The Hoover Project on China’s Global Sharp Power and Stanford's Clayman Institute for Gender Research presented Feminism in China After 2013: Social Movements, Media, and the State on Tuesday, May 28, 2024, from 4:00pm-5:30pm PT in Herbert Hoover Memorial Building (HHMB) 160.

In 2013, Xi Jinping noted that “attention should be paid to the unique role of women in promoting the traditional virtues of the Chinese nation's families and establishing good family values.” In the decade since, the Chinese state has grown increasingly vigilant against the mobilization capacity of feminist movements. However, during the same period, China enacted laws against domestic violence and, at the urging of NGOs and activists, strengthened policies and legal frameworks against sexual assault. On the one hand, feminist and broader civil rights movements have become targets of suppression; on the other hand, the MeToo movement and the A4 protests demonstrate that the feminist community is a key player in China's current and future changes. Speaker Li Sipan, a participant in and chronicler of post-reform era feminist movements in China, analyzes the relationship between the state, the media, and movements, and compares the strategies and efficacy of Chinese feminist activism under shifting political opportunity structures.

Feminism in China After 2013:  Social Movements, Media, and the State


Li Sipan received her PhD in political sociology from the University of Macau. She is currently a visiting scholar at Stanford University, and was previously a Chau Hoi Shuen Scholars-in-Residence of the Beatrice Bain Research Group at the University of California, Berkeley and an Associate Professor at the Cheung Kong School of Journalism and Communication, Shantou University (China). A former journalist, Li established the feminist organization Women Awakening Network (新媒体女性)in 2004, which developed a national reputation for its focus on gender equality in journalism and communication. Li has also coordinated many landmark advocacy projects on anti-sexual harassment policy and anti-domestic violence legislation. Her research focuses on the difference in media strategies between generations of Chinese feminist activism.

Frances Hisgen is the senior research program manager for the project on China's Global Sharp Power at the Hoover Institution. Prior to joining Hoover, she worked at the American Chamber of Commerce (in Hong Kong), at Caixin (in Beijing), and at the Asia Society’s Center on U.S.-China Relations. Her academic work on histories of gender and sexuality in greater China has been supported by the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, the Cambridge World History Workshop, and the Women’s History Network, and she’s been interviewed about her research by the BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour. 

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