HER Fund sees the potential in marginalized women and girls
HER Fund’s philosophy is unique in Hong Kong. We are one of the only foundations in Hong Kong to support innovative new groups with seed funding. We take chances on small, community groups with great promise who dare to take up new and difficult issues and support women's efforts to change their lives for the better. HER Fund listens to their needs to provide funding that allows the organizations to achieve their goals. They know best what they need most, and we trust their decisions when it comes to making the biggest difference for gender equality.
Project Highlights 2020 - 2021
A Deeper Dive: Freedom from Discrimination
Discrimination denies groups or individual’s basic rights and obstructs their potential, that causes inequality. This discrimination is often compounded by their ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, economic status, and other factors, that the marginalized women or girls become vulnerable.
Grantee Spotlight: GDotTV
Project Name: GDotTV - Sexual Minorities' Media
GDotTV is the first online TV platform that targets sexual minorities in Hong Kong. Since its start-up in 2008, it has been proactive in mainstreaming issues of sexual minorities and empowering the community.
HER Fund’s grant helps sustain GDotTV's daily operations and helps them maintain their website and social media platforms. Through regular publishing of articles and information feeds on sexual minorities, GDotTV’s platform amplifies the small or unheard voices of the community. Their project also aims to engage sexual minority activists and volunteers in building up a core operational team. By stabilising GDotTV’s income source through the supplying of our grant, we are able to lend them foundational support in their mission to continuously promote gender equality through new media.
- 10+ feature articles and information feeds on gender/sexual related issues are published monthly both on GDotTV's website and across mainstream media platforms, receiving an average of over 12000 views per month.
- 2 archives have been created for LGBT+ celebrities and judicial decisions on LGBT+ rights in Hong Kong.
- 21 volunteers with experience in video production and editorial work, as well as familiarity with gender issues have been recruited to maintain GDotTV’s daily operations.
- 14 volunteers and core team members participated in a writing and editorial workshop. Knowledge and resources were provided to support the team in handling the publishing of gender/sexual related issues.
- A participatory decision-making process was established among core team members for capacity-building, advocated empowerment and the decentralization of responsibilities to sustain the organisation in the long run.
A Deeper Dive: Freedom from Violence
Violence against women causes brutal consequences of gender inequalities. It includes violence in close relationships, sexual violence (including rape, sexual assault and harassment), economic abuse and diverse forms of harmful practices that negatively affect women's physical and psychological well-being.
Grantee Spotlight: Association Concerning Sexual Violence Against Women (ACSVAW)
Project Name: Image-based Sexual Violence: Prevention and Awareness Building
Currently, there are no specific offences against image-based sexual violence (IBSV) in Hong Kong, leading to the lack of protection for such victims. It is found in a survey conducted by ACSVAW that less than 10% of the victims sought help from social service organisations and more than half of the victims felt ‘shamed’ and ‘humiliated’. The non-consensual creation or sharing of intimate images deprive victims of their choice of how and under what circumstances to reveal and express with their body.
In light of the rampant situation of insufficient awareness and the service gap of IBSV – ACSVAW, together with the HER grant, initiated the project “Image-based Sexual Violence: Prevention and Awareness Building”, aiming to increase public awareness, especially of the younger generation and of youth work professionals in preventing and combating against IBSV.
- 9 workshops were conducted for university and secondary students throughout 2020-21. Participants shared their reflections on victim-blaming behaviour and culture, and how people often undermine the harm of watching and sharing non-consensual sexual images.
- Production of educational materials such as WhatsApp’s stickers, IBSV victim handbook and leaflet, video about bystanders and victim- blaming, and sharing of IBSV resources on social media.
- Case sharing and training were conducted for practitioners intervening in gender-based violence.
- Established a new service “Take-Down Assistance (Ta-DA)” to assist victim-survivors of IBSV in reporting intimate images that are non-consensually distributed to online platforms for removal.
- In July 2020, the Hong Kong Government launched a 3-month Consultation on the proposed introduction of offences of Voyeurism, Intimate Prying, Non-consensual Photography of Intimate Parts, and Related Offences after considerable adoption of feedback from groups/organisations and the general public concerned with the subject matter.
A Deeper Dive: Freedom from Poverty
Grantee Spotlight: Asian Migrants Credit Union (AMCU)
Project Name: Revitalization of AMCU as an organisation
Most migrant domestic workers are women and the sole breadwinner of their families back in their home countries. They too have experienced lockdown measures and restrictions during the pandemic and are carrying increased financial burdens. With the economic downturn, it is foreseeable that many jobs will be lost, putting domestic workers and their families at risk as most do not have savings or capital to tackle such financial challenges.
With the HER Fund grant, AMCU developed a financial management project that aimed to introduce migrant domestic workers to a better understanding of financial management, explaining ways to build a habit to save and increase savings that would prepare them to face future financial challenges. A short video introducing their project and the impacts: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLV7ziHnjy0
- A financial management workshop for migrant domestic workers to improve their financial literacy skills.
- Developed a mutual support group within the community of migrant domestic workers to share experiences about dealing with financial challenges.
- The AMCU leaders have continued to reach out to new members every week to support the community in developing their saving habits while offering low interest rate loans to help build members’ financial resilience.
A Deeper Dive: Advancement for Women's Civil Participation
Grantee Spotlight: Women in Sports Empowered Hong Kong Limited
Project Name: WISE HK Sports Leadership Programme
In Hong Kong, young girls usually participate less in sports outside the classroom than boys. Teenage female athletes usually come across more challenges as they face gender discriminations stemming from the differences in their physical fitness compared to teenage males. These teenage girls often lack opportunities to participate in sports, positive feedback from society and the necessary supporting networks.
With the HER Fund grant, WISE HK Sports Leadership Programme targets teenage girls aged between 14 to 18, aiming to encourage them to plan and lead various sports activities through immersive learning and training. This programme aims to enhance their confidence and nurture their leadership skills and sensitivity. Participants will be able to engage the community, speak up for their rights and bring a positive impact to society.
- 5 workshops were conducted for 20 girls who are interested in sports. Participants engaged in basketball, football and other sport-based activities that are considered male-dominated to challenge gender stereotypes and encourage female participation in sports.
- A site visit supported by 3 volunteers from a local sports brand.
- Mentorship was provided to the participants to strengthen participants' leadership skills and awareness of the gender situations in sports.
- 20 girls participated in journaling to reflect on the gendered situations in sports.