U.S. launches women’s empowerment program in Taiwan

Taipei-The State Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE), a program run by the United States Department of State, was launched in Taiwan on Monday, International Women's Day.

American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director Brent Christensen and Taiwan's economic affairs minister, Wang Mei-hua (???), presided over the launch ceremony, which was held at the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA).

"I am proud to announce today that for the first time Taiwan is included in the AWE program, which embraces our goals to strengthen U.S.-Taiwan economic and commercial cooperation and to enhance language learning," Christensen said.

"The U.S.-Taiwan relationship has never been more critical and one of our most important areas of cooperation is the work we are doing to support women," he said.

According to Christensen, AWE Taiwan will partner with the Fei-Yen (??) program under the MOEA to recruit and provide training for 90 early-stage women entrepreneurs across Taiwan.

The 90 Taiwan participants will join the global AWE network and ECA's exchange alumni database upon completing their training, the top U.S. envoy to Taiwan said.

Christensen also lauded Taiwan as a leader in East Asia of women's and girls' empowerment, calling Taiwan one of the U.S.' closest partners on Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and Global Cooperation and Training Framework workshops and women's outreach and educational events.

According to a fact sheet provided by the AIT, AWE was established by the U.S. Department of State in 2019 to provide women entrepreneurs with the skills, resources, and networks needed to start and scale successful businesses.

The most popular sectors represented by AWE participants are food, manufacturing, retail, handicrafts, and education, it said.

AWE has been implemented in 53 countries with more than 7,000 participants since it was rolled out, the AIT said, adding that the U.S. expects to implement the program in more than 70 countries and aims to reach another 7,000 women in 2021.

Meanwhile, Wang said at the event that women are playing an increasingly important role in business and in economic institutions, citing World Trade Organization Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, European Commission President Ursula Gertrud Albrecht, and herself.

She also briefed the audience about the MOEA's Fei-Yen women's empowerment program, which was established in 2013 and has guided more than 10,000 Taiwanese women in starting their businesses.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel