Taiwan Premier Lai champions gender equality in run-up to International Women’s Day

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Premier Lai Ching-te (center) is joined by senior officials from central government agencies honored for promoting gender equality March 5 in Taipei C

Premier Lai Ching-te (center) is joined by senior officials from central government agencies honored for promoting gender equality March 5 in Taipei C

TAIPEI (Taiwan Today) --The government is making great strides in narrowing the gender gap and ensuring the invaluable contributions of women to Taiwan’s development are fully appreciated and recognized, Premier Lai Ching-te said March 5.

Gender equality policies are paying dividends for women in all facets of daily life, Lai said. The government will continue working to achieve further progress and fully harness the potential of all members of society, he added.

The premier made the remarks while presiding over a meeting with Cabinet-level Gender Equality Committee in Taipei City in the run-up to March 8 International Women’s Day.

According to Lai, central government agencies making praiseworthy progress in empowering women include the Ministries of Economic Affairs, Finance, the Interior, Labor Affairs and Transportation and Communications. A standout example is the MOTC’s use of gender data and analysis to implement equality assessments in subordinate organizations, improve public transportation facilities and promote tourism-related employment for indigenous women, he said.

GEC statistics show that women comprise more than 40 percent of senior officials in the public sector. This figure is around 69 percent for government-backed foundations and organizations—up from 13.8 percent eight years ago—and exceeds the committee’s recommendation of no gender holding less than 33 percent of a board’s membership.

In the private sector, the labor participation rate for women stands at 50.92 percent, with the average hourly salary NT$271 (US$9.25), roughly 86 percent of that for men.

Women are also making gains in the academic sector, accounting for 33.12 percent and 45.37 percent, respectively, of students in doctorate and master’s programs at local tertiary institutions. Both numbers are up 5 percentage points from 10 years ago.

First celebrated by the U.N. in 1975, IWD is an opportunity to recognize women for their achievements without regard to cultural, economic, ethnic, linguistic, national or political divisions. It is also an opportunity to build momentum for reaching gender-related targets as set out in the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals.