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Tsai looks at gender equality in Taiwan on International Women's Day

2019/03/08 16:59:32

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文/CNA file photo)

Taipei, March 8 (CNA) More and more Taiwanese women are making advances in their chosen fields, knocking down barriers to gender equality in a patriarchal society, but there are still some challenges, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said Friday, International Women's Day.

In a Facebook post, Tsai noted that a recent World Bank study on women's empowerment ranked Taiwan as the top Asian country in terms of women's rights guaranteed under law.

In the study titled "Women, Business and the Law 2019: A Decade of Reform," Taiwan scored full marks in five of the eight indexes, Tsai said, attributing that achievement to the efforts of the women's rights movement through the years and the hard work of the Taiwan people.

The World Bank study examines laws and regulations affecting women's prospects as entrepreneurs and employees in 187 economies worldwide over the past 10 years.

It employs eight indicators -- going places, starting a job, getting paid, getting married, having children, running a business, managing assets and getting a pension -- that are structured around women's interactions with the law from the start to the end of their careers.

Tsai said that despite the advances Taiwan has made toward gender equality, women in the society are still facing many challenges.

"At home, male siblings seem to inherit the family property and name inevitably," she wrote. "At school, girls are often said to be bad at math, physics and chemistry."

Females still have to make tremendous effort to prove that they are as competent as males, Tsai said, adding that stereotyping also persists in the workplace in Taiwan.

"In the workplace, you are asked to wear makeup and a pencil skirt," she said. "Your boss calls you inattentive when you have to juggle a busy home life, children and a job."

In spite of all that, more and more women are making advances in their own fields, breaking down barriers and producing exceptional results, Tsai said.

Every woman is trying her best to remove hurdles in a patriarchal world, whether they are athletes, police officers, soldiers, scientists, physicians, teachers, or in any other profession, she said.

"Each one of you makes Taiwan a more diversified and exquisite place," Tsai said, adding that one of her main wishes is to see the removal of gender labels.

"I hope that one day people would refer to me as a president, rather than a female president," she said. "Gender should not be a factor in assessing an individual's performance."

(By Wen Kuei-hsiang and Chung Yu-chen)
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