The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) marked International Women’s Day yesterday with a blast at President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) for giving little attention to women’s rights, despite being the nation’s first female president, while the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) thanked women’s rights advocates of the past and called for continued efforts to integrate gender perspectives into public affairs.
Tsai only cares about her reputation as Taiwan’s first female president and she ignores that her policies have made people’s lives difficult and has paid no attention to women’s rights, KMT Women’s Department director Chen Yi-chun (陳儀君) said.
Chen cited a recent poll showing that about 70 percent of Taiwanese women believed that the “one fixed day off and one rest day” policy would not make workplaces more employee-friendly, while 35 percent said the policy would reduce their income.
The KMT also quoted the US Department of State’s human rights report for this year, which said that foreign spouses in Taiwan face discriminatory policies and that it takes longer for Chinese spouses than those from other nations to obtain personal identification cards.
The DPP invited the former secretary-general of the Taiwan Gender Equity Education Association to give a speech to its members on how the nation’s traditions affect gender equality.
Such traditions include the practice that married women go back to their parents’ homes on the second day of the Lunar New Year and are expected to spend New Year’s Eve with their husband’s family.
The speech was part of the first lesson in the DPP’s newly designed course on “gender mainstreaming,” which was launched yesterday.
Department of Women’s Development Director Tsai Wan-fen (蔡宛芬) said that International Women’s Day is a reminder of women’s status in society and a day for the evaluation of progress toward gender equality.
Taiwan has since 2005 been proactively promoting gender mainstreaming in government departments, and gender perspectives would be integrated into public affairs and policies would be implemented that comply with needs arising from gender differences, the DPP said.
“However, while gender equality has been relatively well implemented in Taiwan, the nation’s women nevertheless continue to face challenges in society, be it at the workplace or in the family, because of their gender,” Tsai Wan-fen said,.
The most rudimentary task for building a society that has gender justice and is free of gender stereotypes is to equip every member of society with consciousness of gender equality, Tsai added.
As a party that has long endeavored to work for and advocate women’s rights and gender equality, the course on gender mainstreaming and enhancing gender consciousness has been designed to better party members’ knowledge and sensitivity to gender issues, Tsai Wan-fen said.
DOING ENOUGH? The HPA budgets NT$1.3 billion to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but has no separate budget to fight teen drinking, a doctor said The government should step up alcohol education and prevention efforts, and allocate more of the budget to it, doctors said on Friday, citing the high consumption of alcohol among Taiwanese adolescents. One out of four 12-to-17-year-olds has consumed alcohol, said Yen Tsung-hai (顏宗海), director of Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital’s Department of Clinical Toxicology. The Health Promotion Administration (HPA) budgets NT$1.3 billion (US$43.9 million) annually to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but it has not allocated a separate budget for preventing teenage drinking or excessive alcohol use, Yen said. “There is no so-called ‘safe drinking level’ for minors,” because any amount consumed
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