Blog Tag: Gender equality

Gender Equality Awareness

Posted by Peter MUIR

A group of Year 10 students recently held an event at DC to raise awareness about the issue of unequal wages and gender inequality in the workplace.  Here is there report on that event:

The issue of unequal wages and unfair treatment in the workplace is something that has a very real effect on women around the world. There are countries where women cannot even have a job without permission from their husband, even more progressive countries have restricting laws, policies and ideals. In America, for each dollar that a man makes, a woman doing the same job will make anywhere from 50 to 80 cents. Due to preconceptions and prejudices women make up less that 20% of the world’s CEO’s. The root cause of this situation is a lack of access to education by young girls across the world, women making up two thirds of the world’s illiterate population.

While Hong Kong is very progressive, having a very high men to women ratio in the government, jobs that are less high profile can have the same inequalities as the rest of the world. One group that campaigns against this is The Women’s Foundation Hong Kong, a non-profit organisation who provide many programmes for women who wish to join fields such as S.T.E.M or who wish to learn financial literacy or life planning skills. They also hold these classes for women who live in poverty, trying to break the poverty cycle. They provide scholarships and work towards empowering female leaders in the workplace. They also conduct research into things like gender stereotypes in Hong Kong’s media, women’s entrepreneurship and women in male dominated workplaces in Hong Kong. The organisation holds regular events, ranging from talks from leading women in their fields and camps for younger girls.

To help this charity and its cause, we have done a number of things around the school. The main action that we took was setting up an ‘unfair’ bake sale, where male students had to pay $2 more for each product than the female students. This is to simulate the average wage gap. By doing this we were able to provoke discussion among both male and female students. Many boys complained about how it was ‘unfair’ and ‘sexist towards boys’, but we explained to them that this was the reality for most women around the world, every single day. It was not just boys that found it confusing, quite a few girls did not understand either. Most students we told found the concept of a wage gap shocking and unfair. We hope that they were inspired to do further research of their own and that they decide to take their own steps to take action against this issue.

Another step that our group took was to compile a list of books with a strong feminist message, biographies about women who have made significant contributions to our society or novels with strong female main character and message. We requested for these books to be stocked in the DC Library and hopefully they will be ordered soon.

Gender equality


Posted by Peter MUIR

Skateistan is an initiative working in Cambodia and Afghanistan that combines skateboarding with educational outcomes. It is non-political, independent, and inclusive of all ethnicities, religions and social backgrounds. The project provides us with an idea of what can be done by combing sport, creativity and a passion to make a change.  This video is a TEDtalk by its founder, who highlights how Skateistan has broken conventions about the role of women in Afghan society, where they can boast the title of the largest sporting organisation open to girls in the country, and the highest participation levels of female skateboarding compared to males in the world.

The Women’s Foundation Discussion Group

Posted by Peter MUIR

The Women’s Foundation, an organization dedicated to improving the lives of women and girls in Hong Kong, is seeking a small group of students to participate in a discussion group about the role and presence of women in the local media.   The information gained from the discussion group will be used as a part of The Women’s Foundation’s production of a Hong Kong version of the American documentary, Miss Representation.

This film has been developed to address the issue of gender stereotyping in the Hong Kong media, which has damaging consequences for the self-esteem and well-being of women and girls. TWF’s documentary will explore how mainstream media contribute to the under-representation of women in influential positions by circulating limited and disparaging portrayals of women.

The discussion group will be facilitated at by the film’s director, radio-personality Crystal Kwok, and it should prove to be an educational and empowering experience for those students invovled. Ideally, the students would be able to speak both English and Cantonese and we would be able to meet with them before the Chinese New Year holidays.

At this time, the foundation is looking for a group of 6 to 8 girls and 6 to 8 boys, between the ages of 12 to 18, that can speak both English and Cantonese.  The first meeting will take place from 4:00pm to 6:00pm on one of the following dates – January 26th, 27th, 28th or 29th (to be based on student availability).  If you are interested, please email directly The Women’s Foundation’s Senior Officer Tiffany Leung at

Half The Sky documentary screening

Posted by Peter MUIR

Half the skyRoom to Read and the Canadian International School Parents’ Association are hosting a screening of “Half The Sky; Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide” – a documentary screening and discussion focusing on Room to Read’s Girls’ Education Programme.

Based on the groundbreaking book, Half the Sky, Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by New York Times journalists Nick Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, this 45-minute extract features three inspirational stories from Room to Read’s Girls’ Education program in Vietnam as well as providing valuable background on the importance of educating girls and young women. There will also be an opportunity to hear from Alice Pung, one of Room to Read’s writer ambassadors and the author of a highly acclaimed memoir about her father’s experiences in the Killing Fields of Cambodia.

Soon after the publication of Half the Sky, Carolyn See wrote in the Washington Post: “Half the Sky is a call to arms, a call for help, a call for contributions, but also a call for volunteers. It asks us to open our eyes to this enormous humanitarian issue”.

Please note that this event is not appropriate for those 14 years and under.

When: Thursday 7 November, 6:15pm to 8:30pm

Programme: 6:15pm Drinks Reception. 7:00pm Screening. 7:45pm Discussion. 8:30pm Close.

Where: Leo Lee Arts Centre, Canadian International School, 36 Nam Long Shan Road, Aberdeen.


Shuttle Bus: Free bus service from Admiralty MTR Exit A to CDNIS at 5:45pm, returning at 8:45pm.

Special Guest: Alice Pung, Room to Read writer ambassador, Hong Kong International Literary Festival 2013 Author