On July 12th 2018 a Press Conference and meeting was held in Taichung Town Hall in Taiwan announcing the Launching of a new INLW Chapter. This Asia-Pacific Chapter is to be established in the new Taichung development of International NGO Centre.
INLW President Margaret de Vos van Steenwijk and LI President Juli Minoves were invited to perform the launching of INLW Asia Pacific Chapter.
Taichung is the second biggest city of Taiwan and under the ambitious leadership of the DPP Mayor Chia-Lung Lin it is developing its international relations network.
At the seminar on “He for She: Stand together”Juli Minoves, Margaret de Vos, Jing-Yin Lin, MP and Maysing Yang, VP INLW, who is the initiator of the INLW Asian Pacific Chapter spoke on “How standing together and empowering women can help to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals”.
Margaret emphasized the importance of setting up the INLW Asia & Pacific Chapter. Men and women must work aside and together on getting women to participate fully in society. This will help to achieve the SD’s.
Later a visit was made to the INGO Taining and Conference Centre which is on the outskirts of Taichung, in Wufeng, which is being redeveloped after being abandoned after suffering an extreme earthquake. There are various INGO’s there, which we visited. INLW Asian Pacific Chapter would be welcome to establish it’s office there.
As always Juli and Margaret were received with great hospitality.
We hope to hear soon of the plans of this very important INLW Chapter which Maysing Yang is developing.
As INLW President, Margaret de Vos van Steenwijk was invited to participate at the Conference held in the Shangri-La’s Far Eastern Plaza Hotel Taipei.
The Official opening was conducted on Friday morning by Taiwan’s President Ms. Tsai Ing-wen who is Taiwan’s First Female President. She said that since martial law was lifted in Taiwan 30 years ago women’s rights and women’s political participation have been fought for by a substantial portion of the Taiwanese people. “Taiwan’s journey toward women’s empowerment has shown that promoting gender equality reinforces democratic and progressive values”. She described the former Vice President of Taiwan, Ms. Annette Lu, as being “an indispensable driving force in Taiwan’s democratization, which she paid for by 6 years imprisonment before martial law was ended”.
Margaret was invited to say some words of welcome. She stressed that INLW wants to empower women around the world by linking experiences and working together. INLW is stimulating the creation of INLW Chapters in Asia, whereby CALD Women’s Caucus can play the coordinating role. Such Chapters can play separate roles, like being a Liberal Women’s Think Tank or being a network to meet other women with experience as politicians or business women with the aim of empowering women and men for the good of all. Her speech can be read here.
Annette Lu who was Taiwan’s first female Vice President from 2000 till 2008 is an INLW Patron and was the keynote speaker. She spoke of the “Perspective on She-Century and the beginning of She-Politics, She-Economy and She-Society”. In this 21st Century it is time for the feminization of power, she said and went on to explain that the most powerful leader in Europe and in fact now in the Free World is Angela Merkel! That’s the beginning of She-politics. But also, the beginning of She-economics as 85% of consumer choices are made by women! And soon 870 million women around the world will enter the job market. This will create work, start more businesses and the gender gap earnings will narrow down therefore. Women earning more will become good consumers and products will be designed and marketed more and more specifically for women or suiting women’s taste.
She felt that the fact that in Taiwan the two major parties have Chairwomen is a milestone for the feminist movement she launched 40 years ago in Taiwan. She continued to address the role of women as peacemakers and their so-called Soft Power approach.