Advancing Rights of Women Is Beneficial to All

China Post, March 10, 2016 | Go to article overview

Advancing Rights of Women Is Beneficial to All


Tuesday, March 8 marks International Women's Day in Taiwan and around the globe. While the date is considered an annual occasion to celebrate how far we have come in advancing the rights of women and how far we still have to go, International Women's Day should also be a reminder that advancing the rights of women is an ongoing fight that includes the social, political and economic equality of women for the benefit of all. This goal is a worthy one that saw a great start this year with the election of Dr. Tsai Ing-wen to the presidency of the Republic of China in January. Tsai took some 56 percent of the vote to end eight years of Kuomintang (KMT) rule plagued by anemic growth and soaring inequality. The president-elect now aims to revitalize the sluggish economy by diversifying trade with South, Southeast and East Asia, thus moving away from the previous strategy of greater economic integration with mainland China - the world's second biggest economy. Even though it is too early for a definitive assessment of the policy, we have to admit that seeing things from a different point of view can often lead to giant leaps forward for all, not only women.

Who could have forecast at the end of the 20th century that female buyers would outnumber their male counterparts in Taiwan for the seventh consecutive year? According to statistics released by a real estate agency on Monday, 51 percent of home buyers in Taiwan last year were women. As they become more economically independent, data show that they are increasingly interested in the real estate market, including apartments, furnished or not. While some couples would prefer to buy a new house under the wife's name, many female buyers are single and are better able to afford a house after turning 40. Women of that age group accounted for 16.2 percent of all home purchases in 2015, while those in their 30s and 50s accounted for 13.9 percent and 12.2 percent of home purchases, respectively,figures showed. The good news is that this singular force in the market - risk averse, unmarried women - further helps increase the supply of affordable housing for all.

The same is true for parental leave. About nine in 10 companies in Taiwan allow their female employees to take maternity leave or other pregnancy-related leave, according to a recent survey released by the Ministry of Labor. …

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