Feminists urge vote for equality

PUBLISHED : Friday, 22 August, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 22 August, 2008, 12:00am

A feminists' group has called on voters to punish at the ballot box candidates who refuse to safeguard sexual equality.

The Association for the Advancement of Feminism said yesterday it had tried to seek support for women's rights from candidates in geographical constituencies.

It said the Liberal Party and the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong declined to respond, while the Federation of Trade Unions and Hong Kong Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood (ADPL) had reservations about some of the group's suggestions.

The group also named three lawmakers - Liberal Party leader James Tien Pei-chun, Tsang Yok-sing of the DAB and Frederick Fung Kin-kee of the ADPL - as having the worst performance in safeguarding sexual equality, and urged people not to vote for them in next month's Legislative Council election.

But Mr Fung said the group had hidden the issue of same-sex marriage among the feminist issues.

He said the party only had reservations on this issue, not equal rights for women, and more discussion would be needed before the party took a stance.

Mr Tien and Mr Tsang could not be reached for comment.

In a questionnaire sent to the candidates last week, the group asked for their stances on issues such as a stronger role for the Women's Commission, filling in loopholes in the sexual discrimination and domestic violence ordinances, decriminalising sex work and enhancing sex-equality education in schools.

Association chairwoman Sally Choi Wing-sze said many candidates did not put feminism on their election agendas because women voters had not established themselves as a mainstream voice in society.