Language Sites
  • UCAN China
  • UCAN India
  • UCAN Indonesia
  • UCAN Vietnam

Equal opportunities head's comments draws ire from women

Gaff-prone official has angered equal opportunity activists and church people

Equal opportunities head's comments draws ire from women

Women hold candles during a vigil to mark International Women's Day  in Hong Kong on March 8, 2017.  (Photo by Anthony Wallace/AFP)

ucanews.com reporter, Hong Kong
Hong Kong

March 16, 2017

Mail This Article
(For more than one recipient, type addresses separated by commas)


Women's rights groups are demanding the resignation of Hong Kong Equal Opportunities Commission chairman following a speech where he stereotyped the role of women.

The role played by women in the family, doing house hold chores, for example, could not be replaced by men, said Alfred Chan Cheung-ming during an International Women's Day speech at the Women's Foundation on March 8.

Chan also said daughters are more attentive and better at taking care of elderly relatives. He then took himself as an example and said his wife takes care of his parents and he would ask his daughter to take care of him when he grows old rather than asking his son since men must work.

Eight women's rights groups launched a signature campaign in protest. "His insensitivity to gender issues shows he is incompetent to be in this post," they said.

"The meaning of International Women's Day is not a day to give women extra privilege and praise for their sacrifices but to call for public concern about gender inequality and oppose all kinds of gender discrimination," said the campaign's statement.

About 600 groups and individuals signed the statement as of March 15, which also said that "household chores should be shared by all family members, not just women."

It was "inappropriate" for Chan to speak "such things" as the head of the commission whose work is supposed to promote equality, said Jackie Hung of the Justice and Peace Commission of Hong Kong Diocese, a signatory in the campaign.

"His speech strengthened inequality," she said, adding that she hoped he would be removed from his post.  

Protesters also said women's rights groups have struggled to get equal pay for women in the workplace but the commission has not matched their efforts.

In March 2016 Chan also drew fire for mixing up the colloquial term lo tung (drug addicts) as a term for LGBT people and for his support for a confined refugee camp in Hong Kong.

Responding to the criticism, the commission said Chan has always been respectful to women. His speech was intended to praise women for their contributions and not to strengthen gender stereotypes, it said.

UCAN needs your support to continue our independent journalism
Access to UCAN stories is completely free of charge - however it costs a significant amount of money to provide our unique content. UCAN relies almost entirely on donations from our readers and donor organizations that support our mission. If you are a regular reader and are able to support us financially, please consider making a donation. Click here to donate now.
La Civiltà Cattolica
 

LATEST

Support Our Journalism

Access to UCAN stories is completely free of charge - however it costs a significant amount of money to provide our unique content. UCAN relies almost entirely on donations from our readers and donor organizations that support our mission. If you are a regular reader and are able to support us financially, please consider making a donation.

Quick Donate

Or choose your own donation amount