Guest lecture: How Are Women-Friendly Laws Made in China? The Strengths and Limitations of State Feminism in Contemporary China
Dr Yunyun ZHOU, a feminist researcher, a political sociologist, a China Studies scholar, and an ethnographic filmmaker based at the University of Oslo, Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages will give a guest lecture at the Univerisity of Helsinki on 19 September 2022.

Time:19 September 2022, 10:15-11:30
Venue: Room U4072, univeristy main building, Unioninkatu 34

While research on women's political representation in legislatures has proliferated, our knowledge of gender lobbying mechanisms in authoritarian regimes remains limited. Adopting a state-society interaction approach, this talk addresses how women's interests are substantively represented and negotiated in China despite the absence of an electoral mandate and the omnipresence of state power. Drawing on extensive fieldwork, this article maps out the intertwining of key political agents and institutions within and outside the state that mobilize for women's grievances and demands. We find that representation of women's interests in China requires the emergence of a unified societal demand followed by a coalition of state agency allies navigating within legislative, executive, and Party-affiliated institutional bodies. The pursuit of women's interests is also politically bounded and faces strong repression if the lobbying lacks state alliances or the targeted issue is considered “politically sensitive” by the government.

Dr Yunyun ZHOU´s  research interests lie in gender and politics, affective governance and digital media under authoritarianism in China