Speakers at the East Asia Sub-regional Conference on Human Rights & Dignity of Asian Girls (Building Girl Friendly Cities), Hong Kong, September 22-23

We have a great line-up of speakers at the conference who will be exploring ideas and sharing best practices on how to create cities in Asia where girls can live in dignity, let their voices be heard, and fulfill their full potential.

Featured speakers

YumenoNito_PhotoBorn in 1989 Yumeno Nito (仁藤夢乃) started roaming the streets as a junior high school student, even spending a night sleeping on a piece of cardboard. After dropping out of high school she was encouraged by government minister and her former teacher at prep school Toshifumi Aso to get involved in social activism. She was accepted into the sociology faculty at Meiji University in 2009. Seeing her friends still trapped on the streets, she started organizing activities focusing on high school girls, or “joshi kosei” in Japanese.

In 2013 she founded Colabo, a grass-roots organization based in Tokyo to support survivors of sexual violence and abuse, and other impoverished schoolgirls in Japan. Based on Yumeno’s own experience of wandering around the cities at night in her high school days Colabo aims to create a society where every girl can have “clothing, food and housing” and “relationships with others”, and where no girl with difficulties has to suffer violence or wind up in exploitative labor.

Yumeno will be presenting on the “”Joshi Kosei (JK) business branding strategy and sexualization of high school girls”.

hanui leeHanui Lee from the Korea Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Council for Overseas Development (KCOC) will be presenting on “Media Guidelines for Protection of Children’s Rights in Korea”. KCOC has developed a set of guidelines for NGOs on the use of images of children in fundraising campaigns. The guidelines help protect the dignity of vulnerable girls and boys.

Hanui has taught children in a poverty reduction program in Paraguay to protect their rights of children and adolescents. She is now working at KCOC Policy Centre as a program coordinator.

Established in 1999 KCOC strives to make a global village where all are happy. KCOC is an association of development NGOs Implementing development and aid projects, with the aim of eradicating poverty around the world. In order to facilitate overseas aid projects of development NGOs, KCOC actively promotes a variety of activities, including information sharing among our member organizations, capacity-building programs for organization activists, research projects regarding development NGOs, and advocacy.

Nicola pic sqNicola Fan is a graphic designer and filmmaker based in Hong Kong. She works as an art director for marketing and campaign materials; and is a director/producer for branded content, music videos, documentaries and shorts. Her works have been featured on billboards, in TV commercials, at film festivals, in print as well as in merchandise stores.

Her music video “The Eve” has been seen at film festivals all over the world. A call for self-reflection in our diverse and complex world, the video illustrates an ordinary day in the young working lives of two strangers in Hong Kong. Yet, they may be more connected than they realize.

Nicola graduated from Rhode Island School of Design where she grew her passion in communication design in a flower pot and let it bloom into a passion for storytelling through moving images.

At the conference Nicola will be talking about her latest project in partnership with The Women’s Foundation – the upcoming documentary film “She Objects“, which uncovers the power of media to create and exacerbate gender stereotypes.

10918988_946461355385736_5085208176689799566_oUndrakh Chinchuluun is director of the “Princess” center for the protection of girls and young women’s rights, Mongolia. The mission of the Princess center is to empower girls and young women to deal with complex social problems by providing social work services. Princess works with teenage mothers and victims of sexual abuse, their families, communities, organizations and local governments in order to bring positive changes in girls’ life.

Princess is the only local NGO that protects rights of teenage mothers. Since 2003, Princess has been working to support and provide professional social work services to vulnerable teen mothers live in poor areas of Ulaanbaatar. In Mongolia, teenage pregnancy and childbearing has been on the increase since 1990’s. Teenage mothers are usually uneducated, orphans, live below the poverty line, from single-parent families, or from families afflicted by domestic violence. Due to the pregnancy, they suffer from emotional shock, lose educational and professional opportunities and sink into a low standard of living, where they become vulnerable to poverty, exploitation and violence.

Undrakh will be speaking on “Experiences of the Young Mothers’ Empowerment Program Implemented by the Princess Center”.

Stella TsaoStella Tsao (曹宜蓁) is currently a senior researcher at the research and development department and nationwide supervisor of adolescent services at the Garden of Hope Foundation, Taiwan. Stella has 17 years of experience working as a social worker, counselling pregnant teenage girls, minors who have suffered sexual abuse, and women survivors of domestic violence. She previously served as the director at Garden of Hope’s branch office in Hualien, where she strove to establish specialist services for the local area, promoted gender equality in schools, and developed programs to empower teenage girls. Stella has a great deal of experience in teenage pregnancy services. She has produced a lot of practical research, raised awareness among the general public about the issues facing young parents and pregnant teenagers, especially in rural areas, and helped improve and develop better service programs.

Stella Tsao will be speaking on “Teenage Pregnancy and Social Exclusion”.

Peter Reading

Peter Reading from the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) is a human rights lawyer who has been working internationally in the field for 15 years.

He leads the EOC’s Discrimination Law Review project to modernize all the existing discrimination legislation in Hong Kong relating to sex, disability, race and family status. He is also involved in the EOC’s work relating to promoting equality for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) groups.

The EOC is Hong Kong’s statutory equality body which has duties to work towards the elimination of discrimination, and promote equality of opportunity in society. Peter will be talking about how we can use international and national treaties and ordinances to promote the rights of girls.

PaulineLiu sqPauline Liu is senior manager of the Development and Alumni Affairs Office at Hong Kong University (HKU) and senior resident tutor of Lap-Chee College, a newly built residential college which encourages cultural diversity and community engagement.

Pauline has worked as personal assistant to the director of HKU School of Professional and Continuing Education. Prior to that, she was an administrative officer at the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

She obtained her first degree from HKU in comparative literature.  Later she obtained her MSc in responsibility and business practice from the University of Bath, UK. Pauline is now a mother of an 18 month old son.

sarahaiston sqDr Sarah Jane Aiston is assistant professor of the Division of Policy, Administration and Social Sciences Education, Faculty of Education, HKU.

Sarah has a long-standing research interest in the status, position and experience of women in higher education, as students and as academics, and from both a historical and contemporary perspective. She is currently researching the under-representation of women as academic leaders and the phenomenon of the ’Third Gender’ in China.

The “Third Gender” are a phenomena also known as the “left-over women”. They are highly educated, high-earners, with high-flying career – and “highly unlikely to get married”. The popular view is that women with PhDs are unmarriageable, potentially undermining traditional society and even challenging social order. Sarah (who also has a PhD) will be talking about this phenomenon and the effect it may be having on the uptake of graduate education by young women in China.

Dr.EleanorCheung sqPui Kei Eleanor Cheung (張佩琦) obtained a PhD in education from HKU in 2011 on her thesis of “Gender variant people in Hong Kong: a model of gender identity formation and transformation.”

Her research interests include sex education for sexual/gender minorities, gender & society, and prejudice and health outcomes among sexual minorities. She has written extensively about Chinese gender identity and sexual orientation, migrant sex workers in Chinese cities, and transgenders in Hong Kong and China.

Pui Kei is chair of Samma-Kammanta (同自在), founding member of HKqUeerCampus (同聚天倫), organizer of Pride Week 2008, founding member of Nutong Xueshe (女同學社), and is active in many other lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender networks.

Brenda Rodriguez Alegre sqDr. Brenda Rodriguez Alegre is a resident tutor at Lap Chee College, HKU, and a lecturer at HKU where she teaches sexuality and gender. Brenda was born in Samar, but she spent most of her life in Manila. She studied psychology at the University of Santo Tomas (UST) where she completed her BS, MA and PhD. Her MA thesis and PhD dissertation were about transgender women. She is a Registered Psychologist and Psychometrician and a Licensed Teacher as well.

She is currently on the Board of Directors of the Society of Transsexual Women Advocates of the Philippines (STRAP), she one of the Trans Secretariat of the International LGBT Association (ILGA) and the lead coordinator for the English speaking members of the Transgender Resource Center in Hong Kong (TGR).

Brenda is perhaps one of the few, if not the only, trans* identifying academics in Hong Kong. Aside from psychology, LGBTQ advocacy and teaching, she is also interested in music and has performed as a soprano in one of her company choirs and church choirs.

Click here to see the full agenda

Lap Chee College,
Jockey Club Student Village III,
The University of Hong Kong

Organized by:
The Garden of Hope Foundation
The Women’s Foundation
Lap Chee College, The University of Hong Kong.

Sponsor: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ROC (Taiwan)

Registration: Click here to sign up for the conference.