The final event of Women’s Month, co-organised between the US, British, and Norwegian Consulates, was an interactive half-day festival, encouraging discussions about women’s rights in China and around the world.
The final event of Women’s Month in Guangzhou took place on March 29th, set out as a half-day festival at Hong Fangzi community center. The US, British, and Norwegian consulates set up an interactive arena with different activity stations. After a welcoming speech from US Consulate’s Julia Hozakowska, Flora Huang from the Xinghai Conservatory of Music opened the festival with a beautiful rendition of ‘Let It Go’ from the popular Disney film ‘Frozen’. Participants were then encouraged to circulate and attend the various activity stations.
One of the stations included a group of students from the sex and gender forum of Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou. They have written their own version of the Vagina Monologues from scratch, increasing its relevance for a Chinese audience. Their rendition of the Vagina Monologues encouraged active participation and interaction between the viewers and the actors. This resulted in an engaging and dynamic discussion about current gender issues in China.
An art station was set up in the neighbouring room, where participants could paint whatever came to mind, on a large canvas spread out on the floor. The creativity flowed, with people making use of their hands and feet, in addition to the paintbrushes supplied, to create beautiful works of art.
At the final station, you could find film screenings, followed by discussions. ‘Kick like a Girl’ told the story of a girls’ football team in the US, who entered the boys’ league after dominating in both their own, and older girls’ football leagues. It made for an interesting viewing where these girls’ football skills were equally good, if not better, than the boys, despite being of the opposite sex. This displayed a different view of girls in sports, and created a lot of interest whilst initiating new discussions.
Women’s month was made up of several exciting and interesting events, including BSR’s ‘The Power of Investing in Women’s Workers’, Women’s Mentoring Event, and finally the Women’s Festival. As March is coming to an end, it can be concluded as a successful month. Dedicated to International Women’s Day, it created awareness and debate about women’s empowerment and women’s rights in our current society.
Photos: Elisabeth Borchgrevink