Gender, Equity and Diversity Work Through WSRC
The Women’s Studies Research Centre (WSRC) brings researchers, policy makers, leaders from different sectors and from within the broader community together around issues of gender, sexuality and diversity across disciplines, cultures, and contexts. WSRC is committed to promoting research and dialogue in areas crucial to the development of women’s, gender, sexuality, and diversity studies. We organize seminars, conferences and symposia and are a hub for research activity, collaboration, and multilevel stakeholder engagement in the efforts to achieve equity and expand opportunities for all.
Approved in 1994 as a HKU virtual center, the WSRC collective has instituted new courses in various faculties, collaborated with colleagues across the university to integrate gender as a frame of analysis, and has helped to shape various interdisciplinary initiatives. On several occasions, WSRC has reached beyond the university to partner with NGOs, social enterprises, and governmental institutions to facilitate a cross-community discourse on integrating the gender / sexuality / diversity lens to inform our work and initiatives. In its early years, WSRC members collaborated with community stakeholders in the establishment of the Hong Kong Equal Opportunities Commission, The Women’s Commission, and the extension of the UN Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) to Hong Kong in 1996. Prior to the 1995 Fourth World Conference in Beijing, WSRC members worked with women’s groups across the spectrum to support all those representing Hong Kong in Beijing.
WSRC has over the course of the years organized numerous activities with a view to engendering a culture of conversation about gendered perspectives across all disciplines and fields. WSRC also aims to systematically broaden these initiatives to include other categories of analysis that are often rendered invisible in dominant discourses. Drawing on interdisciplinary and intersectional theoretical frameworks, as well as candid and practical reflections on the progress and process of engendering inclusivity through engaging a diversity of perspectives, our recently launched seminar series, Gender Plus covers a host of themes highlighting these vital intersections and connections. It is hoped that these conversations can spark innovative ideas for interdisciplinary and collaborative research in relation to the intersections where disciplinary themes coincide to offer enriched perspectives, understandings and framing of social phenomena. WSRC has nurtured these connections and produced important work for gender and women by leading out on various initiatives and forming synergies between community and academy. Through its capacity-building work, the centre has engaged in knowledge exchange, advancement and advocacy of social justice at local and global engagement platforms.
Our vision and hope is that this work will gradually permeate other spheres of knowledge to encourage the broader community to put equity and social justice issues into focus by encouraging a sense of civic duty to and responsibility to our fellow beings.