Taiwan has highest percentage of female lawmakers in East Asia: GEC

01/23/2022 08:20 PM
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A group photo of lawmakers when they took office in February 2020. CNA file photo
A group photo of lawmakers when they took office in February 2020. CNA file photo

Taipei, Jan. 23 (CNA) Taiwan leads neighboring countries in Asia in gender equality with the highest ratio of female to male lawmakers, the Gender Equality Committee (GEC) under the Executive Yuan said in a statement released Sunday.

Female lawmakers in Taiwan accounted for 41.6 percent of the total seats in the Legislature in 2020, and climbed even higher to 42.5 percent in January 2022 when Lin Ching-yi (林靜儀) won a legislative by-election in Taichung's second district, the GEC said.

The updated number is a new record, the GEC added, and it also puts Taiwan ahead of neighboring countries in Asia, including Singapore and South Korea, according to the GEC.

The United Arab Emirates actually has a highest proportion of female lawmakers (50 percent) in Asia, and the third highest in the world, the GEC said in its report titled "Gender At A Glance in the Republic of China (Taiwan)," which was released on Sunday.

Aside from an increase in female lawmakers, the proportion of female judges in the country and ministers without portfolio in the Cabinet have also exceeded 50 percent respectively, according to the GEC report.

Moreover, the country recorded the highest female labor force participation rate in a decade -- 52.3 percent -- among women in the 45-64 age group in 2020, while the overall percentage of women in workplaces increased by 1.5 percentage points to 51.4 percent during the 10-year period.

In comparison, the men's labor participation rate rose 0.7 percentage points to 67.2 percent during the same period, the report said.

Meanwhile, the average wage gap between male and female workers in 2020 stood at 14.8 percent, which is 0.1 percentage points lower than from the year before.

However, gender bias in certain industries that are traditionally male-dominant remains prevalent, the GEC said.

Using the construction industry as an example, the proportion of registered female architects who had applied to open their own firms was just 8.46 percent, according to the GEC report.

Further education and improvement in the field of "Personal Safety and Justice" are also needed, the GEC revealed, stating that for the 9,212 sexual assault cases reported in 2020, 80.4 percent involved female victims.

The number of female sexual assault victims in 2020 has also increased in the last two years, with over 70 percent of in-school sexual harassment and assault victims being female.

Cyber-sexual violence and harassment have also observed a spike in the last two years, the GEC concluded.

(By Lai Yu-chen and James Lo)


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