The number of female local government heads in Taiwan reached an all-time high of 56.3 percent after the winners took office following last year’s local elections, while the number of women with Cabinet positions increased by nearly 10 percent, the Cabinet said on Wednesday.
The ratio of female mayors and county commissioners increased by 18.8 percentage points with last year’s election results, the Cabinet said in a statement.
Women make up more than one-third of the seats on city and county councils nationwide, while the percentages of female judges and Control Yuan members have both topped 40 percent, it said.
The percentage of female legislators reached an all-time high of 42.5 percent in January last year following a by-election that month, it said, citing its Gender at a Glance report, which the Cabinet released on Tuesday.
The number of women in the new Cabinet, which was sworn in the same day, is just under 16 percent, up from 7.3 percent in the previous Cabinet of former premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), the report said.
Despite being elected as Taiwan’s first female president in 2016, Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has faced criticism for the number of women who have held top government roles in her seven years in office.
Female leadership has also improved significantly in the private sector, the Cabinet said.
About 586,000 small and medium-sized enterprises were led by women in 2021, an increase of 112,000, or about 20 percent, from 2012, it said.
However, there was a lot of room for improvement at listed and over-the-counter stock market companies, where only 2,738, or 14.9 percent, of directors were female in 2021, it said.
The difference in average income for male and female workers in 2021 was 15.8 percent, with male workers on average paid NT$46,056 per month while female workers received NT$40,030 per month, it said.
The gap increased by 1 percent in 2020, which the report said was because men received bigger raises.
The labor force participation rate for women aged 15 or older was 51.5 percent in 2021 compared with 66.9 percent for men, the report said, adding that 25-29 was the top age group for women, with a participation rate of 89.9 percent.
The 15.4 percentage point difference in labor force participation was an improvement from 16.7 percentage points in 2011, it said.
However, fewer women in Taiwan joined the workforce in 2021 compared with Japan (53.5 percent) and South Korea (53.3 percent), it said.
The report said that 43.1 percent of women who obtained a higher-education degree in 2019 specialized in science, math or statistics, while 18.9 percent worked in construction, manufacturing or engineering, up 0.8 and 0.5 percentage points respectively from 2018.
The report also tracked the number of female researchers in 2020, with the rate rising 1.4 percentage points from 2011 to 22.9 percent.
There were 7,787 reports of sexual assault or harassment against women in 2021, down 1,425 from 2020, while reports of minors facing sexual exploitation on the Internet rose to 1,395 from 1,239 in 2020 and 795 in 2019, the report said.
Using the same metrics as the UN Development Programme’s Gender Inequality Index, which measures gender inequality based on reproductive health, empowerment and the labor market — but does not include Taiwan — the nation’s score would have been 0.036, which would have placed it first in Asia and seventh among 170 countries ranked in terms of efforts to eliminate gender inequality, the Cabinet said.
A recently discovered supernova is the brightest and closest to Earth identified in the past decade, and can be observed with basic equipment, the Taipei Astronomical Museum said on Wednesday. The supernova has an absolute magnitude of 14.9 in luminosity and is in the Pinwheel Galaxy (M101) about 21 million light-years from Earth. It was discovered early on May 20 by Japanese amateur astronomer Koichi Itagaki, who immediately reported the finding to the International Astronomical Union, the museum said. The supernova was designated SN 2023ixf following the astronomical naming conventions for supernovas, it added. The museum said that it observed
Tropical storm Guchol is moving in a northeasterly direction off the east coast of the Philippines and will not hit Taiwan, but will impact local weather starting on Friday, the Central Weather Bureau said Thursday. The storm would bring a low-pressure system northward toward the vicinity of Taiwan, forecaster Chao Hung (趙竑) said. Northern Taiwan will see intermittent rain showers in the morning, and thunderstorms in the afternoon on Friday, he said, adding that rain would be heavier on the east coast and in the central-southern mountainous areas. Rainfall would continue into Saturday, and would spread throughout Taiwan proper, he
Exiled Chinese democracy advocate Wang Dan (王丹) yesterday denied an accusation by former Taiwanese political worker Lee Yuan-chun (李援軍) that Wang had sexually harassed him in a hotel room in New York nine years ago. There was a huge gap between Lee’s accusation and his own understanding and memory, Wang wrote on Facebook, adding it was hard for him to respond further regarding a “unilateral description” made by someone else. Wang made the remarks after his initial response on Facebook was met with criticism, with people saying he did not directly address the allegation. Lee on Friday wrote on Facebook that he
A man was arrested in Hsinchu on Saturday on suspicion of filming women in the women’s washroom of a shopping mall in the city, local Chinese-language media reported on Thursday. The man was arrested at around noon on Saturday when a woman using a stall in the mall’s washroom noticed a cellphone being held above her from the neighboring stall, reports said. The woman ran out of the washroom and yelled to her husband to help her, after which the suspect – who was dressed as a woman – attempted to flee, but was subdued by other men until police