The seven-year struggle: injustices at home for Chinese immigrant women in Hong Kong
Petula Sik Ying HO, Connie Kuok Ieng HO, William Chi Wai WONG, and Agnes Mei Yu PAU
ABSTRACT In the Second Quarter of 2013, there have been 11,017 one-way permit holders who have entered Hong Kong with a daily average of 121 persons. Among them, 43.3% are migrant women aged 25-44. The main sources of stress for these new arrivals are often described as financial burdens and their poor living environments. Little has been said about the challenges they have to face as second-class citizens, their status in their first seven years in Hong Kong, before they become permanent residents.This paper documents the seven-year struggle of these migrant women with a focus on the discrimination and injustices that they face in their marriage and families. Such discrimination in the “private sphere” (within marriage and family) is a reflection of the bias some migrant women face in the “public sphere” (within the community), which has affected their access to resources and life opportunities as well as their capabilities to meet their various needs and cope with the acculturation stress. Their secondary citizenship has also reinforced their subordinated status at home and thus it is difficult for them to identify and redress injustices and inequalities that they have to face within the private sphere.
Keywords: Mainland Chinese immigrant/migrants, new arrival women, marriage, injustice, qualitative research, narrative analysis
Dr. Petula, Sik Ying HO is an Associate Professor, Department of Social Work and Social Administration at the University of Hong Kong.
Connie, Kuok Ieng HO, MSocSc, Research Assistant, Department of Social Work and Social Administration, , The University of Hong Kong
Dr. William, Chi Wai WONG, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine and Primary Care, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong
Agnes, Mei Yu PAU, Research Assistant, Department of Family Medicine and Primary Care, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong