Which Path should Marginalized Chinese Women’s NGOs follow?

中文 English

In China there is a huge diversity of NGO types. This has come about due to processes within China’s reform period, varying streams of international development aid, and differences in the social and political environment. Compared to the populations served by poverty alleviation and education programs, groups such as those living with HIV, sex workers, migrants, and homosexuals are severely stigmatized and discriminated against. Therefore it is very difficult for these communities to receive support from Chinese society and the government. This particular NGO field could appropriately be called “marginalized”

Because of the need for rights protection and service provision, many organizations emerged in the late 1990s, but these were mainly led by men. After 2000, due to a lack of organizational response, the problems that some groups of marginalized women, such as female sex workers, women living with HIV, and lesbians, faced became more and more obvious. They could not receive the support of the Women’s Federation nor other women’s organizations. In order to overcome these difficulties, many of these marginalized women formed organizations based around these communities and used diverse working methods to protect their rights and raise public and governmental awareness of their situation.

Women’s HIV/AIDS organizations

Since the late 1990s, the continued support of international funds, as well as the longterm involvment and effort of prominent AIDS activists made HIV/AIDS one of the most influential fields for NGO work. However this field is dominated by services for MSM (Men who have Sex with Men), while organizations providing services to HIV-infected women are few and weak. According to a survey conducted by the National AIDS Resource Network in 2011, there were only 29 women AIDS organizations (and groups) in China. Most of these organizations have only a few part-time employees and some are exclusively composed of volunteers.

Xincai county’s Ximei Mutual Help Home is a good example of the typical grassroots women AIDS organization found in Henan. Founder Liu Ximei met feminist Ye Haiyan during the 2011 “Tian Xi Case”1 which pushed her to take the path to help those living with HIV. The Ximei Mutual Help Home hopes it can offer some relief and compensation for the women of Xincai living with HIV, as well as help them find a doctor and provide a temporary place to rest and have a social life. However, as with similar groups, the Ximei Mutual Help Home faces obstacles on all fronts, including funding, office space, work details, and staff.

In many parts of Henan, many patients from rural areas go to the city to see a doctor, often saving money by not eating or drinking during their trip. In addition, because of the side-effects of bad medication, patients from rural areas are plagued with obvious visual markers (such as changes in body fat) and are therefore subjected to even more serious discrimination. Even though the Ximei Mutual Help Home only has three to five steady volunteers and staff and is unable to disseminate AIDS prevention information, or provide job training, it still provides a shelter where patients can talk and support each other. However, the Home has already had to move four times within the county town during the last two years. The first time was because after a year the landlord refused to renew the expired lease. The second because after just 15 days, the landlord broke the contract and did not allow them to stay. Therefore, they had to move to yet another place for a few months, but because many patients kept coming and going, tensions with neighbors soon arose. Today, the group is renting a private house, but when I went to interview them in October of 2013, their lease was to expire in six months and the landlord had already made it clear he had no intention of renewing it. Prospective tenants were already coming to view the property.

When the organization was first established, Liu Ximei would often go to Zhengzhou and elsewhere to attend meetings and training sessions for AIDS organizations. After a few times, she believed that the training sessions weren’t meeting her needs. The Mutual Help Home had an urgent need for guidance in becoming more organized and sustainable, whereas the training sessions were often teaching how to fight discrimination and protect privacy. When I visited, the Home had not yet obtained funding from foundations nor development agencies. They had to rely on online donations Ye Haiyan helped raise through her Weibo, and on the “hush money”2 obtained from the local government by patients on important days such as “World AIDS Day”, to pay their rent.

The Dengfeng Sunshine Home, which helps locals who were infected with HIV through blood transfusions secure definite compensation, is also based in Henan. Before being diagnosed with AIDS in 2005, Sunshine Home’s founder, Wang Qiuyun, was an official in the local healthcare system. Furthermore, her husband is an intellectual. These elements constitute an important background to explain the development of this small grassroots NGO. Unlike many other people living with HIV who petition the government for compensation, the Dengfeng Sunshine Home calls on a few local hospitals for compensation. In order to obtain conclusive evidence, they run around and collect testimonies from people who donated/sold their blood at the time. Quickly after getting compensation for a case, they once again carry out discussion and analysis, and continue to put pressure on hospitals, until a large portion of the people who had become infected through blood transfusions are finally given compensation. A family whose three members were infected received up to 550,000 RMB in damages. Sunshine Home helped infected people to get compensation, and also managed to get them on the basic living allowance to lay down the foundations for future community activities. They split the costs for the mutual-aid and volunteer service project funds.

In Hebei province, north of the Yellow River, there are also small grassroots groups providing services to women living with HIV. In 2005, with the help of a Beijing AIDS NGO leader, Meng Lin, Ma Guihong, a former village shop owner, established the Yongqing Half the Sky Mutual Aid Group, in order to provide services to local people living with HIV and help them fight for compensation. Subsequently, in 2007 Ma Guihong and the Half the Sky Mutual Aid group promoted the implementation of the “Four Free, One Care” policy in Yongqing county. Then, in 2010, they promoted the introduction of the “Implementing Opinions Concerning the Improvement of Our Province’s AIDS Community’s Health Care and Aid Work” in Hebei (commonly referred to as Document 7) and advocated that it be implemented in Yongqing in 2012, so all the people who became infected selling/donating their blood would receive a one-time compensation of 70,000 RMB.

The successful promotion and implemention of the policy is due to both the specifics of the Hebei AIDS epidemic and to Ma Guihong’s strategic work. Compared to Henan, there are a lot fewer people living with HIV in Hebei. According to 2013 statistics, Henan had a total of 59,380 cases of confirmed people living with HIV, while Hebei had only 4,0103. Therefore, pressure for compensation in Hebei is lower than in Henan. In addition, Yongqing is less than a hundred kilometers away from Beijing, and is linked to the capital by a direct bus line providing people living with HIV with an easy way to go there to put pressure on their local government. After Hebei province published the “Document no 7”, Yongqing county kept postponing its implementation. Ma Guihong went to Beijing on “important dates” for two years in a row. As Ma Guihong puts it “each time we went, our attitude seemed extreme but our words did not break the law and our actions stayed on the brink of illegality. After a while, the government could not bear this pressure and started implementing document no 7 in January 2012”.

In Ma Guihong’s opinion, women living with HIV’s rights work now have an advantage because women in this group look relatively weaker than men and thus will encounter less direct violence. Therefore, if their work is maintained over a long period of time, they can achieve results.

The issues that Half the Sky faces are very similar to those of other organizations. Rights petitioning is their major form of advocacy. Firstly, this makes it hard for these organizations to register. Secondly, these organizations lack both the funding and capacity to carry out other projects (currently their main source of funding are small grants from the China Alliance of PLWHA). Another problem is the lack of expertise among younger staff. Even though these organizations look energetic, Ma Guihong has already become a grandmother and there is still no one else to lead the Half Sky development team.

As small and weak grassroots groups, former influential women HIV NGOs also have to face a lack of new capable personnel and the slow haemorrhaging of their current personnel.

When I interviewed the head and only full-time staff member of the China Women’s Network Against AIDS, Yuan Wenli, she lamented: “Why doesn’t [the China Women’s Network Against AIDS] have a second staff member? There used to be another staff member here I really was satisfied with, but now she has a well-paid and steady job. I asked her to come back many times, but she didn’t. I hope that more young people will volunteer [in this sector]. Most of the volunteers are women in their 30’s and 40’s, some even in their 50’s and 60’s. I’ve seen some women in their 20’s as well, but they have work and they’re taking [antiretroviral] medicine. They try to hide the fact that they are HIV-positive. This way they don’t face discrimination, so they do their thing and work. No matter how you try, you just can’t get them to come help out. This is a big problem.” Not only is it a problem that 20-somethings are hard to bring in to this sector, but the number of 30- and 40-year-old volunteers is dwindling. The founder of the China Women Network Against AIDS, He Tiantian (pseudonym) is an example of someone who left this field and went back to mainstream society. In 2011, she resigned as the head of the China Women Network Against AIDS and returned to her work as a high school teacher. Because of her heavy workload, she gradually moved away from her work with the network. Shanghai has only one women’s HIV group, Yiyimoli. The director, Ms. Wang (pseudonym), after doing several years of HIV work, returned to her job as a hospital doctor, a job that could provide her a decent living in a city such as Shanghai where financial pressure is high.

Female Sex Worker Organizations

Within the community of Chinese NGOs, there are only about 10 organizations that provide services for Female Sex Workers (FSW). The issues they are concerned with are marginal, and the community they serve often lacks knowledge and ability. Moreover, the mere survival of these organizations is very difficult.

Because prostitution is illegal, FSW organizations originated from HIV/AIDS intervention services. In 2007, Xiao Ai (pseudonym), who had been living and working in a city in northern China, came into contact with some HIV/AIDS organizations, and in the following year, she established an organization called Female Sex Workers’ Home. When I visited in January 2014, the FSW Home was renting a two-bedroom apartment on the outskirts of the city for office space, and was registered with Industry and Commerce and operating in name as an organization for the prevention of HIV/AIDS.

As a vulnerable and socially marginalized group, sex workers as a community itself is internally divided. Many of the staff and volunteers at the FSW Home worked as sex workers, but mostly as “middle and high income earners,” for example, working in karaoke bars, bath houses, etc. However, after its establishment, the FSW Home primarily worked to help those in the lower side of the income spectrum, such as those who work in hair salons or roadside stores. The difficulties that the latter group faces are comparatively greater. Not only are they more likely to not use condoms and be exposed to sexually transmitted diseases, but they are also more likely to be victims of anti-prostitution campaigns and “ custody and education” (shourong jiaoyu 收容教育). In order to address these problems, the FSW Home has launched a series of programs to encourage the use of condoms and promote the self-defense capabilities of low-income sex workers.

Because organizations like the FSW Home have staffs primarily composed of women, things such as outreach efforts are more easily accomplished. However, this also creates a development bottleneck. Since it is rare to have experienced, established organizations in this sector, in recent years, a number of foundations have been providing financial support to the FSW Home to help it conduct research projects, for example relating to the use of condoms, female sex workers living conditions, or the “custody and education” system. The purpose of conducting these research projects is to raise the ability of grassroots organizations. However, the FSW Home currently only has three full-time staff members and about ten volunteers. None of them are able to write these reports, and they must ask for help from women’s rights experts. They are usually very busy and additionally are not able to present their own findings. This has become a source of repeated headaches for Xiao Ai. She has long hoped to have college students join her organization, help research, complete reports, and contribute to advocacy. Furthermore, since there are not many women’s organizations in her city, if Xiao Ai wants to contact other organizations, her only option is to go to Beijing. Over the summer, Xiao Ai made the trip to Beijing several times to attend activities at a feminist school held during weekends. However, due to time and high cost of travel of the weekly round trip, she quickly gave this up.

Similarly to the FSW Home, another organization based in Kunming called Pingxing Busuan developed from a focus of providing services specifically to a single social group. It was also established in 2007, initially providing HIV/AIDS intervention services to MSM groups. Around 2011, there was a break in funding. The original director left the organization to work for the Department of Disease Control, leaving the two other members of the organization to maintain the basic cost of operations, which they did with their own personal funds. One of these members, Gaizi, now holds the director position. When Gaizi was a graduate student, she was a volunteer at Pingxing. This girl from Shandong fell in love with the climate of Yunnan and decided to stay. After working for over a year with a colleague named Liu Yifu, in 2012 Pingxing once again began receiving funding from Oxfam. The work of the organization also grew considerably, not only continuing to serve the MSM population, but also expanding to work with female sex workers, and gay and lesbian university students.

Because Pingxing is an organization built upon the interests and ideals of its staff, rather than one which developed from a specific community, it has difficulties in focusing on its core programs and establishing an organizational identity. Even though there are only four full-time staff workers, the scope of Pingxing’s work is actually very broad. Every month they hold 20 outreach programs for sex workers, 12 for women and 8 for men. They also research the living conditions of sex workers and current systems for HIV/AIDS testing. They moreover frequently go to universities and colleges in Kunming to host small activities for the gay and lesbian community. Furthermore, on special anniversary days, such as the “Anti-Domestic Violence Day,” Pingxing holds some street demonstrations. This is a lot of work, which makes establishing a concrete identity difficult. Although it does a lot of work for women (including female sex workers, lesbians and heterosexual women), Pingxing has little contact with women’s organizations. The majority of the national events Gaizi attends are organized by MSM organizations. When talking with other organizations about Pingxing, I found that people’s immediate reaction is that Pingxing is a MSM organization. On the other hand, when they have lot of work and are unable to raise enough funding, they are unwilling to delineate their work as HIV/AIDS prevention. Because of this, the organization is unable to get government funding. Currently, besides Oxfam, Pingxing does not have any other funding channels.

In addition to this organization, some other activists also work to promote the welfare and interests of the FSW community. Ye Haiyan (叶海燕) for example, founded Hongchen Wang (红尘网) in 2006 and began speaking out for the FSW community. In May 2013, Ye Haiyan, in response to the “Headmaster Hotel Case” that occurred in Hainan, held a sign that read “Get a Room with Me,” criticizing the sexual assault on girls and suggesting that school headmasters turn to sex workers for services and not to their pupils. Her behavior sparked an online public response of people imitating her message and advocating for the protection of young girls and made Ye Haiyan an internet celebrity. Later, Ye Haiyan returned to live in her hometown and continues to work to improve the rights of sex workers.

When I interviewed Ye Haiyan during the spring of 2014, she was living in the outskirts of Wuhan. At the time she was planning to turn her house into a library, a space that was temporarily being used by herself and other volunteers as an office. Currently, she is working on a project that is related to sex workers, mainly to create a new media platform called Red Umbrella (红雨伞). This platform is used to spread information translated from overseas by volunteers and share it on social media outlets such as Weixin and Weibo. She hopes to have more dialogue and communication with related departments in order to receive their support and understanding in order to continue her work.

Lesbian organizations

Unlike women living with HIV or female sex workers, lesbians (also known as “Lala”) are marginalized because their sexual orientation is different from the mainstream. This community is spread over every level of society, extending through every industry and every occupation. However, those who choose to participate in the gay rights movement are often individuals who are relatively independent both in finances and thinking. Because of this, in contrast to the two types of organizations previously mentioned, the backbone of lesbian groups is often mostly “elites” — most have received a good education and have had extensive exposure to Western theories. The development path of lesbian groups and new women’s groups have similarities. In 2007 they began to hold “la-la camps.” In 2009 they began using performance art as a means of public advocacy. Within the field, they have an electronic publication similar to ‘Women’s Voice’ called the ‘Queer Lala Times’ (酷拉时报), which has raised many topics of discussion. Furthermore, in the early 2000s, they had already proposed a law to legalize same-sex marriage.

Currently, within the lesbian community, Common Language and the Chinese La-la Alliance are rather mature national organizations. Common Language was established in 2005. At that time, within the gay rights movement, MSM organizations had absolute speaking rights. Moreover, homosexual rights had no possibility to enter the women’s rights strategy at the time which consisted in “relying on the system, launching projects in communities”. The lesbian community was scattered among several small groups, which would meet in bars and online. Lesbians would meet in these places to communicate with each other and launch some literary activities. The founder of Common Language, Xu Bin, connected these groups, gradually forming a network.

In 2007, with the help of people from gay rights movements in Hong Kong and Taiwan, Common Language launched its first “La-la” volunteer training camp, which discovered and cultivated activists from the lesbian community, “incubated” small organizations from many different places, and set up a network. By 2008, because of the need for a specific organization managing the camps, lesbians from Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and overseas came together to establish the Chinese La-la Alliance, the Secretariat of which coordinates annual La-la Camps. Common Language, however, has changed the direction of its work. In addition to continuing its support of the development of small organizations, it mainly works now to educating the public and advocating policy changes. This includes, for example, conducting advocacy trainings, participating in campus lectures, and holding public advocacy and demonstrations on special international days.

In recent years, Common Language has promoted more practical law and policy research, and advocacy. They have for example advocated for the Ministry of Health to remove the rule banning lesbians from donating blood in 2012, or against a policy of the State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television (SARFT) that prevents material related to gays or lesbians from appearing on screen in 2013. They have worked with women’s organizations to advocate for anti-domestic violence law, and hope this law will not limit the definition of a “household” to that of a married, heterosexual couple, but rather more broadly includes same-sex partners therefore protecting lesbians.

In addition to the national organizations, there presently also are smaller local lesbian organizations that have some influence. The issues they focus on are broader, and they are in the initial process of establishing their own “brand.” Since 2012, Xi’an’s RELAX student organization has been working with local companies to include a “pluralist sexuality” area in Xi’an’s Sex Exhibition, displaying LGBT culture to the public and becoming the first official, formal event of its kind to occur on the Mainland. Girl Love, by contrast, is an organization based in Shanghai, which brings a flavor of the international metropolis into its programs. In March of 2014, Girl Love published the first “LGBT Anti-Workplace Discrimination Report,” analyzing the different degree of tolerance towards LGBT of different businesses operating in the same city. The organization Qiyuan Yisheng’s (奇缘一生) most famous project provides an exchange platform and legal services for “formal marriage” groups4. He Xiaopei, a sexuality expert who has been based in Shenyang for a long time, filmed a documentary titled “lifelong relationship5” with Xiao Xiong, the founder of Qiyuan Yisheng, and her friends. The documentary was selected as a competitor for films festival in Amsterdam, Berlin, and other places. At the International Film Awards in Berlin in August 2014, they received an Honorable Mention Award.

In addition, there are several active “feminist la-la” groups among current lesbian organizations. The core volunteers of these groups are usually lesbians with a very strong feminist awareness. Although they do not have a specific “brand,” their activities often demonstrate a strong critical mind and activist principles, forming the backbone of lesbian demonstrations and advocacy. However, there are also some lesbian groups which have remained at the level of having exchanges between volunteers and holding literary activities. On each international day related to women and LGBT rights, Common Language and the La-La Alliance give out small grants to smaller groups who organize small activities linked to the day’s theme. But once the activity is over, these small groups usually continue “exchanging feelings” and have difficulties developing proper projects for sustainable organizational development.

The reasons behind this phenomenon are related to an overall lack of resources of the Chinese lesbian movement, a lack of core members capable of delivering long-term sustainable services as well as clear direction for development in the field. The most fundamental reason is financial. Currently funding for lesbian organizations comes from a small number of foreign foundations, and the funds are concentrated in mature organizations in big cities. The funds available to directly support the development of local small groups are very limited. Foundations who fund them through Common Language or the Chinese Lala Alliance do it only for small-scale activities on international days. The issue of qualified personnel is also related to this lack of funding. Currently, this field does not lack qualified members, but lesbian organizations have difficulties retaining them. Many of the core volunteers participate as students, but, after graduation, most either go to study abroad or find a well-paid full-time job. Therefore, lesbian organizations can only rely on volunteers to carry out their work.

Another problem of the current lesbian movement is that it has issues answering the following questions: Where is the social base for its development? Is it female college students or people who understand queer theory? Is it all lesbians? What are these people particular needs? If it’s the former, maybe they need to “come out of the closet,” hold “gay pride” demonstrations, or further explore academic theory. But if the hope is to have all lesbians be the base for policy and legal advocacy, then what are the needs of this huge community? Lü Pin has in the past put forward the idea that the feminist movement has both ‘strategic’ and ‘practical’ needs but that it first should respond to women’s practical needs in order to broaden its support base. The lesbian movement is no different. The present work of the aforementioned group Qiyuan Yisheng on formal marriage in Shenyang, is a practical need of many lesbians. Another practical need, which is more likely to attraction attention and get more support, is same-sex marriage. For many lesbians who can find a comfortable space in mainstream society, the need for “coming out of the closet,” “pride,” and “exploring how sexual behavior and sexual orientation diversify mainstream society” (ie, one viewpoint of queer theory) is not so strong. Therefore, how to respond to the needs of this broad lesbian community and base its related legal and policy advocacy efforts on those needs is the next question that lesbian organizations must now consider.

Women’s Labor Organizations

It was noted previously that that there are three categories of social groups whose marginalized status is related to gender issues. These are sexually transmitted diseases, sex work, and sexual inclination. Women in the labor force, however, are also marginalized because of their class status. The “worker” has historically occupied an honorable and respected position in China’s political discourse, but in the wake of the reform and opening up era and the beginning of marketization, workers were being pushed further and further towards the vulnerable edges of society, largely as a consequence of their relatively low income. This background is a factor explaining the development of women’s labor organizations and the fact that there are women of educated and privileged backgrounds who are interested in offering their services and leadership in the field of women’s labor advocacy.

Looking at the political space they occupy and the flow of their resources, some women’s labor NGOs in China cannot be considered as marginalized. This is the case for the many vocational training centers affiliated to local women’s federations across the country such as the Shanghai Zhabei District Women Employment Promotion Center. In the NGO sector, Rural Women Knowing All and its subsidiaries Women Workers’ Home, Rural Women’s School and, in Guangdong, Green Shoots Village Women’s Development Foundation, also provide women workers with vocational training and education. They have also undertaken projects to increase awareness of the realities of women migrant worker’s lives’ through media exposure while advocating for greater government attention to the problems faced by women workers. While these projects are implemented smoothly, other women labor organizations working in factories in Southern China face hardships. In 2012 and 2013, women worker organizations in Shenzhen were forced to move repeatedly and faced difficulties to survive.

Aside from the organizations’ manager elite background and resources, the differences in the way women labor organizations work is due to the specifics of female migrant work. The bulk of women labor organizations in the north is composed of domestic and service workers scattered in private homes or businesses. On breaks or vacation periods, these organizations enter domestic workers communities, finding it relatively easy to integrate their daily lives and provide community services such as entertainment performances and children and women’s education programs. The work of women labor organizations in the south is more focused on the conditions of young women working in factories. They work to establish community service centers that offer help with both work related issues and personal troubles faced by migrant women workers. Moreover, the fact that these organizations are self-developed makes them more easily work on labor-capital relations, carry out rights protection activities to obtain compensation for workers victim of occupational injuries, and other more antagonist issues.

In the wake of developments in women’s rights advocacy and rights issues, there have been significant changes in domestic worker organizations in the north as well as in female worker organizations in the south. In terms of support from foundations, the Women’s Media Monitoring Network began a domestic workers awareness project in 2012, “the domestic workers voices ”, collecting the stories and testimonies of domestic workers and sending them to media channels to be broadcasted to a large audience. They also co-organized a number of domestic workers groups such as the Beijing Rural Women Workers, the Jinan Community Based Social Integration Center, (济南积成社区社会服务中心) the Xi’an Domestic Workers Union (西安家政工工会) into advocacy activities calling for setting rules for employers. In recent years, documentary filmmaker and founder of the “One Yuan Commune” Han Hongmei has started paying attention to domestic workers and collaborated with them to film documentaries in the hope of bringing together former scattered and taciturn domestic workers so that they can make their voices heard.

In the south, despite the depressing environment for labor organizations, female worker organizations have also been influenced, mostly because gender equality issues are less sensitive than other labor issues such as collective bargaining and rights defense. Therefore, in recent years, female worker organizations and women’s rights organizations have collaborated to carry out advocacy projects to improve gender equality. A good example is the Hand in Hand Friends of Laborers Activity Room (手牵手工友活动室), who has, since 2011, carried out themed advocacy demonstrations on the Internaitonal Women’s Day including, “Male Workers Wear High Heels (男工友穿高跟鞋)”, “100 Unhappy Female Workers (女工的100个不爽) ” , and “Our Vagina’s Story”. 2013 also saw the initiation of extensive sexual harassment investigation by the Guangzhou Panyu Sunflower Center, which shared information and compiled reports that attracted media and public attention to problems of sexual harassment in the workplace.

Still, according to female worker organizations in the south, support from Chinese foundations is greatly needed in order to widen the available space for development.

Gender Issues in Marginalized Women’s Organizations

Among the four types of women’s organizations mentioned earlier, the primary goals of service and rights advocacy is far from being realized; the number of mature groups is still small, many organizations lack resources and long-term personnel, and most of them still lack sufficient political space. In addition to these problems, there are differences in the understanding and treatment of issues concerning gender equality between female worker organizations and the other women’s groups detailed in the previous two sections of this article. The agendas and gender equality theory of lesbian organizations, female worker organizations and women’s organizations often overlap, but women’s AIDS groups and women sex workers groups do not have a great degree of contact with women’s rights groups, and in their work they do not often touch upon the topic of gender equality issues.

This is first of all related to differences in the development and member constituency between organizations in different fields. In China, the activities of women’s groups originated in intellectual circles and reached a pitch in fervor around the 1995 UN World Women Forum, which inspired intellectuals and female university students to form women’s rights groups. At the time, these groups tended to be made up of educated and financially privileged members of society.

Women’s labor organizations in China, in both the north and south, have always maintained close links with an intellectual elite contingent of women activists, therefore contemporary domestic and labor workers organizations are the types of marginalized groups organizations where women’s rights organizations (regardless of which specific group category) are the most present.

Also founded by intellectuals and female university students, LGBT organizations and second generation women organizations share similar working methods and have often cooperated on some issues in recent years, bringing about the common derision that “all feminists are lesbians”, and that all feminist organizational leadership is to be found among a small coterie of ‘feminist lesbians’. As Common Language founder Xu Bin points out, the fact that in 2005, LGBT organizations began to conduct feminist training sessions lead largely by lesbian members has much to do with the assumption that LGBT activists are always linked with feminist groups. Although these training sessions began with LGBT groups, the ideas being disseminated are more inclined towards civil rights awareness and promoting social advancement. Therefore the training aiming at embed LGBT organizations in their community also served as a platform for emerging women’s rights groups to establish themselves.

Women’s AIDS groups and women sex workers’ groups explain their establishment mainly by their need to help communities they serve survive and face illness, disability and discrimination. Therefore, the issue of gender equality is secondary, and when these organizations carry out activities to promote gender equality, it is often under the influence of their donors. For example, UNAIDS and UNWOMEN hope that the China Women Network Against AIDS they helped establish can build “close relationships” with the Women’s Federation and other women’s rights organizations6. However while on the one hand traditional women’s groups are unlikely to work on these issues because they are constrained by their identities and proximity with the system; on the other hand members of marginalized women organizations, especially AIDS and sex workers groups, do not naturally possess a gender equality consciousness. Furthermore, their level of education makes it impossible for them to master the relevant theories in a few training sessions. They usually hav a tendency to discuss and cooperate with male organizations operating in their field. Maybe entering these communities is a work that second generation women’s groups can and need to do in the future.

 


  1. Editor’s Note: Tian Xi is a young man who was infected with HIV through blood transfusion as a child. He was arrested and jailed for a year in 2011 

  2. “Hush money” refers to a sum of money local governments give petitioning patients to make them stop demonstrating in front of their headquarters 

  3. Henan statistics confirm 59,380 people living with HIV. The proportion of students is growing http://henan.sina.com.cn/finance/y/2013-12-02/139-41833.html. The increase of people living with HIV in Hebei province for 2013 is more than three times higher than the 2012 increase http://news.ifeng.com/gundong/detail_2013_12/02/31715963_0.shtml 

  4. In order to avoid pressure from society and for other reasons, gay men and lesbian women sometimes marry each other 

  5. The documentary and the organization have the same name 

  6. Andrew Wells-Dang, The China Women’s Network against AIDS: Between Donors and the Grassroots 

野生:边缘妇女组织路在何方

伴随着改革开放和国际发展援助兴起的中国NGO领域,由于不同议题的社会环境、政治空间乃至社群特点之间的差异,自始至终有着多元的组织发展生态。相对于扶贫、教育等议题服务的群体,艾滋、性工作、流动人口、同性恋等群体由于贫穷、疾病、不同于主流的性倾向等因素,常常面临着严重的污名化和社会歧视环境,很难得到来自政府和国内社会公众的支持,可谓NGO领域中的边缘群体。

由于存在权益维护和接受服务的需求,这些群体在20世纪90年代后期也涌现出不少组织,但主要由男性主导。2000年以后,由于缺乏组织化的应对,一些边缘妇女群体如女性性工作者、女性艾滋感染者、女同性恋的问题越发显露,她们很难得到来自妇联和妇女组织的支持。为了突破困境,很多边缘女性也基于社群形成组织,并使用多样化的工作手法维护群体权益、唤起公众和政府的关注。

女性艾滋组织

20世纪90年代末以来国际资金的持续支持,以及众多防/抗艾人士的长期努力,使得当前艾滋领域依然是一个影响较大的NGO工作领域。但在这一领域中,男男性行为(MSM, Men who have Sex with Men)防控组织占了绝大多数,为女性感染者提供服务的组织稀少而弱小。根据全国艾滋病资源网络于2011年进行的调查,全国女性感染者机构(小组)总共只有29家,这其中,大部分是只有少量兼职员工甚至志愿者的草根组织。

位于新蔡县的喜梅互助之家是河南草根女性小组的典型代表,发起人刘喜梅2011年在“田喜案”中认识女权人士叶海燕,从此走上为感染者服务之路。互助之家希望能够为新蔡县的艾滋感染者争取一些赔偿和救助,同时为在县城求医的乡下感染姐妹们提供一个可以临时休息、交流的场所。然而,无论是资金来源、办公场所,还是工作内容、工作人员,都和其他小组一样,面临重重困境。

在河南许多地方,乡下感染者进城看病,往往不舍得吃不舍得喝,连个落脚处都没有,甚至因为厕所收费,很多人一整天都不舍得上厕所,坐车回到乡下再解决;此外,很多农村感染者由于早期服用药物的副作用,出现脂肪转移,外表上很容易看出来,因此面临着更为严重的歧视环境。尽管互助之家只有三五个固定的兼职和志愿者,无力开展抗艾知识普及、能力培训等工作,但仍为病友们提供了一个可以彼此交流、支持的落脚处。然而,发起两年来,互助之家在县城已经四迁其所。第一次是一年租约期满后房东拒绝续租,第二次刚住了15天,房东就毁约不让住,搬到另一处呆了了几个月,来来往往的病友们太多,很快被邻居嫌弃。如今喜梅在县城又租了一处民房,在笔者于2013年10月到访时还有半年租约到期,但房东已流露不再续约的意思,隔三差五叫人来看房。

刚成立的时候,喜梅也常常去郑州等地参加针对艾滋组织的会议、培训,然而几次之后,她觉得培训不对需求。关爱之家亟需得到指导的是怎么才能正规化、可持续发展,培训的内容却常常是如何避免歧视、如何保护隐私。截至笔者到访时,关爱之家尚未得到过来自基金会、发展援助机构的项目资助,支付房租、必要开支的款项一部分来自网友捐助,由叶海燕帮忙在微博上筹资,另一部分则来自姐妹们自发的在重要节点如“艾滋病日”向政府相关部门“索取”的“封口费”。

同样在河南,登封阳光家园为本地的血液途径感染者争取到了一定的赔偿。阳光家园发起人王秋云在2005年确诊感染艾滋之前,是当地医疗系统干部,其丈夫也是知识分子,这是草根小组发展不可忽视的背景。不同于许多感染者找政府上访,阳光家园的索赔对象是当地的几家医院,为了获取确凿的证据,她们多方奔波寻找当年输/卖血时的经历人出面作证;取得个案赔偿突破之后,再进行分析讨论,持续不断的向医院施加压力,最终为大部分因血液感染的病友争取到了赔偿,其中一个三口均被感染的家庭获得了最高55万元的赔偿。阳光家园帮助病友们拿到赔偿、也争取到低保,为后续开展社群活动打下基础——她们开展的互助和志愿服务活动资金都采取AA制。

在黄河以北的河北省,也有为女性感染者成立的草根艾滋小组。2005年,在北京艾滋NGO负责人孟林的帮助下,原本在村里开店的麻贵红成立了永清半边天感染者互助组,为本地感染者提供服务、争取赔偿。随后,麻贵红和半边天于2007年推动了“四免一关怀”政策在永清县的落实;又于2010年推动河北省出台了《关于进一步做好我省艾滋病特殊人群医疗救治和关怀救助工作的实施意见》(俗称“7号文件”),并促使永清县在2012年落实该政策,为全县所有输/卖血感染艾滋的人群争取到了每人7万元的一次性赔偿。

能够推动政策的出台和落实,既与河北省的艾滋疫情、地理环境有关,也缘于麻贵红有策略的开展工作。相比河南地区,河北省的艾滋感染者要少得多。根据2013年底数据,河南省累计确认艾滋感染者59380例,河北省则是4010例 ((河南累计确认艾滋病感染者59380例 学生比例增加[EB/OL]http://henan.sina.com.cn/finance/y/2013-12-02/139-41833.html & 今年河北省新增艾滋病人和感染者超去年三成多[EB/OL]http://news.ifeng.com/gundong/detail_2013_12/02/31715963_0.shtml)) ——总人数少,客观来说使得河北省进行赔偿的压力相对小一些。此外,永清县距离北京不过百公里,有公交直达,为感染者赴北京向本地政府“施加压力”提供了客观便利。河北省出台“7号文件”后,永清县迟迟未落实,麻贵红连续两年在“重要时节”前往北京,用她的话说,“每一次的表达看起来都有些过激,但是咱的言论又不违法,行为老是站在不违法的边缘上,后来政府对这种压力承受不了,就在12年1月份出台文件落实了政策。”

在麻贵红看来,女性开展维权工作更有优势,因为女性这一看起来柔弱的群体相对男性来说遭遇的直接暴力会较少,因此长期坚持就能取得成效。当然,半边天面临的困境和其他女性小组也十分类似。维权上访作为其主要倡导手段,一是让机构难以注册,此外也使机构缺乏开展其他项目的经费和能力——目前她们主要资金来源是中国艾滋病病毒携带者联盟的小额资助;缺乏有专业能力的年轻员工是另一个问题——虽然看起来精力旺盛,但麻贵红毕竟已经做了奶奶,而半边天还没有其他能领导小组发展的员工。

除了极为弱小的草根小组外,人才匮乏与流失同样是一些之前有影响力的女性艾滋组织面临的困境。

在笔者访谈女性抗艾网络(中国)的现任负责人也是唯一全职人员袁文莉时,她感慨道:“为什么(抗艾网络)现在没有第二个工作人员?之前有一个工作人员我特别满意,但人家现在收入高又稳定,我说好几回,让她回来,结果那丫头不回来……我希望(领域内)有一些年轻志愿者出现,现在大部分都是三四十岁乃至五六十岁的女性。二十多岁的也见过,但是她有工作,吃着(抗病毒)药,隐瞒身份,也没人歧视她,该上班上班,该工作工作,你让她过来做这个吧,真的没有什么可以吸引她的,这是一个很大的问题。”而在笔者的访谈中,不仅二十多岁的年轻人难以扎根抗艾领域,流失的三四十岁人才也不在少数。女性抗艾网络的发起人何田田(化名)本身就是从艾滋领域回流主流社会的一例,她于2011年提出不再负责女性抗艾网络的具体工作,回到高中讲台重做教师,由于授课压力繁重,与网络的工作逐渐远离。上海仅有的一家女性艾滋小组──依依茉莉的负责人王姐(化名),也在做了几年艾滋工作之后,重回医院做医生,后一工作能够让她在上海这一生存压力巨大的城市获得体面的生活。

女性性工作者组织

在国内NGO领域中,为女性性工作者(Female Sex Worker, FSW)提供服务的组织只有十多家,她们的议题更为边缘,服务的社群往往知识水平更低、能力更弱,组织生存也同样艰难。

由于“卖淫嫖娼”不合法,FSW组织的起源通常是艾滋干预服务。在北方一所城市工作生活的小爱(化名)2007年接触到北京一些艾滋组织,次年成立了女性性工作者家园(以下称“家园”),笔者2014年1月到访时,家园在该市近郊的一个居民区租了一套两居室作为办公室,依然以艾滋病防治的名义开展工作并工商注册。

作为弱势边缘群体,性工作者社群内部同样有分化。家园的主要工作人员和志愿者大多来自性工作者社群,但多是其中的“中高收入者”,如工作场所为卡拉OK、洗浴中心等,成立之后则主要服务于低收入性工作者(工作场所主要为发廊、路边店等),后者相对来说面临的问题更多,不仅更容易不带安全套、感染性传播疾病,也更容易面临“扫黄打非”、收容教育等问题。针对这些问题,家园几年来开展了一系列推广安全套使用、提高低收入性工作者自我保护能力的项目。

像家园这种以社群姐妹为主的员工结构,一方面为工作提供便利,如更容易进行外展,但也构成发展瓶颈。由于性工作者服务领域成熟组织的稀有,近年来多家基金会资助家园开展了数个调研项目,如安全套使用、女性性工作者生存状态、收容教育现状等。开展调研项目是草根组织能力提升的体现,但家园现有的三位全职员工和十几位志愿者无人有写报告的能力,只能求助一些妇女专家。专家们常常很忙,加上不能参与呈现自己的调研结果的无力感,成为小爱颇为头疼的问题,她最希望能有些大学生加入家园,帮助调研、完成报告、进行传播倡导。另一方面,这座北方城市本地妇女组织极少,缺乏NGO发展的大环境,想和别的机构交流只能去北京,小爱也曾参加过几次北京暑期周末开展的女权主义学校,但每周往返时间、资金成本太高,很快就放弃了。

相对家园这样由社群骨干发起、专为女性性工作者提供服务的组织,位于云南昆明的平行不算是一家FSW服务机构。平行成立于2007年,起初做MSM群体的艾滋病干预工作,2011年前后资金断裂,原负责人离开机构去了疾控部门,两名老员工自己出钱维持基本项目运作,现任负责人盖子就是其中之一。盖子在昆明读研究生的时候,就是平行的志愿者,这个山东姑娘说自己因为“贪恋”云南的气候留了下来。她和同事刘羿夫坚持一年多之后,平行在2012年底重新获得乐施会资助,工作内容也扩充许多,服务对象既包括原来的MSM群体,也涵盖FSW群体以及高校中的男女同性恋者。

对于平行这样员工基于兴趣和理念,而非社群身份开展工作的机构,如何聚焦核心项目、定位机构身份是一个问题。尽管只有四名全职员工,平行的工作范围却非常广泛。他们每月开展20次性工作者外展活动,其中女性12次、男性8次;同时进行一些性工作者生存状态、艾滋病检测实名制等调研工作;还频繁到昆明高校中开展同性恋小组文化交流活动;还在一些纪念日如“反对家庭暴力日”的时候开展街头活动。机构工作太多,身份定位是一个问题。虽然开展了许多针对女性(包括女性性工作者,也包括女同性恋、甚至普通女性)的工作,平行和妇女组织的联系却很少,盖子外出参加的全国性活动,大多是MSM机构交流活动,在笔者和别的组织说起平行时,很多人第一反应也是:那是个MSM组织。另一方面,工作太多有时候反而不利筹资,平行不愿将其工作范围限定在艾滋防治干预之内,这让机构无法拿到政府购买资金,目前除了乐施会之外,她们也没有其他的资金渠道。

除组织外,还有一些个人行动者在推动FSW群体权益维护,如叶海燕,她自2006年创办红尘网时即开始为FSW社群发声。2013年5月,叶海燕就“校长带小学生开房事件”在海南以“开房找我”举牌抗议性侵恶行,引发众多网民模仿支持保护女童。此举让叶海燕闻名网络,也引来一场风波。后来,叶海燕回到家乡居住,继续开展提高性工作者权益工作。

2014年春天笔者拜访叶海燕时,她住在武汉远郊,正打算将自己家改造成图书室——这个家还是她和志愿者开会工作时的临时办公室。目前她在做的与性工作者相关的工作主要是打造FSW新媒体发声平台——红雨伞,以请志愿者翻译国外性工作者的发声信息、并转发到微信微博上去为主。她希望能与相关部门多对话、多沟通,在取得支持和理解的情况下继续开展工作。

女同性恋组织

与女性艾滋感染者和女性性工作者群体不同,女同性恋者(又称“拉拉”)的边缘体现在不同于主流的性倾向,这一社群的分布涵盖了每个阶层、遍及各行各业,愿意投身同志运动的拉拉则往往是其中思想和经济水平都较为独立者。因此,相对前两类组织,女同性恋组织的骨干往往要“精英”的多——许多人接受过良好的教育,广泛接触到西方相关理论。女同性恋组织的发展路径和新兴妇女组织也有相似之处,她们在2007年就开始举办拉拉营,在2009年就开始使用行为艺术手法进行公共倡导,在领域内部还有类似《女声》电子报促进议题讨论的高水平电子刊物——《酷拉时报》,而且早在21世纪初,已经就同性婚姻立法提出议案。

目前国内女同性恋领域中,同语和华人拉拉联盟是比较成熟的全国性组织。同语成立于2005年,那时候,在同志运动中,MSM组织占有绝对的话语权;而在妇女运动中,同性恋议题又无法纳入当时“依托体制、社区试点”为主的工作路径;在女同性恋社群内部,当时各地已有零星的几家社群小组,多以酒吧、网站形式存在,拉拉们在其中交流情感、开展一些文体活动,同语发起人徐玢联系这些小组,逐渐形成网络。

2007年,在香港、台湾地区的同运人士帮助下,同语参与发起了第一届拉拉志愿者培训营,发现并培养女同性恋社群中的积极分子,孵化各地的小组、搭建网络。到了2008年,由于拉拉营需要专门的组织承办,大陆、香港、台湾地区及海外的拉拉联合成立了华人拉拉联盟,由其秘书处协调每年的拉拉营开展。同语则转变工作方向,除继续支持小组成长外,更多地转向公众教育和政策倡导,如开展倡导能力培训、走进校园举办讲座、举行国际主题日公众倡导行动等。

近年来,同语推动了一些比较契合实际的法律政策研究和倡导,比如在2012年推动卫生部取消禁止女同性恋献血的规定,在2013年推动广电总局明确现行电影审查中没有禁止同性恋内容的规定。她们还结合妇女组织的反家暴立法倡导,希望推动将法律规定的“家庭”定义不局限为异性恋已婚夫妇,而是开放家庭关系的领域,以保护多元伴侣的关系,如女同性恋伴侣。

除了全国性组织,当前各地也有一些有影响力的拉拉小组,她们关注的议题相当广泛,同时初步形成了自己的品牌特色。自2012年起,西安RELAX同学社和当地会展公司合作,在西安性博会中开辟“多元性/别文化展区”,向公众展示LGBT文化,成为内地第一个在官方、正式场合开展的此类展区。位于上海的女爱,其品牌项目则带有这个国际大都市的特色——2014年3月,女爱发布的《LGBT职场反歧视调研报告》成为国内首个单体城市的LGBT企业多元共融报告。奇缘一生的品牌项目则是为形式婚姻 ((注:指男同性恋与女同性恋之间为了避免社会压力等因素进行结婚手续,但只是名义上的夫妻身份,而无实质内容。)) 群体提供交流平台和法律服务,性学专家何小培长期“驻扎”沈阳,以奇缘一生的创始人小熊和她的朋友们为主角拍摄纪录片,其作品《奇缘一生》参加了阿姆斯特丹、柏林等地电影节,并在2014年8月举行的柏林国际电影奖(International Film Awards Berlin)中获得荣誉提名(HONORABLE MENTION AWARD)。

此外,当前各地女同性恋小组中还有数家活跃的“女权拉拉”小组,她们的核心志愿者大多是有着强烈女权意识的拉拉,虽然没有形成具体“品牌”,但她们的活动常常体现出强烈的反思意识和运动理念,成为拉拉运动倡导发声的中坚力量。

然而,也有一些拉拉小组当前仍停留在志愿者间或组织情感交流、举办文体活动的层面,每逢主题日同语或拉拉联盟开展小额招标,便前往申请,在主题日举办一次发声活动,随后继续“情感交流”,难以形成可持续发展的自有项目,也无从推进组织化进程。

探究这种现象的背后原因,与女同性恋领域整体缺乏资源、缺乏长期可持续服务的骨干、领域发展中的议题导向有关。

最根本的原因是资源短缺。当前女同性恋领域的资助主要来自少数国外基金会,且资源主要集中在大城市的成熟组织,能够直接支持地方小组发展的资源非常有限。而从基金会进入到同语和华人拉拉联盟、再用于支持小组发展的资源,往往只够支持小型主题日活动。人才问题也与资源短缺有关,当前领域不缺精英人才,但养不起人才,许多核心志愿者都在读书期间参与活动,毕业之后要么去海外留学,要么找到高薪全职工作,拉拉小组只能作为其志愿工作。

另一个当前拉拉运动的问题是,中国开展女同性恋倡导活动的社区基础到底在哪里?是女大学生或者懂得酷儿理论的人?还是所有的拉拉?这些人各自的需求是什么?如果是前者,那么她们的需求也许是“出柜”、举办“骄傲”活动、探讨学术理论。但如果希望将所有的拉拉纳为推动政策与法律倡导的基础,就需要分析这一极为庞大的社群的需求是什么?吕频曾提出,妇女运动有其战略性的需求,也有其现实性的需求,回应现实性需求,才能获得更广泛的支持,拉拉运动同样如此。上文所述沈阳奇缘一生目前的工作方向——形式婚姻是许多拉拉的现实需求所在,另一个更可能引起关注、获得支持的现实需求也许是同性婚姻。对大多数可以在主流社会中找到舒适生存空间的拉拉来说,她们对“出柜”、“骄傲”、“探讨性行为和性倾向如何多元流动(即酷儿理论观点之一)”的需求反而没有那么强烈,因此,如何回应最广泛拉拉的现实需求、并基于此推动相关政策与法律倡导,是女同性恋组织下一步应当思考的问题。

女工组织

如果说前三类边缘群体都与“性”相关——性传播疾病、性工作、性倾向,女工群体之边缘则主要与其阶层身份有关。在中国,“工人”在历史和政治话语中常常是一个光荣、正确的阶层身份,但随着改革开放、市场化进程的推进,工人群体由于相对低下的经济收入,在经济话语越发强势的当代社会中被视为边缘弱势群体。尽管当前以流动人口为主的农民工群体早已和改革开放之前的工人阶层差异极大,这一背景仍然是国内女工组织发展差异比前几类组织更为复杂的注脚之一——一些有抱负、有体制资源的妇女知识精英愿意进入女工领域,为她们提供服务、开展倡导工作。

从政治空间、资源流向来看,部分女工组织在国内NGO领域中不算边缘。比如通常挂靠在妇联下的各地帮助妇女进行就业和职业技术培训的组织──像上海闸北区促进妇女就业服务中心。在NGO领域影响深远的北京农家女文化发展中心及其附属的打工妹之家、农家女学校以及“广东版”的农家女——绿芽乡村妇女发展基金会也致力于帮助打工妹参与技术培训、进行知识积累,她们在媒体上曝光打工妹的境遇,并倡导政府和妇联更重视流动打工女性面临的问题。但在这些项目顺利开展的同时,在南方一些工厂里开展项目的女工组织却常常遇到困难,在2012、2013年的时候,几家深圳女工组织甚至遇到暴力逼迁,生存遇到困境。

除了负责人的体制背景和资源,这种差异与不同组织服务的女工群体特点有关。北方的女工组织,其服务群体多是家政工、服务员,服务对象分散在雇主家庭、私企之中,妇女组织通常在其放假休息时到她们集中租住的城乡结合部开展社区工作,议题容易聚焦到家政工们的日常生活和城市融入上,如文艺表演、子女教育。而南方的女工组织,服务对象则更多是集中在工厂里的年轻女工,开展社区服务的地点与工作场所高度重合或接近,加上南方工厂自身发展过程中带来的种种问题,使南方女工组织更容易涉及劳资关系、工伤维权等对抗性更强的议题。

近年来,受到妇女运动和倡导议题的发展影响,北方家政工组织和南方女工组织也各自出现了一些变化。在基金会支持下,妇女传媒监测网络于2012年开始了持续的家政工发声项目,组织家政工发声活动、收集其声音在新媒体中发送,并监测媒体关于家政工的报道。她们还联合多家家政工组织如北京农家女、济南积成社区社会服务中心、西安家政工工会开展倡导活动──“集体为雇主定守则”,纪录片制作人、一元公社发起人韩红梅近年来也将家政工群体作为其影像纪录的关注对象之一,与家政工组织合作拍摄纪录片,希望将以往分散、沉默的家政工群体的诉求表达出来。

在南方,尽管劳工组织生存环境不容乐观,女工组织也常常受到影响,但性别平等议题相对于其他劳工领域内部议题如集体谈判、诉讼维权等来说,空间相对较大、敏感程度较低。因此,近几年来,女工组织和妇女组织在性别平等议题上结合越来越好,并开展了多个提高女工性别平等权益的倡导,如手牵手工友活动室在2011~2013年的三八节相继开展了“男工友穿高跟鞋”、“女工的100个不爽”、“我们的月经故事”等主题倡导活动,还在2013年联合广州番禹向阳花女工中心进行女工性骚扰调查,并发布资料丰富翔实的报告,引起媒体和公众广泛关注。

只是对南方的女工组织来说,推动扩大机构生存发展空间、并扩充更多来自国内基金会的支持,仍需要长期的努力。

边缘妇女组织中的社会性别议题

前文述及的四类边缘妇女组织,主要为本群体女性提供服务、进行权益倡导,整体来说领域发展尚不完善:成熟组织数量少、资源匮乏、亟需能够长期服务的人才,大多还缺乏足够的政治空间。此外,不同领域组织与前两篇文章讲述的妇女组织之间的关系也不同,对社会性别平等议题的理解和应用亦有差异:女同性恋组织和女工组织与妇女组织联系最为紧密,其工作议题常有交叉,领域骨干熟知社会性别平等理论。女性艾滋组织和女性性工作者组织相对来说,和妇女组织联系较少,工作中也较少涉及社会性别平等议题。

这首先与不同领域组织发展历史和成员构成有关。在中国,民间妇女运动首先从知识界兴起,到95世妇会前后妇女组织成立热潮,再到新一代妇女知识分子和女大学生发起新兴妇女组织,其组织人员构成都有精英化的倾向。国内女工组织,无论是北方还是南方,其出现都受到了大陆妇女组织或香港妇女组织的影响,也始终保持着与妇女知识精英的密切联系,当前家政工和劳工社区也是妇女组织(无论哪一类妇女组织)在四类边缘群体中进入最好的社区。

同样由女性知识精英发起、女大学生作为运动骨干,女同性恋组织和新兴妇女组织有相似的工作方式,在一些议题上亦有合作,近年来更出现一种“活跃的女权主义者大多都是拉拉”的现象——各地走在女权倡导最前列的往往是一些“女权拉拉”小组的成员。同语的徐玢指出,女权拉拉的出现和拉拉组织从2005年即开始进行拉拉种子培训有关——虽然起初靠性倾向聚集成员,但培训中分享的理念是普遍的公民权利意识,旨在推动社会运动,因此培训在推动拉拉社区组织化的同时也为新兴妇女运动完成了基础的人才储备工作。

对于女性艾滋病和性工作者组织来说,其发展成立首先是为了应对群体成员面临的疾病、歧视乃至生存问题,其次受到资助方在边缘领域推动性别平等的意愿影响,如艾滋病规划署和联合国妇女署希望她们推动成立的女性抗艾网络和全国妇联之间建立“亲密关系”,以增加妇女组织包括全国妇联在网络中的参与程度,“通过妇联推动和提高妇女权益” ((Andrew Wells-Dang :“中国女性抗艾网络”:在资助方和草根之间破土而出[M]中国发展简报2010冬季刊,知识产权出版社,北京))。但一方面,传统妇女组织囿于身份和体制,难以涉足这些领域;另一方面,边缘妇女组织尤其是草根艾滋和性工作小组成员不可能天然具备社会性别平等意识,以很多人的知识水平也无力在几次培训中就能熟悉掌握相关理论,出于身份认同和领域资源的导引,她们更倾向于与本领域的男性组织沟通交流。也许,进入这些边缘群体社区,是新兴妇女组织自身需要也能够在未来实现的工作方向之一。

Deputy Editor of China Development Brief

Translated by Christine Clouser, Kelly McCarthy and James Evers

Reviewed by CDB staff

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