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Female frontliners upend Hong Kong gender stereotypes

20 2 0

Chris Wong has transformed from a quiet student who used to blush when friends swore into one of the thousands of female frontliners battling police in Hong Kong’s democracy protests.

Born into an apolitical blue collar family on a public housing estate, Wong says she has been awakened by the tumultuous events of the last six months.

And her personal journey illustrates the key role women are playing in Hong Kong’s street protests — including at the vanguard.

“This is everyone’s fight, regardless of gender,” the 19-year-old told AFP, using a pseudonym.

Women account for some 25 percent of the 5,900 people arrested since early June while hospital admissions show a similar proportion at 28 percent.

During the weekly tear gas and rubber bullet skirmishes with police, women are a common sight among the ranks of black-clad hardcore activists dubbed “the braves”, hurling petrol bombs and rocks.

Wong describes herself as an introvert who before the protests wouldn’t dare run a red light and fretted about speaking up in class.

She joined the movement early but kept away from the frontlines, designing flyers and organising rallies.

But she became more radicalised in August, as Beijing and city leaders refused concessions and as police adopted........

© Asian Correspondent