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September 20, 2017

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Taiwan committed to equality: Tsai

President Tsai Ing-wen expressed Taiwan's commitment to the fight for gender equality during her speech at the opening ceremony of the International Council of Women (ICW) Executive Committee Meeting yesterday.

In her speech, Tsai praised the efforts of the ICW and the National Council of Women of Taiwan in what they have accomplished for women in Taiwan.

But the president stressed that there was still a long way to go to achieve true equality and justice.

Tsai underscored that though gender equality had become a mainstream idea in Taiwan, it had yet to manifest itself in all areas of life. Citing the wage gap and work-life balance as difficulties still faced by women in Taiwan, Tsai said that women's participation in the workplace must be a priority for the country.

Tsai singled out child care, elderly care and underemployment as areas where the government could do more to help women in the workplace.

She also cited the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the fifth of which is gender equality, in her speech, and said that women and gender equality played important roles in achieving all 17 SDGs.

Tsai concluded her speech with a vow to promote gender equality in Taiwan and abroad, stating that Taiwan's own experiences promoting gender equality could help further the global gender equality movement.

ICW President Dr. Jungsook Kim took the stage to congratulate Tsai for being Taiwan's first female president. Kim said Tsai's presidency represented the progress Taiwan had made toward equality.

The meeting opened with a keynote address by Director General of the Arab Women Organization Mervat Tallawy.

In her address, Tallawy referenced the history of women's movements throughout the world to point out the areas that still needed improvement in the fight for equality.

Tallawy said that gender inequity not only affected women but also harmed the economy, and that when women were given the chance, they could change society.

The four-day meeting began Monday and will end Thursday. This is the first time that Taiwan has hosted an ICW Executive Committee Meeting. The slogan for this meeting is "Transforming society through women's empowerment," a message that was reiterated throughout the speeches yesterday.

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