Mon, Nov 10, 2003 - Page 3 News List

Women's organization aims to stop trafficking

By Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

In a bid to advance the status of women, the Asian members of Zonta International (國際崇她社) met in Taipei to advocate the organization's appeal to stop the trafficking of women.

Entitled "Advancing the Status of Women -- Peace, Health and hope," the seventh conference of Far East Asia District of Zonta International was held at Taipei's Grand Hotel. About 400 successful career women from Taiwan, South Korea and Japan attended this year's conference.

Established in 1919, Zonta International is a worldwide service organization comprised of distinguished businesswomen. There are now nearly 33,000 members of Zonta International in 67 countries.

According to Yeh Ching-fong (葉金鳳), the district governor of Taiwan's Zonta International, Taiwanese women had shown their concern about their status in public life since the organization was founded in 1964.

"We work hard to advance the status of women in fields of law, politics, economics, education, health and all professions, to eliminate violence against women and children, as well as to promote understanding, friendship and peace among leaders of the world," Yeh said.

"We aim to work together to urge the government to guard and upgrade the status and equal development of women in all aspects, and to protect women in society, their work and family from fear and violence through policy-making and legislation," said Yeh, who is a former minister of the interior.

Zonta International president Margit Webjorn of Sweden stressed the importance of strengthening cooperation and communication between countries to deter the deteriorating problem of trafficking of women and the threat caused by the epidemic and wars.

"Ceasing fire is not enough. The world needs sustainable peace," Webjorn said.

"We have to be aware that using violence to crack down on violence is not an attitude that should be introduced," she said.

Webjorn will serve as president of Zonta International until next year.

Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) gave a speech at the conference yesterday praising himself for promoting Taipei as a women-friendly city.

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