Chinese women found a new voice to demand change in 2022. The government’s tentative response suggests tensions may only deepen in the coming year.

Strains between China’s estimated 690 million women and the Communist Party’s male-dominated leadership rippled through the year’s political debates. Beijing’s efforts to celebrate the Winter Olympics were marred by a tennis star’s allegations that she was coerced into sex with a retired state leader. Outrage flared on social media over a video showing male restaurant-goers beating women, as well as a mother chained in a shack.

While Chinese President Xi Jinping’s government has said little about the emergence of this potentially potent political force, it did push through an overhaul of an almost three-decade-old women’s rights law in October. The Women’s Rights and Interests Protection Law, which takes effect on Jan. 1, urges measures to eliminate discrimination against women, such as denying female employees promotions due to circumstances like marriage and pregnancy.