Sun, Dec 24, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Lu lauds rise in female power

WOMEN LEADERS The vice president hailed the rise of more female heads of state, but declined to answer whether she was planning to run in the 2008 presidential race

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) yesterday lauded the rising trend of women entering politics and becoming heads of state, but remained tightlipped when asked if she would run in the 2008 presidential race.

Twelve countries have female leaders, nine have female defense ministers and 13 have female vice presidents, Lu said, adding that "there is a clear trend toward women running for positions of leadership in national governments" and that it was a "vital stage in the development of human civilization."

Lu called on the public to take women more seriously and said that "any Republic of China national over 40 years old is eligible to run in the presidential election."

Lu made the remarks during a question-and-answer session at the presentation of a new book on the vice president yesterday.

The author of the book, Ryu Min-joo, was invited by Lu to the ceremony held at the Taipei Guest House to talk about her new novel, which is based on Lu's life story.

Entitled Daughter of the World, the book was released in July and its Chinese translation hit the shelves yesterday.

The publisher is planning to translate the book into Japanese and English. The publisher also hopes to see the book turned into a movie.

Ryu is the author of the Korean blockbuster TV epic drama Jewel in the Palace (大長今).

Lu said that she respected the media's political interpretation of the timing of the book's release, but insisted that the book had nothing to do with the presidential election.

Declining to answer whether she would run in the 2008 presidential election, the vice president said she did not pick the title of the book nor did she decide the timing of the book's release.

Lu was trying to deny any parallel with the book written about President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁). Chen is occasionally called the "Son of Taiwan" (台灣之子) -- after his biography of the same name, which was published when he won the 2000 presidential election.

The vice president also took the opportunity to respond to a controversial comment made recently by former presidential adviser Koo Kwang-ming (辜寬敏).

Koo said he did not think "someone wearing a skirt" would make a good commander-in-chief.

Lu said that "those wearing a skirt do not like wars," adding that "men started 99.9 percent of wars."

The vice president said she would like to thank Koo's "good intentions" in making such a comment because he helped rekindle the debate on neo-feminism, adding that she did not think Koo's comment was aimed at her.

While history is about "his" story, Lu said she would like to see men and women write "his story" and "her story" together.

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