President Tsai Ing-wen delivered a keynote address at the inaugural Pacific Women Leaders' Coalition Conference March 26 in the Marshall Islands, pledging Taiwan's support for advancing gender equality throughout the region.
Female participation in public affairs is on the rise in the Pacific, Tsai said. This reflects the important role of women in societies of Austronesian-speaking people and the number of women in top leadership positions, she added.
Taiwan is ready, willing and able to work with like-minded partners in the region to promote a broader gender equality movement and help women unleash their potential, Tsai said.
According to Tsai, Taiwan is at the forefront globally in achieving gender equality. This is evidenced by the country's score of 91.25, the highest in Asia, in the latest Women, Business and the Law report issued by the World Bank, she said, adding that it is one of only six countries to have eliminated sex-based job restrictions.
This backing of women in the workplace, as well as those seeking to start small businesses, extends far beyond the country's borders, Tsai said. The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Women and the Economy Sub-Fund set up in 2016 with the U.S. is a shining example of how Taiwan can help all members of society fully contribute to attaining greater national prosperity, she added.
As part of this commitment, Tsai said, Taiwan will host the International Conference of the Pan-Pacific and Southeast Asian Women's Association in June and the fourth World Conference of Women's Shelters in November.
Following the conference, Tsai joined Marshall Islands President Hilda C. Heine in witnessing the signing of a memorandum of understanding on establishing a women's startup financing fund. The agreement was inked by Taiwan's Minister of Foreign Affairs Jaushieh Joseph Wu and Marshall Islands Minister of Culture and Internal Affairs Amenta Matthew.
Other activities on Tsai's itinerary during her stay in the Marshall Islands include talks with Heine on expanding bilateral exchanges and attending a state banquet hosted by the leader of the Pacific nation and her husband Thomas Kijiner Jr.
Tsai is on the final leg of her eight-day Oceans of Democracy 2019 Presidential Visit to Palau, Nauru and the Marshall Islands. She returns March 28 to Taiwan after a U.S. stopover in Hawaii.
Source: Taiwan Today