Women’s rights NGO forced to close for being a ‘suspected illegal social organization’

Society & Culture

Last month, the Guangzhou Gender and Sexuality Education Center (GSEC), a leading non-profit whose mission is to empower women and promote gender equality, announced its discontinuation of services. In the discouraging post about its sudden closure, the center didn’t disclose the cause of the shutdown, leaving room for speculation that it’s simply their advocacy of women’s rights that drew ire from the government.

It has now been confirmed that the shutdown was ordered by the civil affairs bureau in Guangzhou, who said in a statement (in Chinese) on January 8 that it shuttered GSEC because the center was listed as a “suspected illegal social organization.” The announcement notes that the closure was part of the local government’s special force to crack down on “illegal social organizations,” but it doesn’t specify what illegal activities the center engaged in.