Taiwan has become the fifth nation in Asia to take part in a global project aimed at ending violence against women and girls, and enhancing women’s standards of living, the organizers said yesterday.
The Global Women’s Peace Network is a project of the Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP) International, a non-governmental organization with the Economic and Social Council of the UN, WFWP Taiwan said.
With the launch of the network, WFWP Taiwan said it would like to contribute to “eliminate violence and safeguard women’s security.”
South Korea, Japan, the Philippines and Nepal are the other Asian nations to have joined the network, the organization said.
“This is a great opportunity to hear from one another, to discuss and share individual and collective insights and wisdom, that are needed at this time if a world of peace and prosperity is truly to be built,” WFWP Taiwan president Chen Chao-o (陳照娥) said.
Urging the public to respect life and equal rights, the group encouraged everyone to share the principle of anti-violence, as well as to listen and communicate.
“We look forward to working for the greater good, for the fulfillment of individual perfection, happiness of families and world peace,” Chen said on the sidelines of the inaugural convocation.
According to last year’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices conducted by the US, domestic violence has been identified as a major human rights problem in Taiwan.
The report said that although Taiwan’s law defines rape — including spousal rape — as a crime, “violence against women, including rape and domestic violence, remains a serious problem.”
Because victims are socially stigmatized, many do not report the crime and the Ministry of the Interior estimates that the total number of sexual assaults is 10 times the number reported to police, the report said.
Moreover, child abuse continues to be a widespread problem, the report said, citing government statistics showing that there were 19,936 child abuse cases involving 16,330 victims as of August last year.
Central and local authorities, as well as private organizations, are continuing with efforts to identify and assist high-risk children and families, and to increase public awareness of child abuse and domestic violence, it said.