More than 100,000 people and more than 80 non-governmental organizations in 15 countries across Asia have rallied over the past few days as part of a campaign for girls’ rights in Asia initiated by Taiwan’s Garden of Hope Foundation.
Wearing pink scarves with a traditional Taiwanese floral design and holding up posters with the same design and the slogan “2012 Asian Girl Campaign,” dozens of girls and rights activists paraded in the Mongolian capital, Ulan Bator, on Saturday, calling for public awareness on girls’ rights in the country, the foundation said in a press release.
Similar activities have taken place in various Asian countries in the past week — including India, Pakistan, Cambodia and Afghanistan, it added.
Photo courtsey of the Garden of Hope Foundation
In southern India, 365 girls held a march in Mamallapuram organized by the Society for Education and Action to call for the abolition of child marriage, while workshops and forums teaching self-protection and leadership skills were also held, the statement said.
“Asian girls are routinely neglected and devalued. According to the Canadian NGO Plan, 48 percent of girls in southern Asia are married before the age of 18 — the highest percentage in the world,” Garden of Hope chief executive Chi Hui-jung (紀惠容) said.
“The Global Gender Gap Report of 2011 placed Asia behind every world region, apart from Africa, in terms the disparity between boys and girls,” Chi added.
Chi pointed out that even in developed Asian nations, girls are often in a disadvantaged position in society.
“In developed Asian nations, girls are still trapped by gender stereotypes that limit them from exploring their full potential,” Chi said.
“They are bombarded by media messages to conform to an unrealistic ideal of beauty, which makes girls lose their self-confidence in their own natural beauty and they are caught in a cycle of oppression,” Chi aaded.
In Taiwan, Chi said, the “lower value” of girls can be seen from selective abortions according to the gender.
Citing figures released by the Department of Health, Chi said that as many as 3,000 female fetuses were aborted in Taiwan last year.
Days after it was banned in China, a Mandarin ballad satirizing nationalistic Chinese Internet users is trending at No. 1 on YouTube in Taiwan and Hong Kong. Fragile (玻璃心), by Taiwan-based Malaysian rapper Namewee (黃明志) and Australian singer Kimberley Chen (陳芳語), offers a tongue-in-cheek apology to “little pink” Internet users, a disparaging term that describes patriotic “keyboard warriors” from China. After racking up more than 9 million views on YouTube, the song reached No. 3 on the site in Malaysia on Thursday, according to Kworb, a Web site that analyzes music data from around the world. It is also the only Chinese-language
NO CHANGE: US officials indicated that the ‘one China’ policy remains in place, while the NATO chief avoided discussing Biden’s comment in an effort to ease tensions US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said on Friday that the Pentagon would continue to support Taiwan’s military, but he declined to say if US troops would defend the island against China, after US President Joe Biden said there was a US “commitment” to do so. “As we’ve done over multiple administrations, we will continue to help Taiwan with the sorts of capabilities that it needs to defend itself,” Austin said at NATO headquarters. “So we’ll stay focused on those things, and I won’t engage in any hypotheticals with respect to Taiwan,” he told reporters. Biden on Thursday sparked a new firestorm
PROTECTION: The Ministry of Health and Welfare is aiming for a full vaccination rate of 30 percent, and allowing mixed first and second doses to boost coverage rates Whether Taiwan reopens its borders would depend on the nation’s vaccination coverage rate and the COVID-19 situation in other countries, Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Shih Chung-liang (石崇良) said yesterday. The Ministry of Health and Welfare is aiming for a 70 percent first-dose vaccination coverage and 30 percent two-dose coverage as part of its consideration, Shih told a media briefing following the weekly Cabinet meeting. In spite of a relatively stable COVID-19 situation in Taiwan, and calls from foreign missions and businesses in the country to allow more international travelers, the government is maintaining strict border control measures. Since March last year,
SCENIC TRAIN TOURS: TRA Director-General Du Wei said experts on aesthetics and railway culture have worked for 10 months to restore the blue locomotive Breezy Blue, the Taiwan Railways Administration’s (TRA) tourism train, is to be launched on the South Link Line on Saturday. The railway operator spent about 10 months restoring the blue diesel-powered train, which first provided service to students and commuters before being outsourced to Lion Travel, which organizes railway tour packages. TRA Director-General Du Wei (杜微) told reporters on the sidelines of a ceremony in Pingtung County’s Fangliao Township (枋寮) that the agency hopes that the restored Breezy Blue would provide an authentic experience to railway fans as well as those with fond memories of riding the blue trains to work or