Gender Studies Programme held an inauguration ceremony to welcome new students from both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes on 2nd September 2017. We are honored to invite Prof. Fanny Cheung, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of CUHK, and Prof. Xu Jiang, Associate Dean (Education) of the Faculty of Social Science, to deliver an opening ceremony speech and addresses. Through their speeches, they encouraged us to utilize our evidence-based knowledge, education, and experiences to find out the solutions for the problems we encounter, and put them into practice, so that we can change the social norms. We will keep this mission in mind from now on.
In the ceremony, Prof. Suen Graduate Division Head of Gender Studies Programme moderated a dialogue session titled Gender Studies as Empowerment. In the dialogue session, we also invited three MA alumni to be the speakers.
Ms. Irene Lam is the Board Director of AIDS Concern. She has been working in this field of gender equality over a decade and was the executive committee member of HER Fund for years.
Ms. Queenie Law is a female martial arts instructor who has devoted herself to Chinese, Filipino, Thai and Mixed martial arts.
Ms. Barbara Yang is the founder of PinkPower in 2017 and a senior PR Specialist of NetEase. She was a reporter in Ming Pao Daily which was the first Chinese Newspaper reported the affair of China’s Feminist Five.
Their conversation was fruitful and inspiring. Although this programme is not as popular as others, it brings lots of insight and reflections for speakers. Queenie recalled that she paid more attention to gender inequality issues and started to think with different perspectives after graduated from Gender Studies Programme. She could not accept men taking the ideas of patriarchy where women should not engage in physical fight and violence before got in touch with Gender Studies. But now she became more understandable about males feel when they lose. Barbara also pointed out her effort in showing her working ability and keep fighting for more autonomy on selecting the topic of newspaper reports because she wants to raise the public sensitivity on gender issues. She claimed that ideology and reality are contradictory so it is quite painful to balance both at the same time. But if we follow our heart and go beyond it, no one can stop you to make your dream come true. Irene also shared her experience on being a senior management staff in AIDS Concern. She encouraged us to apply what we learnt to practice as we can gain lots from the process. Focusing on what we believed but not the career path can help us to gain more opportunities, like engaging in researches and getting in touch with other Non-Government Organizations. Although it is hard to change social norms overnight, we can still find lots of supporters working together and take a small step on it.
Professor Fanny Cheung: it is an innovative and impactful programme.
Professor Xu Jiang: Entering the university is no longer simply about buying a new notebook, we continue to find ourselves considering what it means to begin again…students are going to start a new stage of life.
Irene Lam: Always focus in what you believe instead of career path, only in this way many opportunities will come and find you.
Queenie Law: You will realize the dark side of the society but you can still take a baby step and change it.
Barbara Yang: Implement what you learnt to daily life.
Professor Suen Yiu Tung: The speakers' sharing reminded me of the lyrics "You may say I am a dreamer but I'm not the only one".