China: Killings of two women spark backlash over treatment of women

A woman wearing a mask walks past a reflective sign board in Beijing (AP)
A woman wearing a mask walks past a reflective sign board in Beijing (AP)

The deaths of two women has provoked a backlash over the treatment of women in China.

A 24-year-old woman in rural Henan province was stabbed to death by her husband during a “family dispute” last week. He was arrested on Monday.

In Hong Kong, the dismembered remains of 28-year-old socialite and model, Abby Choi, were found last week, leading to the arrest of her ex-husband and two of his family members on suspicion of murder.

The Weibo hashtag “24-year-old woman died after being stabbed eight times by her husband” logged more than 200 million views on Tuesday alone.

Social media videos circulating on Monday showed dozens of angry residents of the victim’s hometown clashing with police, although Reuters was unable to verify the location of the footage.

One member of the public wrote on the Weibo social media platform: “If you don’t get married, you’re beaten by your boyfriend. If you’re married, your husband beats you.

“If you’re divorced, your ex-husband beats you. What has become of this world?”

“Not marrying and not having kids is indeed the safest,” said another person who posted.

Last October China passed new legislation targeting gender discrimination and sexual harassment, although it also calls on women to “respect family values”.

The legislation came as activists expressed concern about increasing government rhetoric promoting traditional women’s roles, viewed by some as a setback for women’s rights.