The Ministry of the Interior released the country’s first Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) report yesterday, saying that efforts are still needed to promote gender equality in the labor market.
“The data we used for the report were collected from different government institutions over a period of almost a year. With the participation of experts from various fields, we analyzed the information we gathered through numerous meetings and in-depth research to complete the report,” Minister of the Interior Liao Liou-yi (廖了以) said at a press conference. “Many government institutions also put efforts in writing the report and it has helped them to get an idea of the current human rights conditions for women in the country and how to develop future policies.”
Taiwan’s first CEDAW report said that gender equality in the job market still needed improvement.
“Many women face illegal reduction in salary, transfer or dismissal because of childbirth or baby-nursing,” the report said. “It is also common to find unfair salary and promotion opportunities for women in the job market.”
Although gender equality laws have long been in place, discrimination is still very common because of deep-rooted traditional concepts, the report said, recommending the government put in more efforts to promote equality.
“We also call on government institutions with large gaps in the numbers of their male and female employees — such as the military, the coast guard and the police — to create an environment friendly [to women], improve the equality of promotion opportunities and reform their internal employee evaluation systems,” it said.
The convention — which now has 185 signatory countries — was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1979. All signatory countries are required to submit reports on the status of gender equality and efforts to eliminate discrimination every four years.
Following a Legislative Yuan decision, then-president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) signed the convention in January last year. However, the UN declined to consider Taiwan a CEDAW member.
While Taiwan will not be able to submit its country report to the UN, Liao said that “evaluating conditions of women’s rights according to CEDAW standards is a helpful step toward improving women’s rights in Taiwan.”
In addition to the official country report, some women’s groups in Taiwan began writing their own report last year in the hopes the country can still interact with the international community through exchanges with non-governmental organizations.
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