TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — As cross-strait tensions continue to run high, a new poll released Sunday (Oct. 4) shows that 52 percent of Taiwanese are in favor of including women in the country's compulsory military draft.
The latest poll conducted by ETtoday has found that close to 67 percent of the respondents think Taiwan should return to its one-year compulsory military service to counter threats from China. Only 22.3 percent oppose reinstating the conscription system, while 11.1 percent do not have an opinion.
When asked whether Taiwan should begin drafting women for its armed forces, 52 percent of the respondents support the idea and 37 percent oppose it. Of those in favor, a small percentage gap exists between male and female respondents, with 56 percent of male respondents and 48.1 percent of female respondents showing support for adding women to the conscription pool.
It is worth noting that there were more people supporting a gender-neutral conscription system among both male and female respondents.
The poll was conducted among Taiwanese adults aged 18 or above from Sept. 30 to Oct. 1. A total of 1,196 valid responses were gathered, and the poll has a 95 percent confidence rating with a 2.83 percent margin of error.
The idea of including women in the military draft was first suggested by Taipei City Councilor Hsu Chiao-hsin's (徐巧芯) during a political talk show in September. Taiwan's Defense Minister Yen Teh-fa (嚴德發) has responded to such suggestions and confirmed that the idea is being considered by the Ministry of National Defense (MND).