Message from the CEO
Dear TWF friends
2015 was a very busy and exciting year for TWF. We expanded the breadth and depth of our community and professional programmes, we released several best practice guides, and we ramped up our public engagement around the core themes of positive education and resilience training for Hong Kong youth, tackling gender stereotyping in the media and encouraging women and girls to embrace technology.
We are particularly proud of our undergraduate Big Brothers and Sisters in this year’s T.E.E.N. Programme. Several of them were TEEN participants themselves six years ago and they have now come full circle and are paying it forward by mentoring our current cohort of TEENs.
In addition, we were able to accomplish a long-time goal for TWF with the making of “She Objects”, our new documentary that was completed in early 2016. The film could not have been made without the encouragement and funding support of many people and our partner organisations and it has been hugely validating to see the positive response from international film festivals to local Hong Kong audiences. Drawing on the film which has the endorsement of the Education Bureau, we hope to roll out workshops to promote media literacy and critical thinking on the part of secondary and university students across Hong Kong.
Another exciting new initiative which we launched in 2015 was the pilot of our Girls Go Tech Programme – a free after school initiative that provides secondary school girls from underprivileged backgrounds with coding and digital literacy skills to maximise their future career opportunities. The Programme was selected by Operation Santa Claus at the end of 2015 for OSC funding which will allow us to expand the reach of the Programme into more schools in 2016.
Embracing the spirit of HeforShe, we have also re-doubled our efforts to engage men in championing for gender equality both at home and in the workplace through the launch of the TWF Male Allies, a cohort of influential male leaders from around 30 organisations, who have committed to both influencing institutional changes at their own organisations and personal actions to advance gender equality in Hong Kong.
We still have a long way to go but I am confident we are moving in the right direction, and thanks to our ever-growing list of far-sighted supporting corporations, foundations, government agencies and media organisations, we continue to shoot for ambitious goals and systemic societal change, beyond what we can achieve alone.
Thank you to all of our incredible supporters and donors and the many individuals and institutions with whom we are working to achieve a brighter and more equitable Hong Kong for all.
CEO, The Women’s Foundation
Message from our Honorary Patron
I am honoured to be writing this message to you in my capacity as Honorary Patron of The Women’s Foundation.
Around the world, women are breaking through glass ceilings and rising to the fore. We have seen an unprecedented number of female athletes participating in this summer’s Olympics Games and in the past year alone, Taiwan, Myanmar, Nepal, Croatia, Mauritius, and Lithuania have all elected or re-elected female leaders to office.
This is a critical time for Hong Kong as we stand at an inflection point in our political and social history. Preserving our international standards in governance and a decent standard of living for all is important, and our work towards gender equality remains a critical part of this. Hong Kong’s young people are its future leaders and it is vital that they are given all the opportunities and support they need to become responsible, informed and committed global citizens.
Over the last decade, the Foundation stands as a beacon of excellence for bringing a wide range of women’s issues to the fore and setting new standards for regional NGOs in terms of innovative programme design and content, collaboration with public and private sector partners, and rigorous impact assessment.
Despite their efforts and the joint gains for gender equality achieved with other civil society actors, women in Hong Kong continue to face discrimination and much remains to be done in terms of breaking down barriers and changing attitudes. Of particular concern are growing caring responsibilities particularly for the elderly, the need to train our youth in critical thinking and to instill in them resilience and a positive mindset, and the lack of resources and services available to women on the periphery including new arrivals from the Mainland, migrant women, single mothers and ethnic and sexual minorities.
I want to thank all of you, on behalf of The Women’s Foundation, for your continued support for its programmes, research, outreach initiatives and mission. Your support is crucial to the Foundation’s success. It is only through our collective efforts that we can create a brighter, more equitable Hong Kong
The Honourable Anson Chan GBM GCMG CBE JP
Former Chief Secretary for Administration, HKSAR
Message from our Board Chair
Dear TWF friends
Whether you are a donor, a supporter, a programme participant or are being introduced to TWF for the first time, we hope you will find the information in our Annual Report about TWF’s work engaging and meaningful.
We believe it is only through effective collaboration between local NGOs, businesses, government, academics and media that we can achieve gender parity. This multi-sector collaboration has always been and continues to be a strong hallmark for our work at TWF, as demonstrated by all of our signature community programmes.
At the same time, we want to serve the community by producing independent, objective research and best practice, which we have continued to do this year by the publication of two best practice guides on Mentoring and Return-to-Work Programmes, a key learnings manual from our Life Skills Programme on the benefits of incorporating positive psychology elements into school curricula and a research report on Gender Stereotyping in the Media supported by the Equal Opportunities Commission. We have also chartered into new territory through commissioning a documentary, She Objects, that explores how traditional and new forms of media create and exacerbate gender stereotypes with often damaging consequences.
Despite our efforts and the efforts of so many others, much remains to be done to achieve gender equality, to provide our youth with the skills and opportunities to flourish and to advance women in the workplace. We can only bring about gender parity collectively and we hope each of you will be a ‘champion of change’ in your day-to-day routine: at work, at home and in the community.
On behalf of the TWF Board, thank you for all that you do to support TWF’s work. I would also like to express my gratitude for the commitment and passion of the executive team led by Su-Mei Thompson and Rita Ching for their tireless dedication to improving the lives of women and girls in Hong Kong. It has been wonderful to see their hard work recognised by the community.
Congratulations to Su-Mei on being named AmCham’s Non-Profit Leader of the Year 2015 and for winning HKAH/Tatler’s 2015 Women of Hope Award for Power & Influence.
Your opinion and your feedback matter to us – please reach out to any of the TWF Board or staff with your ideas and thoughts at any time.
I hope you will continue to follow our journey.