Po Po G is a Board Member of HER Fund. In her Spotlight Series Interview, she discusses what drew her to a career of gender equality, proud moments in her career, and much more.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself
I am a public relations practitioner with over a decade of well-rounded working experience from boutique to international agencies. I enjoy utilizing my communication skills and extensive network in a consultancy role, especially in corporate communications, to drive sustainable business growth to clients while bringing meaningful and impactful social changes to our community.
Aside from work, I am passionate about gender equality and environmental issues. A few years ago, I became a grantee partner of HER Fund to establish the “Good Moaning” community, with the mission to advocate for women’s sexual rights, and to lead the fight against the alarming slut-shaming culture. Since then, I am devoted to empowering young women to pursue their rights and promoting gender diversity in society. In 2017, proud to become the Board Member of HER Fund, the only community women’s fund to advance gender equality by grant-making and capacity building in Hong Kong.
2. What drew you to a career of gender equality? What has motivated you to stay?
As a Hongkonger who grew up in a traditional Chinese family and lacked positive sex education. I was shamed and discouraged by my family and peers whenever I showed sex appeal or any interest in exploring gender diversity. This is when I started questioning the social norm: what makes me, being a female, different from other genders? Since then I have become more aware of the unfair gender gap not just socially and culturally, but also financially and politically. The situation is especially alarming among the grassroots and marginalised women whom lack the capability to make a change with no support.
I then became a gender equality advocate starting with my role as the founder of “Good Moaning”, a community to engage women who were negatively labeled when expressing sexual desire. I felt energized after inspiring many women with very different backgrounds and neglected emotional struggles and empowering them to embrace their sexualities. The allied women further collaborated and inspired more females in various aspects that I have never expected. The synergy they created still motivates me today to continue my journey in leading the women’s movement.
3. Tell us about a proud moment for you in HER Fund’s work?
Founded in 2004, HER Fund does not only mobilise resources for women’s empowerment as well as the promotion of social changes and gender equality. The organisation is also committed to empowering the capacity of marginalised women to become self-sufficient, enabling them to create, lead, and sustain better lives. We value a bottom-up approach that starts from the community, and fund projects that are run by grassroots organisations who know best about their challenges and unmet needs.
I care about all Sustainable Development Goals, but like most people with limited time and energy, I am glad that this influential role allows me to be aware and support the utmost concerning issues that women face in all times. Our main focus in grant-making are: Freedom from Discrimination, Freedom from Violence, Freedom from Poverty, and Advancement of Women’s Civil Participation. The power to influence and walk with the collectively disadvantaged women is more rewarding than one could imagine.
4. This year has brought tremendous upheaval and disruption to all aspects of our lives. How are you and HER Fund continuing to promote diversity and gender equality despite these massive changes?
COVID-19 is impacting everyone, and we also saw the disproportionate impact on the marginalised communities.
Just six months after the pandemic started, HER Fund initiated the Community Response Grant. Not only did we provide immediate financial support to needy organisations, we also bolstered the capacity of communities for better well-being, resilience, and sustainability through mid- to long-term organisational and financial planning.
We also launched the Transformative Feminist Leadership training programme to build transformative leadership among marginalised communities – especially among feminist leaders and women groups. We aim to be the pioneer in creating dialogues to sustain their development, with the vision to shake off the shadow of masculine leaders.
Personally as the founder of “Good Moaning”, I offer consultancy and accompany to those who suffer from mental health issues caused by the lack of physical touch and caring during this ongoing pandemic. We also offer sex education on gender-based cyber violence given the growing usage of communication apps during quarantine times. I look forward to continuing to play my part in HER Fund not just as a funder of our grantee partners, but also a companion of the underprivileged to face adversities together.