Portents of Change

“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.” - Wayne W. Dyer, author

Kung Hei Fat Choi! We hope everyone had a joyful Chinese New Year with family and friends. Stepping into the Year of the Ox, we have already begun to see promising signs that public perceptions on gender equality are moving in the right direction. Here are three highlights:

Tokyo Olympics Chief Resigns after Sexist Statement: Earlier this month, Head of the Tokyo Olympics Committee, Yoshirō Mori, made demeaning remarks about women, suggesting that they talk too much in meetings. Although the International Olympic Committee did not initially plan to fire him, an outpouring of public censure from sponsors, professional groups, public figures and Olympic volunteers led to his resignation, demonstrating the power of public opinion.

Whitney Wolfe Herd Becomes Youngest Female Self-made Billionaire: The IPO of Bumble, a female-focused dating app, made Whitney Wolfe Herd the youngest female self-made billionaire at 31 years old. Former co-founder of Tinder, she left after suing the company for sexual harassment in 2014 and was inspired to launch a dating app centred on positive, safe online dating experiences for women. The company has shown its commitment to women’s empowerment by appointing a majority-female board and launched a fund for businesses founded and led by women of colour.

Britney Spears Documentary Highlights Misogyny in the Media: The documentary “Framing Britney Spears” has sparked lively debate on how the media portrays women celebrities, sexuality and mental health. Documenting decades of relentless hypersexualisation, public shaming and victimisation from her life as a child star to her public breakdown, it illuminates the double standards female celebrities face. Upon its release, apologies flooded the internet indicating a growing sense of guilt around the complicity of public figures and consumers in perpetuating harmful messages about women and girls and the real-life consequence this can have.

Collectively, these developments represent a larger cultural shift in all spaces - from art to history -- around whose story we tell, how we tell it, and ultimately, how we value and judge it. At TWF, we are committed to eliminating the stereotypes, biases and perceptions that prevent women and girls’ stories and experiences from having equal value, recognition and weight. Join us on March 5 for our Virtual International Women’s Day Lunch as we explore the power of film and the creative industries in scripting a gender equal future and mapping out how we - together - can close the gender gap once and for all in Hong Kong.

Get in touch at Fiona.Nott@twfhk.org.


Written by

The Women's Foundation