Women in Hong Kong

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Women in Hong Kong
Margaret NG 2007-10-07.jpg
A modern-day woman from Hong Kong: politician, barrister, and writer Dr Margaret Ng Ngoi-yee.
Gender Inequality Index
Value NR (2012)
Rank NR
Maternal mortality (per 100,000) NA (2010)
Women in parliament NA (2012)
Females over 25 with secondary education 68.7% (2010)
Women in labour force 51.0% (2011)
Global Gender Gap Index
Value NR (2012)
Rank NR out of 136

Native women in Hong Kong were used to be situated within the context of Chinese family and society, in which they were treated the same as Mainland women or Taiwanese women.[1] Under the traditional Chinese patriarchy structure, the society was male-dominated, and women had a relatively subordinate familial role.[2] However, there is a cultural change in Hong Kong during the British colonial period with an emergence of Western culture (i.e. "Westernization"). A mix of traditional Chinese culture and Western values creates a unique culture of Hong Kong. Along with the rapid economic and social development of Hong Kong since the end of the Second World War, a significant improvement in the role of women has been witnessed, while male dominance society structure is still taking in place.[3] Hence, women studies in Hong Kong are slightly differ from China's.

Women in Hong Kong are generally more independent, monetarily autonomous, assertive, and career-focused; which makes them seem to be more prominent when comparing with women in some other Southeast Asian countries.[3] With the increase number of women in professional and managerial positions in recent decades, the terms of "female strong person" or "superwomen" are being used to describe women in Hong Kong.[3]

Gender Inequality[edit]

(See also Demographics of Hong Kong)
The statistical data from the Hong Kong national census in 2006 shows that the number of women in Hong Kong are increasing, while the number of men in Hong Kong are declining.[4] The figure of single Hong Kong women living alone increased to 43.8 percent comparing with 2001.[4] The numbers were as follows: 103,938 in 1996, 127,001 in 2001, and 182,648, in 2006. The gender ratio between men and women as of 2006 was at 1,000 females for every 912 males, and is expected to deteriorate further by 2036 (1,000 females for every 763 males).[4] The imbalance in the ratio between Hong Kong women and Hong Kong men was already evident in 2003 when there were 1,000 females for every 998 males.[4]

Education and career attainment[edit]

(See also History of Hong Kong & Education in Hong Kong)

The Honourable Regina IP LAU Suk-yee, GBS, JP: the first woman to be appointed as Secretary for Security. She's currently a member of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong (LegCo).

The implementation of compulsory universal education in 1971, following with an extension to nine years in 1978, give rises to an increased amount of women elites.[1][5] According to the report of Hong Kong Annual Digest of Statistics by Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong, a trend of universalism for boys and girls could be observed since the 1970s; and girls' enrolment rate in general was higher than the boys' since the 1980s.[5] Yet, the gap between male and female enrolment in post-secondary education has not changed much.[5] Women are still appeared to have a lower level of educational attainment by 2011.[6]

With the shift of Hong Kong's economy from manufacturing industry to services industry since the 1980s, there is a growing demand for white collar workers. Abundant job opportunities are hence available for both men and women.[3]


  1. ^ a b Jackson, S., Jieyu,L. & Juhyun, W., ed. (2008). East Asian sexualities : modernity, gender and new sexual cultures. London & New York: Zed Books. p. 195. ISBN 9781842778890. 
  2. ^ Pearson, V. & Leung, B.K.P., ed. (1995). Women in Hong Kong. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 7. ISBN 0195859545. 
  3. ^ a b c d Lee, Eliza W. Y. (2003). "4". Gender and change in Hong Kong : globalization, postcolonialism, and Chinese patriarchy. Vancouver, B.C.: UBC Press. p. 78. ISBN 0774809949. Retrieved 3 April 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Women and Men in Hong Kong (2006 version)" (in English & Chinese). Hong Kong: Census and Statistics Department (Hong Kong). 2006. Retrieved 3 April 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c Cheung, F.M., ed. (1997). "2". EnGendering Hong Kong Society: A Gender Perspective of Women's Status. Hong Kong: The Chinese University Press. p. 15. ISBN 9622017363. Retrieved 3 April 2013. 
  6. ^ "Women and Men in Hong Kong: Key Statistics". Census and Statistics Department (Hong Kong). 2012. Retrieved 4 April 2013. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Jaschok, Maria; Miers, Suzanne, eds. (June 15, 1994). Women and Chinese patriarchy: submission, servitude, and escape. Zed Books. ISBN 978-1-85649-126-6.  </bc>

Notes: Several chapters are dedicated to the historical status of women in Hong Kong.

External links[edit]