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Girls & Women

A woman will hold power in Taiwan for the first time in a century

Flickr: tomscy2000

This weekend, Taiwan will elect its first female president ever!  This is the first time a woman will run the country since the empress dowager over a century ago.

This will be a milestone event in a nation that has been on a solid path to a more equal gender representation in politics since the constitution set aside 15 percent of legislative positions for women in 1951. Today, one-third of positions are held by women! Not as high as Canada, but still much closer to equal representation than MANY other countries.

Particularly compared to patriarchal power structure in mainlad China (which claims ownership over Taiwan in a long standing dispute).  

Women in Taiwan have always had more influence than in mainland China, they have also had more access to education, and many tribal societies in Taiwan were matriarchal.

But the question is, how is it certain Taiwan will elect a woman? It's been a sure since last summer when the two major parties, the DPP and the Nationalist Party, both nominated female candidates. This makes Taiwan truly a trailblazer, as no major developed nation in modern times has had two women vying for the top elected official in the country.

So, who is most likely to be the new female president in Taiwan?

Currently, Tsai Ing-wen is in the lead to become president in Taiwan and women in Taiwan are not the only one’s celebrating. Feminists in mainland China are rejoicing too!

Tsai is a former professor and graduate of the London School of Economics who is seen as “a source of great encouragement for feminists on the mainland,” according to Chinese human rights advocate Zeng Jinyan.

What else can global citizens be excited in addition to being the first woman president in China (be that Taiwan or mainland China)?!

Her goal once in power is to ensure peaceful relations between China and Taiwan, despite China’s skepticism towards the DPP party.

Tsai sounds like true global citizen with her belief in peace, the power of people, and especially women. But she is also easy to relate to, apparently, “She very much enjoys sitting down with a glass of red wine, and reading a book and spending quality time with her cats.”

Now that is a world leader I can relate to, and I wouldn’t mind sitting down with her for a glass of wine either.  


Good luck to BOTH of the awesome women leading their nation this weekend in Taiwan. Either way, the nation is getting a strong female president and that's an inspiration to women (and men!) everywhere.

Creating an equal world starts with ending gender inequality. Go to TAKE ACTION NOW to help end injustices against women.