Hong Kong Women: Professional Feminists?
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In 1998 five of the eleven top government officials of Hong Kong were women. The idea that women can be board of directors, entrepreneurs, lawyers, or professors is not foreign to the people of Hong Kong. The image of successful women in the workplace suggests that there is gender equality in this metropolis. However, the existence of women's organizations dedicated to address gender inequality indicates Hong Kong women still face issues of discrimination. The activists leading these organizations have been in the forefront of the women's movement in Hong Kong. According to Pearson and Leung, this movement was still at a stage of infancy in 1995. My central question is, what role, if any, do professional women play in this budding movement? The purpose of this research is two-fold: to evaluate the extent to which professional women are involved in women's organizations and to investigate whether or not their level of feminist consciousness affects their political activism. As hypothesized, the majority of professional women are not involved in women's organizations because of three main reasons: 1) Many professionals do not have a vested interest in contributing to these organizations since they are expatriates who are only staying in Hong Kong for a short period of time. 2) Furthermore, professionals are not actively involved in activities promoting the equal status of women because they simply do not have the time. 3) Finally, many professional women do not experience the consequences of gender inequalities because of the privileges afforded by their class.