In Women’s Day speech, Tsai urges females to challenge stereotypes

Taipei-In an address ahead of International Women's Day, President Tsai Ing-wen (???) on Saturday urged females to challenge gender stereotypes and said she looked forward to the day when high-achieving women would be seen as the norm.

In a pre-recorded video at a forum to commemorate March 8 Women's Day, Tsai encouraged women to "bravely accept challenges and break free of traditional gender roles, in order to become a version of yourself that you like and that stands out from the crowd."

Because of the efforts of many brave women, Tsai said, it is no longer uncommon to see female soldiers, police officers and firefighters serving on the front lines to protect people's lives and property.

Women have also been at the forefront of Taiwan's epidemic prevention efforts, whether as health workers in hospitals, pharmacists distributing face masks, or researchers developing new medicines, she said.

In areas such as science, athletics, business and politics, an increasing number of women have been forging paths to find a place for themselves professionally, Tsai said, adding that this had made her "deeply proud."

Despite the progress, however, high-achieving women are still not seen as the norm but rather are singled out as workplace "superwomen," Tsai said.

"I still look forward to the day when, in every professional field, high-achieving women will not be defined by stereotypes but seen as entirely natural, as a matter of course," she said.

"When that happens, we will no longer have to read descriptions of workplace 'superwomen' in newspapers and magazines," Tsai said, noting that such language is seldom used to describe men.

Tsai vowed that her government will "lead with actions" when it comes to breaking down stereotypes and achieving gender equality.

She said that since taking office in 2016, she has included both male and female ushers at Taiwan's National Day celebrations and has discouraged the use of a certain term for female ushers, which makes reference to their appearance.

Ushers at the celebrations, who have traditionally been female, are often referred to as "golden ornaments," in a reference to 12 female characters renowned for their beauty in the classic Chinese novel, "Dream of the Red Chamber."

In the future, Tsai said, she hopes that government ceremonies, ribbon cuttings and receptions will feature ushers of both genders, in a bid to break down gender stereotypes.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel