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Women should be free to choose

April 13, 2010

By Yoanna Heong Ka-pui, Kit Sam Lam Bing Yim Secondary School

Nowadays, many people, especially women, talk about gender equality in Hong Kong. They yearn for equal status for both males and females.

Although the city has made some progress with benefits such as paid maternity leave, women still remain undervalued and underutilised.

The problem is more serious on the mainland. Traditionally, the Chinese have preferred boys over girls so they can maintain their family name and look after their parents. There’s a belief that men are more productive than women, so they should earn a living for the family. Meanwhile, the females could just stay at home to take care of the elderly and children and do the housework. Even some parents treat their daughters differently.

Gender inequality may prevent girls from making braver choices and affect their self-esteem. Many people think that boys are better at maths than girls, who are afraid to make mistakes during lessons. Inequalities run deep in some societies. We should not let such backward thinking hinder our social development.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. April 13, 2010 12:56 pm

    Perhaps the problem is not that women are undervalued in the workplace but mothers in particular are undervalued in society as a whole.

    Some of our readers believe that women should not be allowed to work at all. They point out that this would immediately alleviate a lot of social problems. For example, it would strengthen family bonds because children are now neglected because both parents work long hours.

    Nature has blessed women with the ability to nurture, yet it seems modern society has pulled away from that, and somehow women who do not work are looked down on. Only when a woman is truly free to choose can we say we have sexual equality.

    Susan, Editor

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