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Group lauds efforts to turn housewives into activists

Group lauds efforts to turn housewives into activists

A local women’s environmental protection group celebrated its decades-long efforts to help change the stereotype of women staying home to raise children on Sunday.
In 1987, a group of housewives decided to walk out of the kitchen to play a part in social activities through the creation of the Homemakers United Foundation.
Over the years, the foundation has initiated a series of actions on behalf of environmental protection.
These actions included advocating the ideals of sorting waste, promoting recycling, opposing nuclear power, as well as paying close attention to food safety and forest conservation.
By voicing their opinions and taking action, housewives can contribute to society, said Chen Man-li, president of the foundation, at a celebration to mark the foundation’s 25th anniversary.
The foundation is currently focusing on issues such as U.S. beef imports that contain ractopamine and creating an environment free from the use of nuclear power, Chen told CNA.
“We’re not opposed to imports of U.S. beef,” Chen said. “But due to safety concerns, we object to the imports of beef containing ractopamine from the United States.”
Ractopamine is a leanness-enhancing drug which is allowed in livestock feed in 20-plus countries, such as the U.S., but is banned in China, Taiwan and the European Union states.
Taiwan’s government, under pressure from the U.S., is considering whether to lift a ban on the use of ractopamine and allow the local sale of meat containing traces of the drug.
Amid speculation that the government is leaning toward lifting the ban, several local groups, including the Homemakers United Foundation, have staged several protests against the use of ractopamine.
The government, however, has reiterated that it has no pre-determined stance on the issue and will make its decision based upon professional opinions and risk control evaluations.
The foundation will also participate in a nationwide demonstration against nuclear energy on March 11, the first anniversary of Japan’s devastating earthquake and ensuing tsunami that was responsible for the worst nuclear crisis in its history, Chen added.
As part of its anniversary celebrations, the foundation is also holding a photo exhibition at the Taipei Water Park to showcase its efforts to create a better, sustainable environment for Taiwan.
The exhibition will run through March 31.