Following the nation’s adoption of a UN convention directed at eliminating sex discrimination, the government should take the lead in eliminating all discrimination against women, a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator said yesterday.
With the entry into force last month of the “Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women” (CEDAW), which was adopted by the UN in 1979, all government organizations should eliminate gender-based discrimination, DPP Legislator Yu Mei-nu (尤美女) said.
The CEDAW stipulates that all government organizations should establish specialized panels to oversee the implementation of the convention and also recommends the legislature establish a committee to deal with gender equality.
The CEDAW Alliance, a women’s rights organizations umbrella group, also said the government should adhere to CEDAW, pointing especially to Item One in the appendix, which states: “The five yuans are responsible for making a list of implementation measures.”
Yu said she and Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) Legislator Lin Shih-chia (林世嘉) will propose an amendment to the Organic Law of Committees of the Legislative Yuan (立法院各委員會組織法) to require that at least one-third of the legislative committee conveners are women.
The legislature currently has eight standing committees, and under the Organic Law of Committees of the Legislative Yuan, each committee appoints two conveners, elected by members of that committee for each sitting.
In other words, the amendment would stipulate that of a total of 16 conveners, at least six must be women.
At present only the Executive Yuan has a Gender Equality Committee, and Yu urged the other yuans to follow suit, adding that she had already sent a proposal to Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) on the establishment of a Gender Equality Committee.
The committee would evaluate how laws and budgets would impact gender equality issues and give these evaluations to legislators for reference.
Yu said that Wang had told her he would give the proposal to staff members for further study.
National Union of Taiwan Women’s Associations secretary-general Ho Pi-chen (何碧珍) also said that civilian gender equality groups were urging all five yuans to establish CEDAW oversight committees as soon as possible, adding that the Legislative Yuan should inspect whether any laws violate CEDAW.
The Examination Yuan should also include CEDAW-related material in national examinations and the Executive Yuan’s Gender Equality Committee should be tasked with managing national reports on CEDAW-related matters, she said.
Translated by Jake Chung, Staff Writer