Taiwan News
2018.12.25
Taiwan is model of women's empowerment in politics: AIT chief
Dec 10, 2018 | By Joseph Yeh
Taipei, Dec. 10 (CNA) Taking President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) as an example, the de facto U.S. ambassador to Taiwan said Monday that Taiwan is a model in terms of empowering women as leaders in politics.

Speaking during the opening ceremony of a women's leadership and empowerment workshop, American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director Brent Christensen lauded Taiwan as a leader on women's empowerment in politics.

"Not only does Taiwan currently have a woman serving as its president, Dr. Tsai Ing-wen, but nearly 40 percent of Taiwan's legislators are women," Christensen said.

In the recently concluded local elections on Nov. 24, Taiwan's voters chose women to head seven of its 22 counties and municipalities, and elected women to fill 33.8 percent of city and county council seats, he went on.

Such women's empowerment has a long tradition, he said, adding that nearly 20 years ago, Taiwan elected a woman to the vice-presidency, referring to Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) in the first Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration from 2000-2008.

"Few countries in the Indo-Pacific region, or worldwide for that matter, can claim to have achieved as much as Taiwan has toward the important goal of more equal representation between men and women in leadership positions," Christensen said.

That is why 30 participants from 14 countries will share their experiences with women leaders in Taiwan during the three-day workshop under the U.S.-Taiwan Global Cooperation and Training Framework (GCTF), he noted.

The opening ceremony of the "Achieving 50-50: Empowering Women Leaders in the Indo-Pacific Region" was also attended by Taiwan's Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Tsao Li-jey (曹立傑) and Pat Schroeder, a former U.S. congresswoman who represented Colorado in the House of Representatives, among others.

In her keynote speech, Schroeder, who in 1973 became the first female U.S. representative elected in Colorado and blazed a trail for a new generation of women on Capitol Hill, encouraged more women to engage in the equal rights movement especially in politics.

She admitted that the U.S. has a long way to go and much to learn from Taiwan given the fact that the U.S. is ranked 89th in terms of the representation of women in national legislatures.

She originally thought that after Hilary Clinton lost her run at the presidency it would discourage women from taking part in politics, but there is now an an ongoing "Pink Wave" in the U.S. with a record number of women heading to Congress.

The workshop will take place from Monday through Wednesday and is scheduled to include presentations, wide-ranging discussions and essential measures to be taken to increase the participation and representation of women in both private and public organizations.

Since the establishment of the GCTF in 2015, the U.S. and Taiwan have brought together experts, government officials and civic leaders from over two dozen countries for 14 workshops on public health, women's empowerment, media literacy, law enforcement and the digital economy, among other topics.

Source: Focus Taiwan
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