The establishment of the Equal Opportunities Commission in 1996 and the Women's Commission in 2001 marked two major milestones in the advancement of women's status in Hong Kong. Women's affairs became a legitimate political agenda and were incorporated into the permanent state structure. This paper recounts the history of their establishment, and examines the roles and functions of these institutional mechanisms in addressing women's issues in Hong Kong. The paper also discusses the challenges for mainstreaming gender in public policies, legislation and services by reviewing the achievements and constraints of the two commissions.
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