On 24th August 2015, the event, “Feminism for Dummies” was held at our Secondary School Hall. Co-hosted by the MCS Foundation and Queen Mary Hong Kong Public Affairs and Social Service, the event was a huge success and had a great turnout, with audience ranging from former Maryknollers to current local and overseas University students. Our fellow Maryknoller, Linda To, the executive director of HerFund shared with us her experiences about running the charity, and how the Maryknoll spirit has inspired her to take on this career path.
Linda’s interest in fighting for women’s rights sparked when she was studying at Maryknoll. As a member of the Social Service Club, she was exposed to those who were less privileged in society. She shared with us her unhappy experiences with her marriage, and how she got back up on her feet through persistent determination and lots of learning through reading. It was an extremely inspirational sharing, upon which she addressed convincing statistics about the situation of gender inequality in Hong Kong.
Many enthusiastic students shared their views during the Q&A session. An interesting question was raised about a swimming pool policy which proposed that woman’s monthly entrance fees should be lowered because they couldn’t swim on certain days. Some believed this was discrimination against men because technology nowadays enabled women to swim even on the special days. Rather than negative discrimination, Linda pointed out that this was a type of positive discrimination. She emphasized that it should be the women’s choice on whether they want to swim on those days and not being forced to use tampons and contraceptive pills, for example, in order to enjoy the activity.
In conclusion, it was a very informative and thought provoking session. May Linda carry on her Maryknoll spirit throughout her journey ahead of fighting for women’s rights.
Prepared by Jennifer Lee