Instead of reminding the world of the historic importance of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and its own contribution and commitment to the same, the Chinese state chose to illegally detain five young feminist activists. In a clampdown, prominent activists, Li Tingting (also known as Maizi), Wei Tingting, Wang Man in Beijing, Wu Rongrong in Hangzhou, and Zheng Churang (also known as Datu) in Guangzhou, have been detained. The arrests were triggered by the five young women preparing stickers printed with sentences in Chinese such as “Stop sexual harassment, let safety be with you, me and her” and “Run police run, arrest those who commit sexual harassment!”, which they planned to distribute on 7 March in the streets of their cities.
The action was timed to coincide with the All-China Federation of Workers submission of Bills to the National People’s Congress and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Congress regarding sexual harassment in the workplace. The aim was to bring public concern and also to call for the setting up of a mechanism to prohibit sexual harassment in public transport. These women have in the past three years, have been doing similar peaceful and creative actions like “Occupy Men’s Toilets” to bring to greater public attention the issue of sexual harassment and demand for equal public spaces for women. This is the first time that they have been unjustly prevented from expressing their concerns. For the Full Statement, click here.