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Gender Research Centre
The Gender Research Centre is the first research unit on gender and women’s issues in Hong Kong. Established as the “Gender Research Programme” in 1985, it was renamed “Gender Research Centre” in 2000. Our missions are to promote knowledge in gender research and women’s studies, and to support actions that enhance gender equality and the status of women.
Over the past three decades, the Centre has been committed to promoting and conducting academic research related to gender issues and gender equality. Our latest research projects include the status of women in Hong Kong and the challenges that they face, discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender stereotypes and the construction of masculinity in Hong Kong.
Advisor: Prof. Fanny M. CHEUNG, SBS, JP
Co-Director: Prof. Susanne Yuk-ping CHOI
Prof. Lynne Yukie NAKANO
Associate Director: Prof. Yiu-tung SUEN
Sexualities Research Programme (SRP)
The Sexualities Research Programme (SRP) was set up under the Gender Research Centre in August 2016. The SRP is the first research programme in Hong Kong dedicated to conducting rigorous, independent research on sexuality issues, with a particular focus on sexual orientation, gender identity, law and social policy.
Director: Prof. Yiu-tung SUEN
Tel.: (852) 3943 8775
Email: grcentre@cuhk.edu.hk
Website: http://www.grc.cuhk.edu.hk/
Study on the Feasibility of Legislating against Discrimination on the Grounds of Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Intersex Status
In Hong Kong, the debate about whether or not there shall be legislation against discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status has been ongoing for 20 years. The Study on Legislation against Discrimination on the Grounds of Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex Status conducted by the Gender Research Centre, commissioned by the Equal Opportunities Commission, an independent statutory body of the Hong Kong government, featured a territory-wide telephone public opinion survey with 1,005 respondents; qualitative findings collected from three public forums, 14 LGBTI focus groups, 13 public focus groups including those with strong concerns, as well as online and postal submission of opinions.
According to the findings of the Study, the discrimination that LGBTI people reported is notable. Based on the telephone survey, 55.7% of respondents agree with protection against discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status. This is almost a twofold increase from the corresponding figure (28.7%) in a 2005 Government survey. Support was particularly strong among those aged 18-24, 91.8% of whom agreed with legislation. Although there were strong views expressed against legislation from some religiously-affiliated groups during the Study, nearly half (48.9%) of survey respondents who identified as having religious beliefs agreed that there should be legal protection against discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status.
The Study also conducted legal review and analysis of comparable anti-discrimination legislation in other jurisdictions, including those with similar legal systems to Hong Kong and those which share similar Chinese cultural characteristics and influences, including Taiwan and Macau.
The research has been reported in almost all local media outlets, submitted by the Equal Opportunities Commission to the major relevant government units, including the Chief Executive of the HKSAR and Chief Secretary for Administration as well as all members of the Legislative Council.
Exploratory Study on Gender Stereotyping and Its Impact on the Male Gender
Because Chinese women have historically been disadvantaged compared to their male counterparts, most of the research on gender relationships has focused on the plight of women. However, while men are the de facto beneficiaries of patriarchy, they, too, face multiple challenges related to gender norms and expectations.
In 2011, the Centre conducted a project commissioned by the Equal Opportunities Commission to examine men’s problems and challenges, with a particular focus on how gender stereotypes have impacted men’s well-being. Our findings suggest that the gender identity of Hong Kong men is predominantly defined by their breadwinning capacity. This hegemonic masculinity leads men to use their career achievement, entrepreneurship, and upward mobility as the core measures of success as a man. On the cultural dimension, the majority of our respondents indicated that they believe that a man should be more successful than his female partner. With respect to family life, the rising cost of living and costs involved in raising children are challenges for men. Unfortunately, because of the traditional idea that men should be strong, they are reluctant and ashamed to seek help when facing emotional distress related to financial problems, intimate relationships, sexual orientation, addictive behaviours, and so on. In the report, the research team discussed the implications of the findings for policy recommendations to further promote gender equality.
Women and Girls in Hong Kong: Current Situation and Future Challenges
This research project was a joint initiative of the Centre and The Women’s Foundation. The team members included scholars in the disciplines of anthropology, business studies, criminology, demography, education, journalism, law, political science, psychology, public health, social work, and sociology. The project addressed pressing gender issues in areas related to education, labour market participation, poverty, health, violence against women, families, leadership, the media, ethnic minority and migrant women, girl-children, and institutional mechanisms of gender equality. Together, the research team provided a comprehensive review of the status of women and girls in the aforementioned areas, outlined the causes of persistent inequalities, compared the situations in Hong Kong with those in other developed countries, and made recommendations on policies to reduce gender inequalities.
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