Thursday, June 17, 2010

Wu Qing on Women's Human Rights, with additional anti-sexism news around Shanghai

All that follows, and the video above, is from here at The Shanghaiist, via Al Jazeera and YouTube, posted on International Women's Day this past March 8th.

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Happy International Women's Day! As a gift for you, here's a news report (on Youtube) by Melissa Chan of Al Jazeera that features Wu Qing, an absolutely fantastic firecracker of a human being who teaches rural women how to be confident in a male-dominated society.

An elected representative in a district People's Congress in Beijing, Wu Qing is known for being brazenly opinionated and a strong proponent of women's rights. She teaches at the Rural Women Training School in Beijing, described by Voice of America thusly:

Wu Qing founded the school to teach literacy and job skills to women and girls from the countryside.

She believes she can help rural women improve their lives while helping her country. "If rural women of all ages can go to school and find jobs and be treated with the same respect as people from the city, only then can problems with China's legal system be resolved," she said.

Wu Qing's lesson is partly a motivational speech and partly a civics class. She shows her students they have many rights guaranteed by China's constitution. She says citizens must "supervise" their government. "If someone is watching me, then I have to proceed carefully. That's how an official should behave," she states. "But too many people in China keep their eyes closed, so the government is free to do as it pleases."

Oh boy, can someone say "new girl crush?" Hit the jump for other International Women's Day news.
  • Ok, so the headline, "Chinese President urges women to make more contributions" may make Hu Jintao seem like kind of a dick, but the article clarifies that he's encouraging "Party committees and governments at all levels [to] resolutely carry out the basic state policy of equality between men and women, eliminate discrimination against women, and crack down on violations of women's rights in light with law." That's worth supporting - hope he follows up with some actual policy. [Xinhua]
  • CNNGo asked a couple women around Shanghai what they think about women's places in China and discrimination. Maybe because they're in Shanghai, they all seem to feel like discrimination doesn't exist. [CNNGo]
  • Or maybe they're just in the wrong (er... right) circles. Because according to a recent study, male students who graduate this summer have an 8.5% better chance of finding a job nationwide compared to females. [Shanghai Daily]
  • March 7 has apparently become "Girls' Day" as a preclude to International Women's Day. Also named "Shanzhai Valentine's Day," it's a day when boys deliver gifts to the girls they like... some dorms have even begun holding Girl's Day activities! So, like, keep it in mind for next year, I guess. [People's Daily]

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