Equality

A woman walks on a street in Shanghai, China, on 15 May 2023. (Aly Song/Reuters)

Egg freezing in China: A woman’s right to have control over her body

Currently in China, assisted reproductive technology (ART) can only be applied to married couples with infertility issues. Social egg freezing (SEF) is prohibited in most regions of China, except Jilin province. The case of Xu Zaozao, a single lady who sought to freeze her eggs, has cast more attention on this issue. Chinese academic Lorna Wei points out that even as women advocate for the right to decide if she would like to freeze her eggs, they may be stuck in a continuing patriarchal trap.
People walk past the Taipei 101 skyscraper in Taipei on 28 April 2023. (Sam Yeh/AFP)

Taiwan's #MeToo: A progressive Taiwanese society's attempt at challenging patriarchy

Commentator Gu Erde notes the recent spate of allegations of sexual offences against notable figures in Taiwan, most prominently from within the Democratic Progressive Party itself. This has put the ruling party in the eye of the #MeToo storm, with victims coming forward to speak out. What does this furore say about patriarchal chauvinism in Taiwan’s wider society and culture?
A woman hands out sheet of paper in protest over Covid-19 restrictions in mainland China, during a commemoration of the victims of a fire in Urumqi, at the University of Hong Kong (HKU), in Hong Kong, China, 29 November 2022. (Tyrone Siu/Reuters)

Why first-generation Chinese immigrants in the UK fear speaking up

Freelance writer He Yue muses about why first-generation Chinese immigrants in the UK are keeping silent about Chinese politics, even for those who have opinions about what is happening in China. It seems that the opportunities for democracy and freedom while living abroad are still not enough to get them to share how they really feel, even in private chat groups among friends.
A man wearing a face mask following the Covid-19 outbreak walks past a Chinese flag in Shanghai, China, 2 August 2022. (Aly Song/Reuters)

Female representation in the Chinese leadership: Countdown to CCP's 20th Party Congress

Li Cheng, director of the John L. Thornton China Center of the Brookings Institution, notes that while the Mao-era slogan of "women hold up half the sky" is often repeated, only one woman serves on the current 25-member Politburo (4%), and no woman has ever served on the Politburo Standing Committee, the supreme decision-making body in the country. He asks: what are the prospects for women leaders at the 20th Party Congress? Who are the prominent female candidates for the upper echelons of the CCP leadership? 
People walk through an alley decorated with traditional lanterns near Houhai lake in Beijing, China, on 2 February 2022. (Noel Celis/AFP)

US academic: Equality is a myth, whether in the US or China

Wu Guo notes that equality is very much a mirage, whether in the socialist or liberal democracy conception of the term. The sum total of one’s head start in life is often tied to his or her family background. And often, no amount of levelling up can change that. But this does not mean that equality is of no relevance or should not be aspired to. Adopting an attitude of equality can help ensure that people’s rights are protected, even if the ideal of equality may never be achieved.
A gay pride parade in Taiwan, 2018. (Wikimedia)

Taiwan allowing cross-strait same-sex unions: A bargaining chip in the reunification tussle?

Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) has announced proposed amendments to the “Cross-Strait Act” to allow same-sex unions between partners from Taiwan and mainland China. Is this a bid by Taiwan to woo the gay community in mainland China ahead of reunification, as some netizens speculate? And will mainland China adopt an even more conservative position given that room to discuss LGBT issues has shrunk amid recent clampdowns? Zaobao’s China Desk delves into the topic.
People look at images of late chairman Mao Zedong of the Chinese Communist Party at the Museum of the Communist Party of China that was opened ahead of the 100th founding anniversary of the Party in Beijing, China, 25 June 2021. (Thomas Peter/Reuters)

China idol: Mao Zedong makes a comeback among Chinese youth

China’s youth today are turning to Mao Zedong for inspiration amid a crushing sense of social immobility and injustice. But Wang Qingmin recalls the Mao era to be one of violent political struggles, anti-intellectualism, and cult of personality. Is a return to Mao really the answer?
A mother carrying her child in an alley near Houhai Lake in Beijing, China on 4 May 2021. (Noel Celis/AFP)

Gender equality: The solution to China’s declining birth rate

Providing better support for families to play effective co-parenting roles is more likely to improve birth rates than sending women back to the kitchen, says Chen Jing.
A man rides a bicycle as snow falls in New York's Times Square on 18 February 2021.(Kena Betancur/AFP)

Is America falling apart?

The US is doing a re-evaluation of several problems long embedded in its class system, culture and history. Han Dongping says that amid sharp divides in values and beliefs, every individual has a role to play to help resolve issues in a peaceful manner, so that the US avoids the danger of descending into civil war. But are the two major political parties ready to lead and take on the challenge?