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May 28, 2017

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DPP legislator lashes out over scarcity of women in Cabinet

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- A Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmaker blasted the president yesterday for failing to name more women to the new Cabinet.

In 2008, then-presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou pledged that by 2012, at least a quarter of administration officials would be female, said DPP Legislator Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) at the Legislative Yuan yesterday.

Ma has defaulted on the promise, said Chen, who said the freshly reshuffled Cabinet will have the fewest women in 13 years.

During the DPP presidential administration, the vice president was a woman, as was the vice premier under Premier Su Tseng-chang, said Chen

"Ma is the president with the least respect for gender equality," he said.

Taiwan's Cabinet resigned on Thursday, paving the way for a reshuffled Cabinet under new Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺).

Seven ministers will retain their positions, while the premier, vice premier, economics minister and minister of transportation will be replaced. The Cabinet lineup also includes a new secretary-general, minister of state, Chunghwa Post chair, minister of the Council for Economic Planning and Development, deputy interior minister, deputy transportation minister, deputy minister of the Research, Development and Evaluation Commission and presidential spokesperson.

Women appointments are deputy spokesperson Lee Chia-fei (李佳霏), who was appointed to presidential spokesperson; and Vice Chair of the Financial Supervisory Commission Lee Jih-chu (李紀珠) who will become chairwoman of Chunghwa Post.

The DPP lawmaker said that Ma has transferred women from complex into simpler responsibilities.

"It's as if Ma treats women as a vase ... I can't agree with this approach," he said.

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