of southwest China. Joyce and her friends, part of a feminist club called Stand TogetHer in Chengdu, Sichuan province, launched the online charity campaign. Their doubts were quickly erased. In just over a day, the group raised just under 125,000 yuan ($18,240) to help 700 impoverished girls at a primary school in Liangshan Yi autonomous prefecture, one of the poorest parts of the country, access sanitary products. “I’m very excited and so happy,”
Game developer’s sexual comments spark gender debate
A series of vulgar remarks from the founder of a Chinese gaming company has ignited a debate about the persistent mistreatment of female gamers and sparked calls for a boycott. On the day his company released a trailer for a much-anticipated new game, Feng Ji said it had attracted so many job applicants that he had been “licked so much that [he] could no longer get erected.” In another post about the trailer, Feng said, “Now I feel pressure in my pants!" The trailer for the game, called Black Myth: Wukong, generated buzz in the gaming community with breathtaking animations. Feng’s posts may jeopardize the commercial success of the game, which has no release date yet. The comments sparked a
Deaths of wives prompt outrage over violence against women
A series of cases in which husbands reportedly killed their wives in China have prompted online outrage over persistent domestic violence and the lack of legal protection for women. Domestic violence has been a persistent problem in China, and a new generation of feminists are pushing back against what they say is structural gender inequality that leads to women’s vulnerability to spousal violence.  More women are reporting domestic violence incidents and expressing outrage over a new law that mandates a 30-day cooling-off period for couples seeking a divorce. They argue that the rule would make it harder for women to escape abusive marriages.  The recent string of murders has only galvanize
Alleged sexual abuse of teen girl prompts calls to raise age of consent
In a case that has thrown a spotlight on China’s age of consent laws, a businessman has denied accusations that he assaulted a 14-year-old girl and described the relationship as romantic. The alleged victim, who is now 18, told Chinese media outlets South Reviews and Thepaper.cn in April that the man, who adopted her in 2015, sexually assaulted her over the course of more than three years. She said the assault first took place when she was 14 years old. Lawyers say the businessman, Bao Yuming, may be able to defend himself by asserting the alleged sex was consensual. The case is being investigated by police in the eastern city of Yantai, where Bao lives.  In a response to South Reviews, Bao
‘I’m worried about black people’: Uproar in China over plan to attract foreigners
The Chinese government on Saturday has promised to revise a draft bill on issuing “green cards” to foreigners after the proposal unleashed a wave of online xenophobia. China has one of the world’s strictest permanent residency programs, but many citizens say they don’t want more immigrants, especially black people, to settle in the country. Millions of angry comments have flooded Chinese social media to protest against a plan that Beijing said was meant to attract more foreign talent to boost the economy. “I’m worried about black people and Islam,” David Zhu, a 33-year-old banker in Shanghai, told Inkstone, calling black people “uncivilized” and Islam “a cancer.” “You can tell from the exper
Chinese propaganda under fire for ‘humiliating’ female nurses
Chinese state media reports heaping praise on women nurses for their sacrifices in the fight against the coronavirus epidemic are backfiring online, with social media users and academics dismissing them as propaganda and “humiliating.” State broadcaster CCTV led the charge last week, describing a nurse who was in her last month of pregnancy as “a great mother and angel in a white gown” because she had continued to work in the emergency ward of a hospital in Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak in central China. Zhao Yu was due to give birth in 20 days when the report aired, and apparently insisted she should remain on duty at a hospital overwhelmed with virus patients. Although her colleague
Needs of female medical workers overlooked in coronavirus fight, advocates say
As the number of coronavirus patients has continued to climb, medical workers in the heart of the outbreak have had to avoid drinking and cross their legs to get through long shifts in their protective suits. But for the many women on the front line of China’s fight against the epidemic, they have also had to deal with menstruation, a need that some female medical professionals said is being overlooked by China’s decision makers. A group of women’s rights advocates is seeking to help by sending hundreds of thousands of pairs of disposable underwear designed for periods to hospitals in the central city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak. The goal is to help female hospital staff have mor
Why don’t Chinese women want more babies? It’s not just about money
It is often presumed that government policies are the main factors determining birth patterns in China. This may not be the case anymore. By the end of 2015, China ended the controversial one-child policy, allowing couples to have two children. A baby boom was expected. But it hasn’t materialized and it is very unlikely that it will. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the birth rate in 2019 fell to 1.048, the lowest on record since the founding of the People’s Republic, except in 1961 when millions lost their lives in a widespread famine. After the Chinese Communist Party took power in 1949, Chairman Mao Zedong foolishly encouraged women to produce more children, believing that
This Chinese woman is fighting to freeze her eggs
Under Chinese law, unmarried women are not allowed to freeze their eggs for in vitro fertilization. Xu Zaozao, a 31-year-old single woman, says it is time to change the rules to give women more control over their bodies. Xu has filed a lawsuit against the hospital that denied her request to freeze her eggs. The case brought attention to the plight of women struggling to access IVF in China.
Charity for girls comes under fire for funding boys
A Chinese government-run charity aimed at helping poverty-stricken girls finish their schooling has prompted an online outcry after it was found to be funding boys’ education as well.  Despite a growing awareness of gender equality in urban China, girls, especially those in rural areas, still lag behind in their access to education due to long-held favoritism toward sons. To help provide education for poor girls, the state-run China Children and Teenagers’ Fund launched the Spring Bud Project in 1989.  The project’s promotional materials have almost entirely featured women, and China’s first lady, Peng Liyuan, is the charity’s special ambassador. But social media users found this week that a