Making Rights Claims Visible: Intersectionality, NGO Activism, and Cultural Politics in Hong Kong

  • Lisa Fischler


Since the late nineteenth century many Hong Kong groups have been fighting for formal governmental and societal recognition of their rights. Women’s struggles have been a significant part of that history: activism has led to prowomen’s rights legislation and to the gradual public awareness of gender issues. However, the local women’s movement both evolved as part of broader civil society mobilization and emerged at the intersection of gender, race, class, ethnicity, and other markers of cultural identity. During Hong Kong’s political transition to China (1984–1997), the scope of political debate and action over gender issues broadened tremendously, not just through the actions of local women nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) but also due to the activism of other local political actors. The struggles between “pro-Beijing” and “prodemocratic” groups during the transition showed local politics to be gendered—that is “gender [was] present in the processes, practices, images and ideologies, and distributions of power in the various sectors of [socio-political] life” (Lee, 1998: 164). Yet, gender was not the only form of cultural identity that shaped and was shaped by local activism. Groups other than local women’s NGOs deployed notions of gender, class, ethnicity, and locale to press for the formal recognition of rights claims by government and legislators.1


World Trade Organization Migrant Woman Special Administrative Region Formal Recognition Local Woman 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Siu-Keung Cheung, Joseph Tse-Hei Lee, and Lida V. Nedilsky 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lisa Fischler

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