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Premier Su thanks nation's women for contributions during pandemic

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On the occasion of International Women's Day, celebrated on Monday, Premier Su Tseng-chang thanked the women of Taiwan for their contributions to the nation and the roles they played in the home and workplace through the most trying times of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. In an assessment conducted by the government, Taiwan ranked sixth worldwide and first in Asia for gender equality, based on methods used by the U.N. Development Programme to compile the latest 2019 Gender Inequality Index. These and other achievements have brought Taiwan international recognition and affirmation on the global stage.

Taiwan in recent years has promoted the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, along with a range of gender quality policies and measures aimed at shattering gender stereotypes and breaking through traditional social concepts that limit women's development, the premier said.

In the past, women have often left their jobs or put careers on hold to raise children or care for family members. In 2020 however, women ages 35-39 and 50-55 saw labor participation rates rise to record highs of 82 percent and 64 percent respectively, which is a hard-earned achievement considering the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Under traditional gender roles, women are often expected to be the primary caregiver in the family. To eliminate such stereotypes, the Executive Yuan has taken steps to promote gender equality awareness and help the public understand the importance of sharing childrearing responsibilities between both parents. In addition, efforts have been made to foster public awareness and acceptance of gender diversity and nontraditional families, Premier Su said.

To alleviate the burden of caring for elderly family members, the government has launched an upgraded long-term care 2.0 plan that will expand the professional caregiver workforce and increase the levels and types of community-based care services available to families. These measures will free women to fulfill their potential in whatever field they choose, making Taiwan a gender-friendly society boasting strong equal rights protection, the premier said.

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