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Feminist and labour movements in HK: critical and co-constructive. Women’’s Empower, Gender Equality and Labour Rights: Transforming the Terrain. Sally Choi Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions 2013-7-30, San Paulo. About myself. outline.

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feminist and labour movements in hk critical and co constructive

Feminist and labour movements in HK: critical and co-constructive

Women’’s Empower, Gender Equality and Labour Rights: Transforming the Terrain

Sally Choi

Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions

2013-7-30, San Paulo

outline
outline
  • The story of a founder, Ms. Yim of working women association
  • Insights: Critical voices from women’s leaders and the movement
  • The recent campaign against sexual violence at workplace
  • Insights: cooperation between feminist movement and the trade union.
  • Transforming the terrains: internal and external support; individual and collective leadership
yim yuet lin
YIM YUET LIN

1989 found Hong Kong Women Workers Association (HKWWA)—1st organisation for the rights of women worker

slide5
A book project for the 15th anniversary of HKWWA

“Factory, Kitchen and Refuse Room: 15 years of Women Workers Movement in HK”

unions development before 1970s
Unions development Before 1970s
  • Before the 1970s,
  • unions in HK
  • pro-Chinese Community Party (CCP) unions (the leftist),
  • pro-Kuomintang unions (the ruling party of Taiwan at the time, also known as the rightist unions)
  • some unions with a neutral background (such as the civil servants’ unions).

Yim was an electronic factory worker

rise of social movement in 1980s
Rise of social movement in 1980s
  • 1974 a church based organisation HK Christian Industrial Committee (HKCIC) started intervening labour disputes
  • 1984, HKCIC-Trade union education center
  • 1984, Association for the Advancement of Feminism (AAF) set up
  • Yim joined HKCIC and AAF study groups
conflicts on maternity leave
Conflicts on maternity leave

Cannot unit all the workers

  • Yim left HKCIC

Not the top priority for advocacy among alliance of labour activists

slide9
1982
  • Amendment on Employment Ordinance in HK
  • 2/3 paid for 10 weeks maternity leave
hkwwa 1989
HKWWA 1989--

Concerning the rights of causal workers which are majority women workers

Mother’s Day action: Caring support and subsidies for workers

yim women worker leader
Yim-Women worker leader
  • - strong fighter
  • - transforming the labour rights advocacy
  • - transforming the union movement
women specific union organisation
Women specific union/organisation
  • The reproductive role and contribution of women workers were not well recognised even among unionists in early days.
  • The base and voices of women workers’ association are small but critical.
  • gender specific labour issues and create social discourse
loophole in the law
Loophole in the Law
  • Sex Discrimination Ordinance in 1995 (SDO) prohibit sexual harassment
  • No clause in SDO to prohibit customer conduct sexual harassment against service, goods and facilities providers
  • Employees at service, retail industry are not protected by SDO !
a survey on sexual violence against women at workplace in 2013
A SURVEY ON SEXUAL VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AT WORKPLACE IN 2013

80 % female workers in catering industry encountered sexual harassment at workplace

outcomes
Outcomes
  • - reform in legislation in 2014
  • - public attention
  • - women’s issues to social issues
women s solidarity and capacity building
Women’s solidarity and capacity building
  • provides more opportunities for leadership growth and support for female unionists who committed to integrate gender equality at labour movement.
  • External supports to women unionist in federation
factors affecting women s situation and ongoing battle
Factors affecting women’s situation and ongoing battle
  • Lack of working hours regulation
  • Collective bargaining
alliance building for the rights of part time workers
Alliance Building for the rights of part-time workers

Employment Ordinance only cover those with “continuous employment” i.e. being employed for 4 or more consecutive weeks and each week working for 18 or more hours (4-1-18). There is an ongoing campaign to amend the law so to cover part-time and causal workers.

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