Events & Programmes

International Women's Day Campaign 2017

Since 2011, the HKFWC has organized International Women's Day actions to appeal to government and fight for gender justice. Each year, we manage to organize around 100 women to join.

 

For International Women's Day 2017, we celebrated the release of our Survey on the Mental Health and Quality of Sleep of Caregivers and organized a demonstration to government headquarters to highlight the plight of caregivers. Women marched in their pyjamas to demand that government address caregivers' needs with women-centric policies, affirm women's contributions to society, and establish a caregivers allowance to support their work.

 

The Survey on the Mental Health and Quality of Sleep of Caregivers was conducted from November 2016 to January 2017. It set out to understand the sleep quality and stress of caregivers and its 249 questions were designed and considered using the Centre for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CESD) and Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Scale (PSQI). the survey found that nearly half (48%) of female caregivers experiencing stress were demonstrating depressive tendencies (at a score of 15 or higher); of them, more than one-tenth (11%) were suffering from severe depression (at a score of 30 points or higher). The high frequency of poor sleep was also troubling. Half of the respondents reported poor sleep quality (at a score of 15-20), with 43% of respondents reaching the highest score of 21.

 

The majority of respondents (69%) were aged 46 or above. Their employed status was varied: 60% were housewives, 14% were unemployed, 2% were employed in full-time positions, 6% were employed in part-time positions, and 6% were retired. Care targets were primarily long-term patients (44%), persons with special learning needs (23%), family members with mental health issues (16%), and persons with disabilities ((%).

 

Caregivers were pressured both psychologically and financially. Many were burdened with low income and high expenditures and prone to financial crises - itself a stressor on caregivers' well-being.

 

During the demonstration, hundreds of women wearing pyjamas found strength and encouragement in each other as they "loosened their muscles" using traditional Chinese medicinal techniques in Tamar Park. They marched to the government headquarters along with our guests Kan Man-ki of the Hong Kong Women's Coalition on Equal Opportunities; Labour Party Chairwoman Suzanne We Sui-shan; Tin Shui Wai Community Development Network Director Chung Yuen-yi; Legislative Councillors Ted Hui Chi-fung, Fernando Cheung Chiu0hung, Bottle Shiu Ka-chun, and Helena Wong Pik-wan. There they appealed to the government to strive to meet the demands for change from caregivers. Finally, they threw pillows into a pressure cooker, symbolising all the hours of sleep they lost due to the mental stress and insomnia borne from their work as caregivers.