The Women's Studies Department and the Institute for Research on Women and Gender host two exhibits per year in the main lobby of Lane Hall, 204 S. State Street. The exhibits, broadly related to issues of women and gender, are available for public viewing Monday through Friday, 8am-5pm.
Above Ground: 40 Moments of Transformation
Above Ground: 40 Moments of Transformation, is a photography exhibition highlighting the powerful, ground-breaking performance art and actions of China’s Young Feminist Activists (YFA). The exhibit is curated by Lü Ping, a Chinese feminist organizer and visiting scholar at Columbia University, who first organized the exhibit in New York City in fall 2015. The exhibit will run through July 22, 2016.
For more information on these issues please see a video, "From 'Iron Girls" to Leftovers: Independent Women in China.
“Bloody Brides” Anti-Domestic Violence
On February 14, 2012, three activists dressed in wedding dresses with fake bloodstains protested on a busy business street in Beijing. The signs they held read: “equality then harmony, violence doesn’t belong to this region” and “violence, are you still silent?” This was the first street performance action against domestic violence held in Beijing.
Call the Education Department for a Change
On February 28, 2013, college students protested gender discrimination in college admissions in front of the Admission Examination Committee of Guangdong province in southern China. There's an old saying in China that “Government offcials who don’t do their duty, are better off going home and selling sweet potatoes.” Holding sweet potatoes in their hands, the protesters satirized the impenitence of education sectors.
First Gender Discrimination Lawsuit - Won
According to the verdict made by a Hangzhou court in east China's Zhejiang Province on November 12, 2014, Huang Rong, the woman who sought a declaration that gender was not an acceptable reason for her to be denied employment, was awarded 2,000 yuan (U.S. $326) in damages. This was the first Chinese court-ordered case related to gender discrimination in employment since China adopted the Law on the Protection of Rights and Interests of Women in 1992.
The Case of the Chinese Feminist Five
On March 7, 2015, the eve of International Women’s Day, five young feminist activists were suddenly arrested for planning to organize an advocacy event against sexual harassment on public transportation - an incident now known as “The Case of the Chinese Feminist Five.” In response, friends and supporters of the "Feminist Five" decided to take active measures to rescue them by being vocal about the injustice and rallying domestic and international support. Over three hundred civil society groups around the world made public statements demanding the release of the “Feminist Five” and solidarity rallies appeared in London, Seattle, New York, Seoul, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and New Delhi. In China, people courageously signed petitions and some even took to the detaining center to declare their opposition.
Numerous videos and images emerged out of this transnational action. One of the symbolic images is the “Mask Demonstration.” Protesters in New Delhi, India were the first to publish photos of themselves wearing masks bearing the faces of the “Feminist Five.” Inspired by their action, a group of young feminist activists in Guangzhou secretly produced and published a series of photos showing activists wearing masks on the streets to express their determination to fight for the “Five Sisters’” freedom. Following suit, activists in Beijing and Tokyo replicated these “mask demonstrations.”