Taiwan is a global leader in female leadership, which has reflected favorably as the ongoing pandemic has revealed meaningful female participation in the highest levels of government have yielded the lowest fatalities and least economic repercussions. UN Women stated, “The leadership style of women leaders in the COVID-19 response have been described as more collective than individual, more collaborative than competitive and more coaching than commanding.”
Following high-level in-person visits by Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment, Keith Krach earlier this month and US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar in August, the webinar represents yet another meaningful exchange between US and Taiwan officials on key issues.
Ambassador Kelly E. Currie, U.S. Ambassador-at-large for Global Women’s Issues
Currie referenced President Tsai’s feature in TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential Leaders, as well as her recent in-person meeting with the President.
“Good leadership is good leadership, and we certainly have seen it with President Tsai.”
“Women have been impacted in this pandemic [...] greater responsibility for unpaid work.”
Currie also noted the rise of violence against women due to being forced to shelter in place with their abusers. In addition, Currie touched on the importance of women in the economy.
“We can and we must empower women as key drivers [...] in the global recovery effort.”
Ambassador Bi-Kim Hsiao, TECRO-NY
“Female leadership matters. A country cannot be well run when half of the population is not empowered. A company cannot be well run when half the working population is excluded.”
On Tsai’s efforts to increase female participation in the economy: “She’s increased the number of public child care centers, required large companies to provide child care, made it mandatory for loans to be made for female founded enterprises [...] all of this to ensure robust participation by women in our economy, especially at a time when our workforce is shrinking.”
Hsiao also noted a joint project with the US to empower women entrepreneurs, the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity, or W-GDP Initiative, which was launched last year.
Additional Speakers from Taiwan
Zoe Chi, Chair of the Global Network of Women’s Shelters (GNWS) spoke on the Shadow Pandemic of rising Gender Based Violence as well as the work GNWS has continued to carry out through online webinars and trainings. Additional information online.
Jennifer Lu, Executive Director of the Taiwan Equality Campaign, highlighted the importance of grassroots movements in pushing for systemic change as well as strategic cooperation with policymakers such as former Legislator and current Ambassador Hsiao, who was the first to propose a same-sex marriage bill in the Legislative Yuan.
Lu noted Taiwan’s leadership in same-sex marriage laws in Asia brought hope to the region as an example of a society which could embrace both progressive principals while maintaining traditional values.
Call to Action - Twitter Campaign
Moderator Denise Scotto, Esq., Policy Advisor, VP & UN Representative of Federation of Women in Legal Careers (Fédération Internationale des Femmes des Carrières Juridiques, FIFCJ) ended the webinar with a call to action to share best practices for an inclusive and resilient society using #FeministsDemand on Twitter.
MOFA YouTube Livestream Link | https://bit.ly/3ikcUF8