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Translated by Yuan-ling Liang

Taiwan elected her first female president in the 2016 elections, and the proportion of women legislators elected also reached a historic high. Increasing from the previous 33% to 38.1%, Taiwan has become one of the top states of women empowerment in politics among the globe, while Nordic countries show a 41.1% average.

According to UN Women, only 22% of all national parliamentarians were female as of August 2015, which is a slow increase from 11.3 % in 1995. However, there aren’t any female candidates among the DPP members contending for president and vice president of the Legislative Yuan. Feminist organizations, including the Awakening Foundation, issued a joint statement on January 25, stating that the candidates’ past performance on promoting gender equality should be considered, and should include at least one female.

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The statement also mentions that the KMT at least showed sincerity in displaying gender cohabitation by nominating Hung Hsiu-chu as vice president of the Legislative Yuan. Since the DPP will be taking advantage in holding more than half the legislator seats, and because female participation in congress has nearly reached 40% for the first time, the party should at least have one female in its candidates for president and vice president of the Legislative Yuan. This is to show respect for the female voters and the party’s determination to focus on gender equality issues.

Feminist groups also believe that the DPP should take past performances into consideration when choosing its candidates, including performance in politics, supporting of gender policies or specific contributions to gender equality. For example, backing long-term care and daycare policies, having proposed or countersigned for the public sharing family care obligations and so on.

As for legislators in other parties, the feminist groups also encourage them to vote based on these criteria, initiate gender reformation in the congress starting from the election of presidents, and put legislators with gender awareness in important positions.

Edited by Olivia Yang