Below is a summary of an advocacy meeting on "Cross-border feminist strategy" which took place in Hong Kong on June 11, 2011. The meeting is part of the research effort on "Gender, ICT and citizenship" coordinated by IT for Change. It aims to bring together feminist activists from China and Hong Kong to address debate over citizen rights in relation to the authoritarian regime in Mainland China and the border politics under the post-colonial conditions of One Country Two System in Hong Kong.
Chair: Ip Iam Chong (Hong Kong In-Media, Hong Kong)
Lu Ping (Gender Watch China, Beijing)
Li Jun (Gender Action Network, Guangzhou)
Sally Choi (AAF, Hong Kong)
Oiwan Lam (Hong Kong In-Media, Hong Kong)
by judy a. pasimio
“Pasalubong ha?” said Alvin John, 4 years old, to his mother, Marylou. Pasalubong is a gift one usually brings home from a trip.
This was Marylou’s latest conversation with her only son, when she called home, with the help of Saligan, the law group assisting her. “Namingaw na mi.” I miss home. “I want to go home now,” said teary-eyed Marylou.
First of all, I should thank you all for backing me up for this Obscene Articles Tribunal court case; some of you I have never met face to face, but have developed some attachment by reading your blogs on a daily base. As you have set up a Free Oiwan Lam! Facebook page for me, I owe all of you a proper self-introduction and case briefing.
Well... as some of you may have known, one of the article that i wrote for inmediahk.net has been classified as Class II indecent articles by the Obscene Articles Tribunal. The maximum penalty is HK$400,000 and 12 months in jail.
First I should thank Roland for translating the few war declaration paragraphs that I wrote at inmediahk.net yesterday:
The recent storm aroused by the Chinese University of Hong Kong student newspaper's erotic section is just the tip of the iceberg. Political censorsihp has been manipulating public opinion in seemingly apolitical sectors. Previously, we saw during the consultation over digital media copyrights how the state machinery used "protection of copyrights" to attempt to introduce a system to filter and delete contents, or else intimidate personal or small websites through fines.
Another gap through which political censorship can be introduced is pornography. This gap gathers the power of the state as well as the forces of religious people and fake moral politicians. So far, they have focused on gender and gay rights groups, but we must extend our battlelines in light of the court decision two days ago: the police filed charges against a netizen for posting hyperlinks to pornographic websites at a certain forum and the court arrived at a guilty verdict with a fine of HK$5,000. This is a very significant precedent for censorship.
One sunny day in November, we rented a car for news reporting in Hanoi. Our driver, A Hai, remained silent and shy. We treated him drink and fried chicken. After a whole day together, he felt a little bit relaxed and began conversation with us. A Hai who came from a village near Hanoi asked us: Why did you Taiwanese bully our girls?
The cases of abuse happened frequently. It tarnishes the reputation of Taiwan. A Hai's question is so direct. From it, we can see his anger which shocked us as newcomers to Vietnam. Thousands of Vietnamese girls are married to Taiwan each year and now about 90,000-100,000 "Vietnamese wives" in Taiwan. The news about their abuse is widely covered by media in Vietnam. Some Vietnamese women organization and international NGO protest against our government. Taiwan's officials stationed at the Taipei Office of Economy and Culture keep apologizing to them. As Director Chen Chanlin said, Taiwanese businessmen who invested in Taiwan were viewed as "good men". But when local people talked about "Vietnamese wives", they had bad feeling about Taiwan.
The whole world is celebrating Valentine's Day, news like million dollars chocolate diamond hit the most popular international news, and the blogosphere is resonating the Love packaging consumption day.
Not many are aware that today is also the V-day, V stands for Victory, Valentine and Vagina.
While the party elite are launching their poverty alleviation program to curb China's worsening income disparity situation and to build a harmonious society, in about every two minutes there will have one person choose to end up his misery by committing suicide.
Among these 290,000 odd suicidal victims, 84% of them are peasants and 35% are illiterate. Pesticide is the medium they use most (58%) to end up their lives.
In 1995, during the 4th World Conference of Women in Beijing, the World Rural Women's Day was launched. Since then, October 15 is celebrated as World Rural Women's Day.
A decade after, who is celebrating?
Not the wives, mothers and daughters of those activists and community organizers who have been victims of political killings under the Arroyo government in the Philippines. Nor those women human rights defenders working in the communities who are living a life of uncertainty of when and where their own death would come.
Wearing black, holding the picture of Kuang, a group of sex workers, COSWAS (Collective of Sex Workers and supporters) members and other labour organizations staged a protest on August 23, in front of the Presidential Office to call for de-criminalization of sex workers and to call for president Chen, former mayor of Taipei City to be responsible for it.