The spotlight in 2019 is on female empowerment and social group Hong Kong Girl’s Power has organised its first ever ‘no-men-allowed’ event, designed to connect like-minded women who are searching for meaningful friendships.
Toby Tao, the creator of this series of events, commented that the whole concept is about self-love and self-care, as well as supporting other female entrepreneurs (like herself) with the choice of location, catering, and activities.
The focus of the event was on the treatment of women and all attendees enjoyed delicious food, drinks, temporary tattoos, a nail station, and a photo booth. The first ones to arrive were also able to enjoy a taste of the spiritual in the form of tarot readings. Spiritualism is a great example of self-care and with the rise of online tarot readings, this is now an option for women to gain clarity into changes in their personal life as well as any interesting upcoming opportunities. The goal of the Hong Kong Girl’s Power group is to provide a platform through which women can support each other and attend educational seminars and career-planning workshops, as well as meditation and yoga classes. It’s a safe space to get together and check out Hong Kong’s nightlife and networking events.
These types of events and social group are becoming increasingly popular in China, a country with a 20-year history of engaging women’s issues and rapid economic growth. According to The Diplomat, there are three reasons behind China’s high activity regarding the empowerment of women. First of all, gender equality and women’s empowerment are in the top-five UN goals, meaning that if China manages to keep the issue relevant, it will strengthen its position in the UN system and increase the prominence of the issue in developing countries.
Secondly, China’s first lady, Professor Peng Liyuan, often speaks about gender issues, promoting awareness and expressing her concerns. This leads to huge media attention, thus playing an important role in the country’s public diplomacy, as well as creating more opportunities for her to advance her policy concerns. Thirdly, China has seen an unprecedented number of female politicians and diplomates over the past decade; a fact that could change the face of its future leaders.
With the number of female students graduating with majors in communications, international relations and other politics-related fields, the number of Chinese female diplomats could rise significantly in the next decades. Moreover, official statistics show that the gap is widening as there are more female students in Chinese universities than male students. This news means that over time, more women will hold senior positions within the government and find more opportunities in STEM fields.
Women in China and Hong Kong are supported by organisations such as The Asia Foundation’s Women’s Empowerment Program, which creates opportunities for women and ensures they are key contributors to the development of the country. The organisations challenge gender stereotypes, work towards increasing the number of senior positions available to women, provide training and mentoring, and implement programs to support and protect women in the workplace.
Gender equality is one of the top priorities on this year’s global agenda and China will undoubtedly be a leader in raising awareness of it and holding a series of diplomatic events. By playing such an important part in this current issue, China is helping shape future views on women in prominent political and business roles.