Some 450 women from Guangdong and Hong Kong gathered for a party in Guangzhou, the capital city of Guandong Province on March 3, to promote friendship and celebrate "March 8 International Women’s Day."
Sponsored by the Hong Kong-based Central Government Liaison Office and the Women’s Federation of Guangdong Province, the party lasted for two days.
More than 230 Hong Kong women from business circles and various women organizations were led by Chen Fengying, vice-director of the Hong Kong-based Central Government Liaison Office. From Guandong came women officials of the Guangdong municipal government, wives of local leaders and wives of Foreign Consulates in Guangzhou. Gu Xiulian, vice-chairman of the All-China Women’s Federation, delivered a welcoming speech.
The elegant and high-spirited women staged performances together in various Chinese-style costumes. Although most are from wealthy families and lead comfortable lives, they still take an active role in the community to demonstrate fully show the power of modern Chinese women.
On the minds of the party-goers: A recent survey that caused fierce debate by the local media conducted by the Guangdong municipal government. It showed that 25 percent of Guangdong working women said they would choose to return home as housewives if their family financial conditions permitted.
Half of the middle-aged women survey supported the idea that "having a good career is less important than having a good husband."
One Hong Kong entrepreneur at the party, a Ms. Wang who co-manages a family enterprise with her husband, said she was a little bit shocked when she heard that quite a number of Guangdong women said they would rather "go back home" and supported the view that "working well is less important than marrying well." In her opinion, Guangdong women -- broadminded, creative, capable and bold – are superior to women in inland areas.
Ms. Wang said that those women who want to go home can’t be blamed because with differences in education and family they may have their reasons. Nevertheless, she said, it is a waste of social resources and detrimental to the social and family structures if well-educated women only want to be housewives instead of working as career women. On the whole, being independent financially is the base for women to improve their social status, Ms. Wang said.
(新华社 [Xinhua News Agency] March 3, 2002, translated by Zheng Guihong for china.org.cn)