The Asia-Pacific Liberal Women Association (APLW), which was founded by Amb. Maysing Yang, held its second general members meeting on November 20. At the meeting, the ceremony was held to present the first “Asia-Pacific Student Leaders Award.” In addition, Robert Hsing-cheng Tsao, former chairman of United Microelectronics Corporation, was invited to deliver a special guest lecture, titled “Land of the free, home of the brave.” Several candidates in the upcoming local elections addressed the meeting, including Taipei mayoral candidate Chen Shih-chung, incumbent Taipei city councilors Chien Shu-pei and Chen Hsien-wei, and city council candidates Chan Chin-chien and Wu Hsin-tai.
The APLW is the Asia-Pacific regional chapter of the International Network of Liberal Women (INLW). Headquartered in Taipei, the APLW is thus one of the few organizations with United Nations consultative status in Taiwan. Its members come from various nationalities and genders, and its founding goals are promotion of gender equality and enhancing women’s political participation. In addition, it advocates the principles of HeForShe, encouraging men to join the movement for equality and speak out for women. The APLW actively engages in and supports the Non-Governmental Organization Committee on the Status of Women (NGO CSW), working together with members of the women’s movement from around the world to promote gender equality and the status of women globally.
To promote the formation of talented young people, the APLW this year for the first time awarded the “Asia-Pacific Student Leaders Award” to nine outstanding students from different universities across Taiwan. Many of the awardees had been active since high school in various student organizations and publications, working on issues such as students’ rights and transitional justice on campuses; others had joined movements for human rights, gender equality, and the environment while at university. Many had already achieved substantial progress towards their various causes. For example, National Taiwan Normal University’s Michelle Hsu, herself just 18 this year, traveled the country to promote the constitutional amendment to lower the voting age to 18. National Taiwan University’s Tu Chun-Ching used management of a consumer cooperative to promote reforms. Shih Hsin University’s Yeh Po-ting created a student campaign in support of Hong Kong’s Anti-Extradition Movement. Tunghai University’s Tjuku Revuci and Chung Yang University’s Lîm Khiūn Chhin effectively used the media to document the Indigenous and Hakka cultures of their respective hometowns in Pingtung and Hsinchu.
The depth of understanding of the principles of freedom and equality and the dedication to putting them into practice of all of these outstanding youth is very moving. To encourage such excellent young people to continue their work to advance the vision of the APLW, each awardee received a scholarship of between NT$30,000-50,000.Continue reading
CSW66 – APL / INLW
Parallel Event #2_12972
Gender Equality in Leadership and Economic Power
Parallel Event Description:
Join us as we celebrate path-breaking women in leadership and discuss the real challenges that remain for gender equality and economic power. While some places are seeing greater participation of women in leadership roles, significant barriers prevent more women from entering the same ranks. Many women experience “double workload” pre- and post-pandemic. What rules need to change to prevent this? How can the “standard career path” narrative be changed for greater fairness? What can organizations do to create better “family support” and provide opportunities for decision-making positions and economic power to more women?
The second session (CSW Event #12972) on March 18th, 9:00 pm EST, with the theme: “Gender Equality in Leadership and Economic Power”, was opened by Chairperson of the International Network of Liberal Women Jayanthi Balaguru, and moderated by this year’s event organizer Josephine Wu Vuylsteke.
In Chairperson Balaguru’s opening remarks, she reported on gender equality status in Asia and indicated that there is still a lot of work to be done to benefit the rights of women around the world.
The participants were President of East-West Center and Retired Army Major General Suzanne Puanani Vares-Lum, Chairperson of CALD Youth Democratic Party (DP) of Thailand Siripa Nan Intavichein, Director of Dept. of Women’s Affairs for Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) of Taiwan Chia Tien Hsu, and Shiuan Ru Wang, a member of the “Open Government National Action Plan Promotion Group” of Taiwan.
Suzanne Puanani Vares-Lum is the first female president of Hawaii’s East-West Center since its establishment 62 years ago. She mentioned that when she was young, she never imagined that she would one day hold a supervisory position that used to be held by men.
She also emphasized that for women to take care of work and family requires the cooperation of spouses and family members in domestic work. Therefore, “good men” are very important to promote gender equality. Chairperson Siripa Nan Intavichein shared that women in Thailand are currently engaged in politics, salary, employment, job opportunities, although even during the coronavirus epidemic, there was a gender gap between men and men. Director Chia Tien Hsu shared the development and challenges of gender equality in Taiwan in recent years.
The proportion of women in politics and government units in Taiwan ranks among the best in Asian countries. She also suggested that President Tsai Ing-wen’s election as Taiwan’s first female president was an important milestone for the development of Taiwan’s gender equality.
Delegate Shiuan Ru Wang is only 20 years old. When she was 16 years old, while she was still a high school student, she advocated for the reduction of one-time use tableware through online platforms and successfully influenced government policy.
Taiwan began to ban plastic straws as a result of her actions. It is impressive that young women can play a key role in major government policies. At the same time, they are more optimistic about the future development of gender equality.Continue reading
CSW66 – APLW / INLW
NGO CSW66 Parallel Event
2022 March 17, 9:00PM EST (March 18, 9:00AM/Taiwan Time)
Government Policy for Substantial Carbon Reduction
Parallel Event Description:
What kind of planet will we leave for the next generation? As the impacts of climate change become visible around the world, the need for action by world governments is becoming more urgent than ever. The pandemic created an additional crisis for decision makers, but it also offers opportunity for sweeping change. What are governments’ role in balancing economic recovery with environmental policy? Besides economic barriers, what barriers exist for governments to enact substantial change in carbon reduction — and how can they be overcome by citizen groups? We hope to discuss tools and strategies that can be used for the challenges ahead.
The first session (CSW Event) held on March 17th, with the theme: “Government Policy for Substantial Carbon Reduction“, was opened by Chairperson of Asia Pacific Liberal Women Association Maysing Chen and moderated by Dr. Ketty Chen, Vice President of Taiwan Democracy Foundation.
In her opening remarks, Chairperson Maysing Chen expressed that we are very honored to have such distinguished policy-makers and environmental protection advocates as speakers for this event. We sincerely hope through this event that both women and men will be inspired to preserve the richness of our planet for future generations.
The participants were U.S. Representative Ed Case from Hawaii, Taiwan’s Ambassador-at-Large for Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability
Dr. Eugene You-hsin Chien, former member of Parliament for the Democratic Party in Thailand
Dr. Monthip Sriratana-Tabucanon, and Barbara Finamore, former lawyer for the American NGO, Natural Resources Defense Council, and currently a senior visiting scholar at the University Energy Research Institute.
Congressman Ed Case pays special attention to the issue of climate change in the Asia-Pacific region, noting there are more than 200 climate change related bills proposed at the federal level. He mentioned that when undeveloped or developing countries suffer from the disasters brought about by climate change, the most direct victims are often disadvantaged children and women.
Ambassador Eugene Chien has devoted himself to environmental protection and sustainable development projects in recent years. He has been deeply engaged in education from primary schools, secondary schools, universities and business circles, but he also expects the Taiwanese government to keep up with the United Nations’ timetable and goals for sustainable development.
Dr. Monthip Sriratana-Tabucanon, former member of the Thai Democratic Party, focuses on climate change issues and serves as a director of many international sustainable development organizations. Lawyer Barbara Finamore pointed out that the problem of air pollution in the Asia-Pacific region is the key. 40% of the world’s air pollution comes from the Asia-Pacific region, 60% is from other regions, and China is particularly serious. Barbara is a well-known lawyer, focusing on environmental protection law and clean energy for more than 40 years.
All participants advocate that governments must work together with representatives of civil society and big business corporations to create substantial policy for meaningful carbon reduction around the globe.Continue reading
Young city council candidates speak at APLW spring gathering
(Taipei, March 12, 2022) The Asia-Pacific Liberal Women Association (APLW) held its annual spring gathering in Taipei on March 12. The event was attended by 38 members.
Angel Wu, APLW secretary general, presented the calendar of activities for the coming year. Apart from an upcoming parallel meeting at NGO CSW66 this week, scheduled events include documentary screenings, a workshop on disinformation, and promotional events in the north, center, and south of Taiwan.
Participants gave their full support to three young APLW members who are running for seats in the Taipei City Council elections in November. All standing for the Democratic Progressive Party, the candidates are Chien Shu-pei, Chen Hsien-wei, and James Chan.
Addressing the gathering, the three candidates spoke about the impact of the war in Ukraine on the political situation in Taiwan, the shift toward liberal politics and values among the Taiwanese people, and the needs and aspirations of Taipei citizens.
In her opening remarks, APLW Chairperson Maysing Yang made a special point to welcome the male members of the APLW. She reminded everyone that, since its inception, the APLW has encouraged men to contribute to the work of the organization, according to the ideals of the global “HeForShe” campaign.
Currently, the APLW has a total of 60 members, eight of whom are men. Members have distinguished backgrounds in a range of fields, including business (22%), government (18%), politics (15%), academia (13%), NGOs (13%), health care (7%), media (5%), and others.
Spring gatherings are popular events in Taiwan to celebrate the beginning of the lunar new year. Companies, government agencies, and other organizations hold the banquets to thank their partners, employees, members, and customers.
The International Network of Liberal Women (INLW) opened its Asia-Pacific Chapter, the Asia-Pacific Liberal Women Association (APLWA), at the Howard Plaza Hotel in Taipei on the afternoon of October 24, 2020. The launch attracted an audience of nearly 200 people interested in human rights and women’s issues. Speakers at the inaugural board meeting included association president Maysing Yang and former Vice President Annette Lu, while incumbent Vice President Lai Ching-te addressed the celebratory evening gala. In addition, heavyweight friends from overseas such as Hans van Baalen, president of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party and Liberal International president of honor, former INLW president Margaret de Vos Van Steenwijk, and INLW North Africa Chapter founder Ms Khadija Oum Bachair El Morabit sent congratulatory video messages to join the celebration of the opening of the INLW Asia-Pacific Chapter.
The roots of the APLWA go back to July 2018, when Liberal International president Dr. Juli Minoves-Triquell and then INLW president Margaret de Vos Van Steenwijk visited Taiwan to sign a joint “Vision Statement on the Declaration to Establish an INLW Asia-Pacific Chapter” with then INLW vice-president Maysing Yang, which formerly launched preparations for the APLWA. After two years of work, a preparatory committee was formed in May of this year 2020), and started making relevant plans. As the INLW Asia-Pacific Chapter, in addition to fulfilling the headquarters’ mission and vision, APLWA will “elevateContinue reading
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 attend the launching of INLW Asia Pacific Chapter.
Taichung is the second biggest city of Taiwan and under 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 (vice-president) INLW and initiator of the INLW Asian Pacific Chapter spoke on How standing together and empowering women can help to achieve the Sustainable Development goals.
Margaret de Vos emphasized the importance of setting up the INLW Asia & Pacific Chapter. Men and Women must work on getting women to participate fully in society to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
Later a visit was made to the INGO Training and Conference Center which is in the outskirts of Taichung, an area Wufeng, which is being redeveloped. It was abandoned after suffering on September 21, 1999 a 7.3-magnitude earthquake.
They visited the 921 Earthquake museum there, which was very impressive! Thank goodness the earthquake happened at 1 in the night, so the children escaped being hurt or killed at school.
There are varied International NGO offices’there, which we visited. INLW Asian Pacific Chapter would be able to have an office there.
As always Juli Minoves and Margaret de Vos were received with great hospitality. We visited the famous Concert Hall Building in Taichung, an ancient village temple as well as the marshes on the west coast. We hope to hear soon of the plans of this very important INLW Chapter which Maysing Yang is developing and wish her much success in developing it further.
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.