Date: 98' 1.6
In the past decades, women's movement flourished worldwide and aroused
public concern. Since the relationship between Taiwan and the whole world
becomes closer, this current has spread to Taiwan and has some positive
effects on the development of women's movement, too. However, in the political
arena, there are still much left to be improved and difficulties that need
to be resolved. In the following, we will discuss the difficulties, solutions
and do several experts make politics through the statements, articles and
Though Taiwan now can be considered to be a modernized society and more efforts have been made to protect everyone's rights, it cannot be denied that when a woman wants to get into the political arena, what lies before her is lots of difficulties. Chang mentions the present phenomena in Taiwan's society that "in different areas, or in different types of work, sexual discrimination dose exist."(6). For example, oftentimes, women are expected to be highly educated and behave well. Here is the description about this kind of discrimination in Chang's statement, and she says that " if a women wants to be involved in politics, she must have an excellent education and her behavior must be respected by the public, or people will think she is not capable" (6). Besides, in Li's opinion, from the unfair proportion of male and female in politics, we can find that "the society is still dominated by men" (6) and it is another example of sexual discrimination.
Another factor that restricts women's development in political area is the traditional thinking in our own culture. According to Chang, "in a Chinese society, people are very conservative. They think women should be concentrated on family matters" (6). Kuo's statement also mentions the same problem, "sometimes, a woman dose refuse to take a position for family reason, or because her husband doesn't want her to have a position that is higher than his"(24).
Moreover, it is sad that quota system set to increase the promotion of women has become a restriction for women on their way to politics. In fact, Kuo points out that it dose not bring it function into full play since it is "used as a maximum, rather than a minimum, number the seats for women" (23). To explain this unexpected change, Kuo says that since men hold the decisive power to nominate candidates within the parties, they usually do not nominate more than the minimum number of women (23).
After examing the external factors that restricts women's development in Taiwan political arena, let's come to the internal factor related to women themselves. That is women's indifferent and unenthusiastic attitude towards politics. Chang discovered that for women politics is difficult, dark, and belongs to only men's business (6).
Besides making an analysis of women's restrictions and difficulties in Taiwan's political arena, these experts on women find out some ways to help women out and can really make women put their dreams of politics into practice. In Chang's opinion, when getting involved in politics the first and very important step for women is support from their family (7). Since women are limited to Chinese traditional thinking, therefore, they value their relationship with family very much and take it as a very significant responsibility. As for the part which is concerned with what women could do for themselves, Chang points out that "to get involved in social welfare organization like the...They can get some experience and move from there into politics"(7). The other thing women can provide for themselves is "to organize women to form a voting group" (China Post 4). By this way women can be united, helping each other and have greater effect on the politics. When it comes to the political system, something needs to be changed soon. As what is discussed in Kuo's statement, "maybe the quota system was good in the beginning, but now we hope to end it" (23). Since the quota system can not bring the benefit for women in the political arena and becomes one of the difficulties that women have to face on their way to politics, now it is time to end this system. By contrast, Chang suggests to change the regulations to increase the percentage of political positions reserved for women (7). like many foreign parties have done for women.
From the discussions above, we realize that there are still many hardship and restrictions waiting for women to deal with in order to acquire a equal position in the field of politics. However, we are convinced that there is a bright future for women since we have seen some improvements in Taiwan. With the enormous improvement in the recognition of women's abilities nowadays, we can expect the change of traditional thinking. Besides, we can see the advancement of women's education. Li also states that the number of women in the middle and upper-middle levels is another improvement in Taiwan (3). Therefore, as long as we can insist on improving women's political status in Taiwan, removing the obstacles, the future for women in Taiwan's politics is worthy of being expected.
Spring (1994): 6-8.
"Crisis of Women's Participation in Taiwanese Politics."
China Post 2 Nov. 1994: 4.
Kuo, Shirley. "The Woman Movement in Taiwan." Collection of
Essays on Woman's Issues. Ed. Mary Johnson. Taipei: Kwang
Hua, 1993. 214-216---. "Women Shall Be More Active in
Politics." Free China Review. July (1994): 23- 24.
Li,Helen. "Taiwanese Women: A Contemporary Perspective." By
David Wang Youth Night . ICRT. Taipei. 30 Oct. 1994.