|Grant female activists the right to stand for women's rights; don't silence them!|
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For many Chinese feminists, who describe the UN conference as a key moment in their conversion to activism, this year should have been one of commemoration – a chance to celebrate their achievements in the last two decades. On Sunday, China’s president, Xi Jinping, will appear alongside UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon at Beijing+20 summit on gender equality and women’s empowerment that his country is co-hosting in New York. But among China’s independent women’s groups there will be a deafening silence. With a severe political crackdown under way, independent activists say security officials have ordered them to refrain from any public form of commemoration. “The authorities don’t want active commemorations,” one campaigner, who asked not to be identified, told the Guardian. Fears that women’s rights were being rolled back intensified this year as feminists began to feel the effects of a growing political chill.
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