Gender equality

Gender equality

News and analysis on women's rights, the gender gap, LGBTI issues, sexual harassment, sexual minorities and masculinity in Asia and beyond.  

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
China Trends: woman punished for taking maternity leave, and a poor county’s luxury school
Every Tuesday and Thursday, China Trends takes the pulse of the Chinese social media to keep you in the loop of what the world’s biggest internet population is talking about. Asked to write 600 words an hour for maternity pay A furniture company in Shanghai has apologized after demanding that a woman who had taken maternity leave submit a daily handwritten report documenting her past sales.  The staff member was asked last week by Banmoo, her employer, to write 600 words per hour and send a report every day.  The company said it would fine her 50 yuan ($7.25) for each spelling mistake, 100 yuan (US$14.50) for each repetitive sentence, and 500 yuan (US$72) for each late or missing report. The
The disadvantages women in China face from birth to boardroom
From a biased sex ratio at birth to low representation of women in leadership positions, women in China are still at a great disadvantage in many areas, according to a new report by the Chinese government. While most of the unpaid work is done by women, men still dominate important positions in the political system, top academies and judicial systems, according to the report, “Women and Men in China, Facts and Figures 2019”. The progress of women in China had “reached a brand new level,” but remained “arduous” because of factors relating to economic growth, and historical and cultural reasons, said the report, published on the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) website. It is the sixth r
Unmarried women might get a win for gender equality in China
Women’s rights advocates have applauded a proposal to China’s top advisory body to expand access to assisted reproductive technology. This includes technologies such as in vitro fertilization and egg freezing – medical practices that are difficult to access for unmarried women in China. Under the country’s existing laws, unmarried women and couples who do not “comply with the population and birth-planning regulations” are banned from using those services at Chinese hospitals and agencies. Peng Jing, a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, an advisory body, submitted the proposal to the advisory body, which if adopted would give unmarried women the right to use ass
‘Kingdoms of women’: how modernity threatens Asia’s female-centric societies
While women’s rights may have become a major topic of discussion around the world in recent years, there are female-centric communities that for centuries have distinguished themselves by carving out their own feminist traditions in places such as China, India and Indonesia. But many of these matriarchal and matrilineal societies are now struggling to survive, amid threats posed by the modern world such as mass tourism, technology and the infiltration of ideas from mainstream patriarchal society. In China, for instance, there is a small Mosuo tribe known as the “kingdom of women.”. “Key to the Mosuo culture is their matrilineal family structure, with a basic building block of only members sh
Will China legalize same-sex marriage? These people hope so
Nearly 200,000 people have appealed to the Chinese authorities to recognize same-sex marriage, in a month-long push sparked by a review of the country’s civil law provisions. The country’s LGBT community and its supporters have been writing to legislators and leaving comments in favor of a change to China’s marriage laws during a public comment period which ended on Friday with more than 190,000 people responding. Among them is Ling Gu, a lesbian from Wuhan in the central Chinese province of Hubei. All she wants is a marriage certificate. Ling and her partner have had their wedding photos taken and together run a real estate business. In all but the eyes of the law, they are a married couple
The divergent tales of two women’s rights crusaders in China
Feminists Wang Wei and Xiong Jing both found their calling in college, but their experiences of campaigning for women’s rights in China have been vastly different. Wang, 21, who provides sex education through a start-up she founded, has received official policy and funding support for her activities. But 31-year-old Xiong, a prominent #MeToo activist seeking to change attitudes toward women, has been under tight government scrutiny, and her organization was shut down. This split-screen contrast may reflect one of the many contradictions in China’s economic, political and social policies as the ruling Communist Party tries to meet demands for a more equal society as people get richer, without
Chinese traditions are no excuse for disinheriting daughters in British Columbia
The elderly Chinese immigrant came to the office of Vancouver lawyer Trevor Todd, a long-time neighbor, with plans to write his will. He brought with him his wife of 35 years – and the intention to disinherit her and their daughter, and instead leave the entire family fortune to the couple’s adult son. “I told him ‘forget it’,” said Todd last week, of the encounter 15 years ago.  Todd’s neighbor was hardly an outlier. Lawyers say sex-based disinheritance of Asian women is common in Canada, with wives and daughters sometimes “shafted” (to use Todd’s wording) by the will of a family patriarch. But the phenomenon is now under scrutiny, thanks to a high-profile multimillion-dollar court victory
Woman boss hits out at question about work-life balance
Zhang Quanling, an entrepreneur who had become famous as a TV host, has lashed out against sexism in Chinese society. When asked how she balanced work and family life, Zhang went on a tirade, pushing back on what she saw as a misogynistic question.  “I want to make it clear, I hate this question very much,” Zhang told an interviewer during an event with Empower Education Online, an online learning platform.  “Why do you ask this question? Because you expected that I should be balancing my family and work, so you posed this question to confirm. You would never ask me why I don’t play ball with Yao Ming, because you have no such expectation,” she said.  Footage of the interview has gathered m
Taiwan’s shameful lack of women’s rights
It’s been a good week or so for Taiwan, where I was born. My heart burst as I watched the crowd of more than 40,000 supporters packing the streets of Taipei as they celebrated Taiwan's legalization of same-sex marriage. But the parade that celebrated a monumental advancement in Taiwan’s history left a small feeling of discomfort within. I had been in Taipei in early March, and attended the annual Women’s Day March, which aimed to highlight issues including gender violence, social inequality and reproductive rights. It was attended by around 100 people. The discrepancy in numbers troubled me. Why is there such a stigma in Taiwan about highlighting women’s rights? Crystal Liu, the founder of T