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Women Seeking Women: Shanghai's Empowering Organizations
By Mar 8, 2018 Community
That fuzzy feeling you get when surrounded by a group of strong independents—it’s available in Shanghai too. Here’s the shortlist of women’s organizations with an empowerment focus to join. Especially if all those International Women’s Day workshops have got you feeling some kind of way.


Lean In

Sound Familiar? Lean in Shanghai International is a "circle" within the larger global Lean In community, a platform founded by best selling author, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, and giver of great TedTalks Sheryl Sandberg. This one is for community building and networking, with #squadgoals here including hooking up mentors and mentees. Happenings include monthly events including mixers and seminars focused on professional development.

Lean wit it, rock wit it, check the official site for more dets on the organization, and check this page for specifics on the Shanghai chapter.


Girl Gone International

It's an organization, it's an online magazine, it's chic women in fedoras. Girl Gone International is a global community active in over 140 cities and has 3,000 active members. It's a platform for women who travel, with an active community manager in each city helping connect women to community in their adopted cities and organizing social events. There are 5 communities in China: Beijing, Nanjing, Xiamen, Chengdu, and Shanghai.

To connect with events happening in Shanghai search 'GirlGoneInternational' on WeChat. Also, check out their aesthetically pleasing website for more details on the wider organization and check their magazine here.


Phoenix Risen

A WEF New Champions 5050 supported platform, Phoenix Risen is active in 10 countries, and 15 cities in China, Africa, and SE Asia. They bring men and women together to combat sexism as the root cause of sexual violence; the large push here is on 'Empathy Workshops' to prevent sexual violation through education on better communication and boundary setting. It's interactive, with discussion, role playing etc.

This organization is in need of volunteers who'd like to help facilitate workshops, check their site to get involved.



Everybody loves a festival. Ladyfest is a grassroots DIY community organizing a festival and other events promoting gender equality and equity. It's a space for girl bands, artists, authors, and creators of all kinds. It's an annual event held in March (close to International Women's Day), but they also have smaller events through the year, and an active WeChat group, filled with interesting reads.

In case you missed it, this year's Ladyfest is set for March 24 at Specters. To get involved in future events, check WeChat: Lady_Fest.



Founded by Gabby Gabriel, LesQueers is Shanghai’s premier LGBTIQ+ community for women and non-binary people. They offer community events, as well as diversity and inclusion training. The focus here is empowering the LGBTIQ+ community as a whole, and the belief that intersectionality is the key to community building. This organization is also working on an international app that's set to launch April 1.

If you are interested in getting involved and learning more go to their site.



Homegrown in Shanghai the International Professional Women's Society (IPWS) has been cultivating women leaders since 1993. A professional women's group, with over 200 members, and around 40 events on an annual basis, including: networking gatherings, professional development events, speaker panels, and workshops. If Olivia Pope lived in Shanghai she'd for sure drink a martini here.

Read a little more about the organization here and get involved through their site.


Shanghai Mammas

An online community for international families, Shanghai Mammas has been generating clicks since 2006. They offer tips on child-rearing and create a community through offline meet-ups. One thing to note about this organization is that one parent has to hold citizenship in a country outside of China; you also have to apply. Check out all the details on their site.


Safe Haven

A newly-launched organization, Safe Haven Shanghai works to help victims of domestic abuse by connecting them with various support services such as safety planning, shelter, legal and medical help, and a hotline that will launch at the end of the month. This organization works with the U.S. embassy and focuses on abuse in the expat community. It's supported by diplomats, lawyers, clinicians and volunteers. Their site is set to launch within the next week, stay tuned.


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