The New York Times reports:
China detained at least 10 women’s rights activists over the weekend to forestall a nationwide campaign against sexual harassment on public transportation that was to overlap with International Women’s Day, according to human rights advocates and associates of those detained.
At least five of the detained were still being held on Sunday evening, while the others had been released after being interrogated. All were women.
The women still in detention on Sunday evening live in the eastern metropolises of Beijing, Guangzhou and Hangzhou, and had timed the start of the anti-harassment campaign to coincide with International Women’s Day on Sunday, according to Chinese Human Rights Defenders, an advocacy group based outside China that had posted on Twitter about the detentions.
…“The attack this time is a big deal for us because the people who have been taken away formed the growing core of our movement these last few years,” said a young woman in Beijing who spoke on the condition of anonymity, also out of fear of official retribution. “They are the core strength of the women’s activist movement.”
The All-China Women’s Federation held a gathering attended by female domestic workers and foreign diplomats in Beijing on Friday ahead of International Women’s Day.
The Chinese government attaches great importance to the protection of women’s rights, said Shen Yueyue, president of the federation, when delivering a speech.
Shen, who is also vice chair of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, China’s top legislature, said she hoped women would work hard to help realize the “Chinese dream” of national rejuvenation.
Shen also urged women worldwide to work together in promoting gender equality and world peace and development.
The best way to celebrate women in China these days is to tell them to work harder and keep their mouths shut.