The gender policy stances of the three presidential candidates are mainly empty promises, members of the Awakening Foundation said yesterday in Taipei, while praising the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) for supporting same-sex partnership rights for the first time.
“There is a lot to be happy about in this election from the perspective of encouraging women to participate in politics …. but what is interesting is that despite the number of women standing for election, this is the first time in recent memory when presidential candidates have not taken policy stances on feminist or gender issues,” foundation chairperson Chen Yi-chien (陳宜倩) said.
She said the responses from the three presidential campaigns to the foundation’s queries on caregiving, sexual discrimination in the workplace, same-sex partnership rights, pensions and trade had proved disappointing.
“Both the Democratic Progressive Party [DPP] and KMT have been reduced to presenting expansively vague and idealized visions with relatively few specific promises,” she said.
She cited the DPP’s promise to draft legislation governing contract workers without specifying whether its proposals would encourage or discourage the practice.
She also criticized the People First Party for using outdated language in its response and failing to directly address the questions. One bright spot was a KMT statement saying that it supports civil unions, including those for homosexual or lesbian couples, in what activists said was a first, Chen said.
“When I saw [the KMT statement], I thought ‘Wow, you are really brave to say that,’” she said.
The KMT’s stance means that there is now a basic consensus among the major parties on allowing for same-sex civil unions, she said.
DPP presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) might be more progressive than the party’s responses suggested, the activists said, citing a detailed policy white paper on gender issues published during her 2012 presidential campaign.
The foundation members said they would continue to monitor adherence to the parties’ campaign statements after the elections.
National Taiwan University political science professor Huang Chang-ling (黃長玲) said the administrations of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) had promised to allocate a fixed percentage of Cabinet posts to women, but the number of women serving in their administrations dropped progressively over time following Cabinet reshuffles.
While the presence of women on each of the presidential tickets is unprecedented, there is still room for progress, Huang said, adding that gender equality would only be realized when having two women on a presidential ticket is seen as normal.
The foundation was founded after the lifting of martial law to mobilize women and offer social resources to the community.
Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) is aware that Beijing’s treatment of Hong Kong has weakened any possible sentiment for a “one country, two systems” arrangement for Taiwan, and has instructed Chinese Communist Party (CCP) politburo member Wang Huning (王滬寧) to develop new ways of defining cross-strait relations, Japanese news magazine Nikkei Asia reported on Thursday. A former professor of international politics at Fu Dan University, Wang is expected to develop a dialogue that could serve as the foundation for cross-strait unification, and Xi plans to use the framework to support a fourth term as president, Nikkei Asia quoted an anonymous source
LUCKY DATE: The man picked the 10th ‘Super Red Envelope’ in a lottery store in Taoyuan’s Jhongli because he broke up with his girlfriend on Jan. 10 A man who recently broke up with his girlfriend won a NT$1 million (US$32,929) prize in the “NT$20 million Super Red Envelope” lottery after picking a card based on the date of their breakup, Taiwan Lottery Co said yesterday. The man, in his 20s, bought the 10th ticket at a lottery store in Taoyuan’s Jhongli District (中壢), because he broke up with his girlfriend on Jan. 10, the store owner told the lottery company. The “Super Red Envelope” lottery was a limited offering by the company during the Lunar New Year holiday, which ended yesterday. The cards, which cost NT$2,000 each, came with
TOURISM BOOST: The transportation system could help attract more visitors to the area, as the line is to connect multiple cultural sites, a city councilor said Residents in New Taipei City’s Ankeng District (安坑) said the local light rail system might have a positive influence, but raised questions about its practicality. The Ankeng light rail system, which is to commence operations after the Lunar New Year holiday, would cut travel time for commuters from Ankeng to downtown Taipei or New Taipei City by 15 to 20 minutes, the city government said. According to the initial plan, there would be one train every 15 minutes during peak time and additional interval trains would run between the densely populated Ankang Station (安康) and Shisizhang Station (十 四張). To encourage people to
CHAMPION TREES: The team used light detection and ranging imaging to locate the tree, and found that it measured a height of 84.1m and had a girth of 8.5m A team committed to finding the tallest trees in the nation yesterday said that an 84.1m tall Taiwania cryptomerioides tree had been named the tallest tree in Taiwan and East Asia. The Taiwan Champion Trees, a team consisting of researchers from the Council of Agriculture’s Taiwan Forestry Research Institute and National Cheng Kung University (NCKU), in June last year used light detection and ranging (LiDAR) imaging to find the giant tree, numbered 55214, upstream of the Daan River (大安溪). A 20-member expedition team led by Rebecca Hsu (徐嘉君), an assistant researcher at the Taiwan Forestry Research Institute, set out to find the