Hong Kong University’s annual Equal Opportunity Festival (EOF) kicked off on Friday. Its aim? To promote and raise awareness of gender equality across the campus.
The festival, which runs until November 10, will discuss gender issues including sex discrimination, sexual harassment, LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans) issues, transgenderism, and women’s rights.
The festival is devoted to a different theme each year; this year’s theme of gender issues will also feature the slogan “CountMeIn”, an extension of the global HeForShe gender equality campaign.
Talks, training sessions, exhibitions, seminars, and a book exhibition are among the events being held at the festival, which is suitable for all ages.
The festival’s opening ceremony on Friday featured appearances from Chairperson of Women’s Commission Stella Lau, and Equal Opportunities Commission Chairman Professor Alfred Chan.
Speaking about the strides being made in gender equality in Hong Kong, a EOF spokesperson said that “recent government data show that the rise in income for women was much more significant than for men over the past five years”.
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The spokesperson added that “greater educational opportunities for women and changing social perceptions about gender equality will surely continue to lead more women to enter the workforce”.
Yet there is still room for improvement. Gender stereotypes, from conventional dress codes among men and women to gender-specific toys for children still “permeate our society despite the passing of time”.
“We still need to work hard to promote the messages of gender equality,” said the spokesperson.