Cross border feminist dialogue

2011-07-25 - oiwan

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)

Ip Iam Chong:

Interaction between feminists from Hong Kong and China has been limited to organization and social network exchange, but very seldom on common social and political issues.

After the return of Hong Kong to China in 1997, the context has changed. In term of political context, although Hong Kong is relatively free, we have been impacted by the political system in China, in particular the democratization process. In term of economic context, the whole production system has been integrated. The Pearl River Delta has become the world's factory and we have a huge number of woman migrant workers in the industrial area, while Hong Kong's capital and management has played an important role in the shaping of the region. In term of social development, many social debates in Hong Kong are related with cross-border issues. Many middle lower and lower class people have family members both in Hong Kong and in China. Many mainland Chinese women have migrated to Hong Kong and they have suffered from social pressure derived from marriage and reproduction.

Recently, the status of new born babies from mainland China has become a source of social conflicts. The policy makers and mainstream conservative forces try to approach the issue by means of border control. For example, instead of reviewing problem in our existing public health care system, the Hong Kong government is now restricting Chinese pregnant women from entering Hong Kong. Up till now, we don't have feminist intervention in this kind of debates.

I hope the above description can give us a context for the speakers to explore our common feminist agenda.

Lu Ping:

Gender Watch is a weekly e-newsletter under the supervision of the woman journalist association and woman media watch network, which was established in 1996 in response to the Beijing Woman's forum action plan to engage with the mainstream media.

Let's take a look at the China context first. First of all, we have very limited space for NGO building and social forces are very dispersed. Secondly, gender and feminist perspective is almost invisible in the mainstream media. In a way, Gender Watch, plays a double role in engaging with public discourse and feminist community building. Through social media, NGO activists and feminists are able to form circle and engage in public debate, even though the discussion seldom enter the public sphere. When we talk about the development of woman movement in China we have to address the above context.

However, in the past decade, we see many young people who do not depend on traditional media for getting their information and are very eager to express their feelings online. Their starting points is usually about their everyday life, such as violence in marriage and intimate relation and occupation discrimination. It is important to connect with the newly emerged online community. In the past, we don't have this kind of discussion.

As for our group, we want to advocate gender perspective in public debate. Some of our articles are collected from mainstream media directly, some are original writing, using gender perspective in addressing current affair and debates. We also translate English news and commentaries into Chinese, publish NGOs' activity reports and readers' opinion pieces. Since it is impossible for us to publish hard copies, we distribute the newsletters through e-mail, blog, micro-blog and social media.

The weekly e-newsletter reaches about 10,000 readers. Through the publication process and interaction with our community members, readers and followers, we have formulate some common knowledges, perspectives, horizons, values and beliefs on public affairs. Such common ground, in return, has become the base for this community to further engage with the larger public.

In a way, it is a social organ for the production of reproduction of knowledge. Its accumulation is through the building up of community which share a set of common knowledge. Such community eventually has the potential of transforming the society when time comes.

As for cross-border feminist agenda, I do think that it is very important, however, due to lack of information, it is rather difficult for us to engage with the discussion.

Li Jun

I would start with a story. Recently in Dongguan, a mother strangled to death her brain-paralyzed son and committed suicide. She failed in the suicide attempt and faced the charge of murder. A woman concern group has written a signature campaign letter pleading for lenient judgement because the mother has been taking care of her son for more than 10 years and she ended his life out of love. When I reviewed the letter, I found gender perspective missing. I rewrote the letter and approach the incident by addressing the role of family care taker.

If we do not bring forward the family care taker's role, the whole discussion would be about the social welfare and support of disability and will neglect the condition of woman as mother, as family care taker. How can our social system address their need? We have collected more than 500 individual signatures and 20 organization signatures. The mainstream media has good coverage of the campaign and many people outside the feminist circle has participated in the campaign. We need equip ourselves to be prepared for such kind of occasion.

Gender Action Network, to some extent, is under the influence of Lu Ping's Gender Watch initiative in Beijing. Professor Ai Xiaoming from Sun Yatsen University also helped the network to come into existence. She pointed out that the media environment in Southern China is relatively free however, gender perspective is missing. At the beginning, we mainly organized seminars and workshops.

The Pearl river delta has a very distinctive regional character. While in Beijing, they have all the experts and NGOs, we don't have such kind of resources here and gender perspective is a foreign term. The media used to believe that feminists are extremists and it would undermine the professional code in journalism.

Here I would like to tell another story. It is a serial sexual harassment case in Guangzhou. My colleague from the media just take it as another juicy legal case - a boss sexually harassed and raped a number of his staff members who are all university graduates. However, I decided to do an investigative report on the gender relation in the company management culture, how do the management system defines man and woman's bodily relation? For me, feminist is a method to inform different communities, in my case professional journalist, to reflect upon their practice and bring in new practices that can address unequal gender structure. After my story come out, my colleagues were very positive about the new angle.

In Southern China, the media has a very special environment. There is a lot of interaction among the public opinions in Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Macau because we share common language and many resident from Pearl River region watch Hong Kong Television program. Social issues, such as the construction of incinerators in the region has become our common concern. However, when we organize seminars and forums in Guangzhou, we invite speakers from Beijing, rather than from Hong Kong.

I think we need to find way to construct a cross-border network and strengthen our connection. However, we have to be aware that, because of the special political environment and system in mainland China, we have to pay attention to our strategy. Since professor Chan Shunhing is here, we can review the "Nobel Peace Woman Nomination" project for talking about the meaning of opportunity and strategy in our work.

Sally Choi:

Woman's movement has a much longer tradition in China. Around 1940s, there were already quite a number of women organizations in Shanghai. Women activists had already participated in the World Women Forum back then. With the establishment of PRC, the independent woman organizations became part of the state machinery.

In Hong Kong, since the 1980s, a large number of women organizations have emerged. The Association for the Advancement of Feminisms (AAF) was also set up in 1984. Before 1989 AAF had some informal connection and communication with woman organizations in China, in particular the Woman Federation in Guangzhou. Such kind of connection came to an end as a result of the Tiananmen Crackdown in 1989. The interaction between women organizations and activists across the border has always been disrupted by the political environment.

However, the 1995 Beijing woman forum had created an opportunity for Hong Kong women organizations to make connection with mainland women organizations, scholars and organizers. It is a new beginning for cross-border connection among women organizations, activists and scholars.

Because of the parameter imposed by the political system, the interaction between women organization across the border depends very much on individual social connections. That's why we don't have common social movement campaign and agenda.

Since the 1990s, the East Asia Woman Forum has provided another occasion for women organizations from Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea and Mongolia to build connection. We meet every three years to discuss the distinctive woman agenda in East Asia. Since gender inequality and violence is more explicit in South and Southeast Asia, the agenda in the World Women Forum cannot address East Asia' condition. In 2003, we have quite a successful one in Hong Kong in 2003. However, according to our plan, we want to organize the forum in different cities. After Hong Kong, the next one should be in mainland China. However, as a civic organization network, the host would be Women Federation, which is a government body. They manipulated the participant list and as a result the pro-independent woman groups from Taiwan were excluded. They also invited a number of district council members from Hong Kong who are not active in the woman movement before. In the case of mainland China, the Federation had excluded all individual activists and civic groups, instead they invited government officials to join the forum. As a result the forum was disintegrated and we did not have another chance to meet since 2006.

Apart from organization participation, woman movement should also include individual activists and scholars.

The definition of feminist woman, apart from woman's liberation, should also be inclusive of the empowerment of the subjectivity of victims. The Tiananmen mother campaign is a very successful example in supporting the victims. However, we are yet to transform the victim campaigns into a force that can change the unequal gender structure in the society.

I agree that we should cooperate to address some common agendas and help woman organizations to grow together. For example, in this meeting, we see there are so many women activists with media background from mainland China and they are very effective in using conventional and media for their organization work and campaign. In Hong Kong, most of the woman organization members are social workers and scholars. We have very few media workers in our circle, which makes our campaign not as visible in the public arena.

In AAF, our work focuses on policy and legal framework and we build alliance with other women organizations and civic organizations to push through our agenda. This is the strength of Hong Kong NGOs.

I know that in Hong Kong, labour organizations have many exchange and cooperation with their mainland counterparts, we can also borrow their experience in building up information connection.

As for the issue of cross-border pregnant women issue, this is something related with the reproduction policy in mainland China, where they adopt the one-child policy. Many Hong Kong people accuse mainland Chinese pregnant women for stealing the local social resources, such as hospital facilities. They seldom address the question why these women have to come to Hong Kong to give birth. Actually, some of them have husbands who are Hong Kong citizens, and some of them want to escape from the one-child policy, a policy that takes away woman's control over her own body. However, we have not addressed the issue from the gender perspective. Most of the discussions look at the issue as an individual choice, rather than looking into the problem of the social and political system.

Recently more and more Hong Kong organizations have began to address the issue of the right of mainland Chinese new immigrants. Our focus is on the population and social welfare policy which define the role of new immigrant women as family caretakers rather than a rightful citizens in Hong Kong. However, the recent cash handouts of HKD6000 to permanent citizen in Hong Kong has resulted in a shift of attention from the philosophy of budget plan and resource redistribution into a debate about the rights of "new immigrants". The policy focus has become blurred again as a result of the government's tactic.

Lam Oi Wan:

I would start with a Facebook story. A month ago, Chong criticized a famous critics, Chen Yun, in his Facebook status, saying that his rhetoric in defining mainland Chinese new immigrants has a Fascist tendency. There is a very long discussion thread under his comment. One of them is a very famous blogger Kay Lam, he said: You guys from the academic circle, you can only comment on the social incidents with your theories and concepts, however, you have not deal with the pain of these pregnant women [who cannot have a proper hospital bed for their labour]. I also joined in the debate (fortunately I am a woman), I said: the pain is real, while the reason and the diagnosis is false / wrong. We should not use their pain to create social conflict.

However, looking back at the debate, I was too cunning. I did not deal with their pain. In Hong Kong and in China, reproduction issue is a very big problem and filled with pain. In mainland China, it is the one child policy. The blind man activists Chen Guangcheng was put to jail and under house arrest now because he is against one child policy. The poisonous infant milk incident is also related with the domain of reproduction. However, when we addressed these problem, we tends to "de-genderize" the issue into gender neutral public debate. For example, many people know that Chen Guangcheng is a rights defender but they seldom mention what exactly is the right that he is defending. He is just another victim of CCP's tyranny. In the case of Zhao Linhai's activism for kidney stone children, the whole case has become another food security problem, rather than than children's rights and the security of the reproductive arena.

In my research, there are some explanations for the lack of discourse addressing the politics of reproduction in the public sphere.

First of all, under the socialist feminism, woman's liberation is to be liberated from the domestic sphere. It is important for woman to have equal opportunity in the workplace.

Secondly, the development of state capitalism, has been achieved through the control over women's bodies. The state control the number of working force by defining woman's role as worker or as mother, and through the one-child population policy. As the State has played such a significant role in the oppression of women, the Women Federation, a state control organization, cannot make any criticism. For example, in the case of poisonous milk incident, the Women Federation did not say anything even though it all about mothering and children's right. However, organizers from the Federation said, under the departmental division of labour, the poisonous milk incident should be handled by the quality control department rather than Women Federation.

Thirdly, the human rights movement has been dominated by male activists. In my research, for example in the case of Deng Yujiao, many citizen reporters had intervened into the incident. However, they neglected the fact that Deng Yujiao was a marginal worker in the sex industry. Instead, they turned Deng into a heroine who had killed a corrupted government official for defending her virginity or purity. They found Deng's identity as a worker in the sex industry unfavorable for the campaign. I have asked Professor Ai why woman activists do not address the issue [the operation of sex industry in China], she was worried that such debate might affect the movement solidarity.

That's why the work in Li Jun's network is very important. They keep making news commentaries and engaging with public affair with feminist perspective.

Back to the issue of the politic of reproduction. The tension and conflict generated by the one child policy in China is to some extent released through one's economic resources. For example, if you have money to pay for the fine, you can give birth to more than one child. Or you can even give birth in another country, which has brought about the debate over "mainland pregnant woman" in Hong Kong.

As for Hong Kong, we have our own politic in the reproduction domain, which is embedded in the history of the development of capitalism. In 1950s, a large number of male workers entered Hong Kong from mainland China. As a result of gender imbalance in our population and the highly exploitative working environment which made it impossible for male workers to support a family in Hong Kong, they returned to mainland China to get marry. My sister and my generation were born in mainland China in the 60s and 70s. In the 70s and 80s, most of the migrants form mainland China were women and children and the purpose was for family reunion under the immigration quota system. Since the early 90s, many former male workers and factories managers migrated back to mainland China, either to open small factories or to look for jobs. Some of them had a second home in mainland China and the problem of cross-border second-wife emerged.

In 1997, the issue of right of abode broke out [the Hong Kong government denied the citizen status of thousands of mainland born off-spring of Hong Kong citizens from entering Hong Kong]. The cultural political implication was that the Hong Kong society will no-longer subcontract out its reproduction function in mainland China. The newly formed SAR government under Tung Chee Wah's leadership introduced a number of policies related with "family". Even though the economy has transformed from industrial intro financial, the exploitative relation hasn't changed. The local social welfare system could not support the reproduction domain. For example, if you need to build a stable family, you need to have an apartment and a good environment for your children's education. However, many people cannot afford such basic need. Our GDP keeps increasing, while our wage remains low. The economic scale is getting bigger and bigger, while people's capability to support their reproductive need is getting weaker and weaker.

Many woman organizations do pay attention to the reproductive issue. For example, some woman organization would join the family affair committee in Hong Kong to introduce gender friendly policy. However, it hasn't been developed into a citizen movement. If we look into the social movement in the past few years, many of them are related to the reproduction domain. For example, now "home" becomes a symbol to many of our movement, such as Choi Yuen Village's struggle. Issues related with environment and food security also fall into the reproduction domain. All these issues are very powerful in mobilizing public participation. However, feminist discourse seldom engages with these issues and provides a gender perspective for analyzing the economic and social structure. Many issues concerning reproductive sector becomes a matter of resource distribution according to identity. Under such identity politics, some marginalized groups are turned into the "Others". Such politics is part of the background of the Right Wing movement in Western countries. And we can see similar forces on the rise in Hong Kong. We have to counter-balance such social political forces.

I had the experience in working for regional NGOs before. When they talked cross-border dialogue, they usually invited people from different parts of the world to share about their experience and idea. Recently, I find such dialogue not very constructive. I think we need to develop another mode of cross-border dialogue. in mainland China, the citizen rights movement in China is rather incidental and there is a lack of systematic analysis. In particular, we do not have a gender framework for analysis all these social problems. While in Hong Kong, most of the discussions in the feminist circle are about politics of representation and identity without looking into the economic and political structure.

Ip Iam Chong:

We can discuss more about cross-border issues, the role of media (as our speakers from mainland China have very rich media experience), the politics of reproduction as raised out by Oiwan.

Chan Shun-Hing -- AAF (Audience):

Oiwan has some interesting observations: in China, many social issues have been framed into gender neutral public discourse, while in Hong Kong, there are too much emphasis on gender identity and hence fail to connect with a wider public. It seems rather paradoxical to me. Reproduction is a gender issue, environment and food security is also related with motherhood. We can have more dialogue about that in the future.

As for the Peace Woman Project, some of you may not know about it. We try to connect the issue of gender and peace in the Chinese feminist circle. And the meaning of peace is related with environmental sustainability, security and livelihood. Women have played an important role in environment preservation. This is an action research and within the circle there is a lot of differences. Within China, Han Chinese and ethnic minorities are very different. While in Hong Kong, woman circle is more homogeneous. We have to tackle some conflicts across differences.

Parson -- Organizer of a woman new immigrant group and a green group from Tuen-mun (Audience)

This discussion has inspired me about my own movement practice. In recent years, I have organized an anti-incinerator campaign in Tuen Mun. But we haven't networked with women's groups. In Hong Kong, we have too much division of labour in our social movement, to the extent that we don't realize that the incident can be a cross-sectoral concern. Secondly, as an organizer of woman new immigrant group, we are aware that many policies are discriminative towards women. Such as the cross-border marriage registration and single visa entry system. In both cases, men are in the position of controlling the information and application of their wives' visa. However, we don't know how to present women's marginalized position in our public campaign.


I don't think we have a strong gender framework for engaging with social issue. We give emphasis on gender identity, for example, in the debate about Kong girl and Kong boy, the focus is about gender identity and representation, we criticize the stereotype of Hong Kong woman and the unfair discourse. However, when we talked about Kong girls, the hidden Other is the mainland Chinese girls. In Guangzhou, the Women Federation recently has prepared a handbook to teach girls not to become a mistress. It is related with the politics of sexuality which operates across the border embedded in the economic relation. It is not about image of Hong Kong women per se. Our criticism of the public discourse about Kong girls are colored by the principles and values, such as equality, in the liberal politics. Although they are common values, but they cannot address the real politics that we are facing in day to day life. For example, we know that we should not discriminate towards mainland pregnant women, yet, such principle fails to address the social conflicts and feelings of oppression generated from our social and economic structure.

Li Jun:

I want to mention another story. A few month ago, I had a workshop with some woman workers and we had a discussion on why do we need more woman leaders in the organization. One of the answer is, I have to endure my boss in my workplace, endure my husband at home, I don't want to endure man anymore in the worker organization.

In Hong Kong, the civil society has a lot of criticism towards capitalism. But in China, they seldom criticize about capitalist exploitation. They focus on the role of the government. For example regarding the role of Women Federation, it is part of the government body and under the division of labour, it has very limited role. For example, teenage girl is under the domain of youth committee. Woman worker is under the labour union. To change the organization, we cannot just criticize its performance. We have to engage with its policy guideline. Recently they talk about the social management reform, then we have to give some gender related suggestion through media and public opinions. We cannot expect to see immediate changes, it will come very slowly.

Prof Chan's Peace Woman Project have some rather unfavorable media coverage in mainland China. Why such debate would only happen in China, but not Hong Kong and Taiwan?

Wang Ping:

In China, gender is not a key issue. Much of the conflicts are around class issue. Although in reality, there isn't any policy tackling the exploitation of the grassroot. In the elite circle, class discourse has occupied a "politically corrected" position. Sympathy and voices towards the grassroots have a lot of coverage in the media. Gender has become a factor that contribute to class exploitation. Only if the issue of gender is connected with the issue of class, then you will get the public sympathy. The case of Deng Yujiao is reproduced in such structure. The public sees her as a "weak" woman.

As for intervention, I don't believe in reform anymore as there is no consensus in reform path. Hence, in the process of citizen rights movement, the paths are very diverse, we don't have a common or grand project.


There is a lot of conflicts and paradox in the issue of politics of reproduction. For example, in the case of mainland new immigrant, the reason why they do not highlight woman's position because they want to build alliance with a larger social group. And in the case of food security (milk-powder), if we give too much stress on women, aren't we reproducing a gender stereotype of woman being the mother?

AAF actually opposed to the establishment of family affair committee. The Hong Kong government had established the woman affair committee under the pressure of woman's groups. But later, Donald Tsang wanted to abolish woman, elderly and youth affair committee and replace it with family affair committee. We opposed such idea and managed to keep the woman committee. So now there are two separate committees. When we re-frame public issue with gender perspective, are we excluding other social groups from participating? In the case of mainland pregnant women, the husband and the kids are also key social actors. Why do we still have to place so much focus on the role of woman as home caretakers? Moreover, we have so many sexual identities, LGBT, how are they related with the reproductive domain?

The reason why different sexual identity groups can work together for the legislation against the discrimination towards sexual orientation, to a large extent, is because of the position of a common enemy, the religion right. In the case of incinerator movement, even if the green group actively builds alliance with woman organizations, I don't think they would get their support. Unless there is an explosion of incinerator, I don't think groups would come together.


Just now we discussed about the Deng Yujiao incident and we came to the conclusion that gender framework has been marginalized by the class framework. While professional journalism suffers from gender blindness, how would you handle Deng Yujiao's case differently?

Huang Haitao --- research assistant of the Citigen Project

It seems that there is an imbalance in information flow between Hong Kong and China as a result of the Centre and Margin proposition in the greater China politics. It turns out that Hong Kong side has more knowledge about China than the mainland China counterpart.

In the case of cross-border milk powder and pregnant women, in China, we also tends to understand the issue as a class issue that wealth people can enjoy Hong Kong's social service. When we advocate cross-border feminist dialogue, under the context of the power imbalance between China and Hong Kong, how are we to overcome such Center vs. Margin relation, in particular with the Center is so preoccupied with Class perspective in its public discourse? For mainland Chinese feminist, the first step probably is to reflect upon our "central China" proposition in order to develop meaningful dialogue with other region.

Even though Guangzhou shares more similarity with Hong Kong in term of language, culture and geographical location, under the "central China" proposition, we have more interaction with Beijing than with Hong Kong. In this research, to examine China, from the position of Hong Kong, actually helps me to reflect upon the "central" proposition.

The Women Federation in Guangzhou shares a lot of similarity with Hong Kong government's family policy. The conservative discourse has travelled from Hong Kong TV soap opera to Guangzhou and it is very effective in social management. For example Woman Federation recently has introduced a series of education material for girls call: New daughter's Book and a set of curriculum for primary and secondary school girls. They also organized award for Good Husband and Good Wife and etc. They are learning from Hong Kong and Singapore in introducing the middle class conservative value. We need to look into the flow of capitalist value across the border, these can be some of our common agenda.

As mainland Chinese feminists we should reflect upon our own proposition and strategy by taking Hong Kong as our frame of reference.

Ling -- A lesbian group from Guangzhou

What is the strategy for feminist cross-border cooperation? How shall we deal with all the difference perspective in engaging with public discourses?

Audience -- A lesbian group from Yunnan

Even though we are aware that issues are interlinked, with so little resources, it is very difficult for us to engage with other social issues.

Mainland Student studying in Hong Kong

First question: in China, as Lu Ping has raised out, class remains the dominant discourse in the framing of social issue. How to bring together women across different classes? Maybe Hong Kong has more experience to offer.

Second question: Feminist activists in China are media workers and scholars, while in Hong Kong NGOs organizers are the main actors, how do the actors mark the difference in the character of woman movement?

Third question: Feminist movement in China has presumed a heterosexual marriage relation, while in Hong Kong, it has involved the participation of LGBT communities, is it possible to have some dialogue on the positioning of feminist movement so that we can learn from each others? For example, in the issue of sex worker are common woman agenda in both Hong Kong and China. It touches upon the debate of gender, class, sexuality and etc. The different framework of mainland China and Hong Kong feminist should help each other to open up the discussion.

Lu Ping:

For cross-border dialogue, we have to be very careful about the management of the email. There is a lot of differences within the group, and we have to be careful about the information distributed in the network because of the political context. For example, we once have a piece of information about Taiwan, but someone had complained about the political incorrectness in the use of term in that piece of article.

Li Jun:

For Deng Yujiao, I suggested to my supervisor to investigate the case, however, because it clashed with my other report schedule, my colleague went to the scene instead. His report was good as he did not emphasis too much on her "heroic" position. If I did the investigative report, probably I would focus on the position of non-sex worker who service in the sexual industry. It is not the first time such rape case happened in China. From time to time, we heard stories about receptionist jumping out of hotel window. Who are the clients? How does the industry operate? Much of the focus had been on evidence about the "rape".

Journalist professionalism developed from the U.S is no applicable in China as our journalist perform a different role in the society. The vale of our media is related to the formation of the public sphere rather than professionalism.

I agree with Lu Ping that we should not place our hope in the "reform". Citizen's efforts are more important. However, different people from different position has their own practice and their are interconnected.


I was a reporter before and one of my first report was about the second wife village. At that time most of the reports took it as a scandal. I tried to approach the issue from the perspective of the second wife, how they had become someone's second wife and what was their imagination of their future. I was working at a Taiwanese newspapers. If I were to work on Deng Yujiao's story, I would look into her pain, what had driven her into stabbing the official. Oppression is a very abstract concept. Pain is very concrete.

NGOs have their own routine. It is very difficult to get them to work together to form alliance. It is hence important for us to build up a discourse for approaching different social issues. If feminist approach woman's issue purely from the angle of woman's interest and rights, it would be more difficult to gain public support. However, feminists could develop analytical concept from woman's experience, for example, reproductive space, to contest with mainstream discourse. Such concept is not only about woman per se, for example retirement is also a reproductive issue. In Guangzhou, I interviewed aunt Hailong, she has retired and participated in the anti-incineration plant protest. The development has affected his retirement plan. It is important to develop analytical concepts and bring different social groups together. When we talk about alliance, it is not about inmedia working with AAF. But a common analytical framework shared among different social groups.

About China context, a lot has been going on as Haitao has pointed out. Harmonious family has been advocated by Women Federation. In Hong Kong, the soap opera of TVB is all about harmonious family. The mainstream media has been penetrated with conservative ideology from mainland China. These days we talk about brain washing, it has already happened in the TV. That's why cross-border dialogue is very important.

In my research, I feel quite disempowered that the citizen movement is filled up with male stories. The landmark case was Sun Zhigang's death in 2003. However, Huang Ching's death took place around the same time. One succeed, one failed. Both of them faced injustice and violence, but eventually the first case represent the citizen right movement. Huang Ching's murder followed by a number of similar cases in different provinces. If we do not have strong enough intervention, similar cases will continue to happen again and again. And woman would be missing in the citizen movement.


Many issues raised in our discussion involve conflicts between different social groups. For example the mainland pregnant woman issue generate conflicts between Hong Kong and mainland Chinese woman. The minimum wage in Hong Kong has also excluded foreign domestic worker. Liberal discourse said that the rise in wage would force woman to withdraw from workforce and return home. The conflict is also between women. Some conflicts are between man and woman, such as the Hong Kong girls and boys. Such conflicts and social division is generated from capital flow. Capital looks for cheap labour and it creates conflicts between different regions. The conflict between middle class and foreign domestic workers is also part of the global division of labour through importation of domestic workers. The lack of health care support results in the conflicts among pregnant women. Apart from looking into the media representation of woman, we need to look into the source of social conflicts.

As for cross-border dialogue and cooperation, there are many common issues, such as woman and moral education, mainstream media's representation of woman.