Government urged to take more action on gender inequality in Taiwan

Scholar Wu Wei-ting (???) on Wednesday called on the government to address persistent gender equality issues in Taiwan such as wage disparities and women's underrepresentation in top managerial positions.

Speaking at an event hosted by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, Wu, an associate professor at Shih Hsin University, said that efforts by those in the public and private sectors over the past few years had allowed Taiwan to make "much progress" in promoting gender equality.

Still, gender disparities remain wide in political, economic, and social realms and require more measures by the government to make a change, she said, citing her research on gender studies and government data.

Wu said that on average, female workers in Taiwan receive a monthly wage that is NT$6,000 (US$195), or 15 percent, less than their male colleagues.

If ranked among the 27 member states of the European Union, Taiwan would have the 19th largest gender pay gap, Wu said at the event, held to mark International Women's Day on Wednesday.

At the same, companies' executives remain mostly men even though women have made tremendous contributions at work, Wu said.

She added that only 9 percent of the leaders of Taiwan's 149 universities and colleges were women.

In the family, women are responsible for more than 80 percent of household chores, Wu said, citing a Cabinet survey conducted in 2016.

She added that it remained important to raise more awareness in Taiwanese society that men are equally responsible for those chores as women are.

Meanwhile, Premier Chen Chien-jen (???) told the event that Taiwan was a model for other countries in Asia in terms of promoting gender equality.

With the efforts of civil society groups and different government agencies, Taiwan in 2019 became the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage, Chen said.

In addition, women lawmakers made up 41.59 percent of the Legislature in 2020, which ranked first among other Asian countries, Chen said, citing data from the Inter-Parliamentary Union.

Chen added that the government would not be complacent about these achievements as "there is still room for improvement."

The premier said he had taken note of Wu's advice and that the government remained committed to working hard to better ensure women's rights at home and in the workplace.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel