President Tsai Ing-wen attended the Women's Economic Empowerment Summit, a workshop staged by Taiwan and the United States under the Global Cooperation and Training Framework on the morning of April 16. She stated that when more women are able to pursue their aspirations, our countries become more prosperous, and our region more stable. The president also said that the government will work tirelessly to create an environment where women can grow, succeed, and pursue their dreams.
A transcript of President Tsai's remarks follows:
Thank you. Good morning.
I want to first thank those who made today's event possible: Director [William] Brent Christensen, Deputy Minister Wang (王美花, Economic Affairs Deputy Minister Mei-Hua Wang), Deputy Foreign Minister [Kelly Wu-Chiao] Hsieh (謝武樵), and those who worked behind the scenes to bring together so many outstanding women leaders from home and abroad.
The energy of this crowd reminds me of my trip to the Marshall Islands last month. I was invited to attend the first-ever Pacific Women Leaders Coalition Conference, where we discussed how to work together to support women and help them unleash their unlimited potential.
In fact, in this ever-changing world, mutual support is exactly the spirit that we need to tackle global issues together. So over the past three years, my administration has been working to increase our engagement with other like-minded countries, including through the Global Cooperation and Training Framework, that is, GCTF.
And we made sure that women's empowerment would be one of the major focuses of GCTF, because we believe that when more women are able to pursue their aspirations, our countries become more prosperous, and our region more stable.
So today, I am pleased to see that we are joined by legislators from both Taiwan and the US; especially Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson who is here with us and Legislator Karen Yu (余宛如).
I am also delighted to see Jane Nishida, Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency. Welcome back to Taiwan. I remember during last year's Yushan Forum, you talked about Taiwan's environmental transformation since the time you lived here as a child. I trust that you have also seen our determination to promote gender equality in the region.
My platform as a female president means I have a duty to push for women's empowerment at home and abroad. And I will not stop until the term "female president" is a thing of the past.
So since I came to office, my government has been working tirelessly to create an environment where women can grow, succeed, and pursue their dreams, dreams that the previous generation could not have imagined.
Last month, Taiwan's Navy swore in its second female captain. We train outstanding female fighter pilots, and many women are excelling in sectors traditionally dominated by men.
In politics, women now account for nearly 40% of legislators and mayors in Taiwan. Our younger generation is also making waves. Last year, four Taiwanese women made the Forbes Magazine "30 Under 30 Asia" list. They are entrepreneurs, artists, scientists, and venture capitalists.
And our efforts have been recognized. In this year's "Women, Business and the Law" report by the World Bank, Taiwan scored 91.25, the best performance in Asia. Taiwan is also one of only six countries in the world that has eliminated all job restrictions for women.
But women are more than just numbers on paper. They are the lifeblood of our economy, the backbone of our society. That is why we want to encourage more women to start businesses, and to create a work environment where they feel seen and supported.
As a regional leader in women's empowerment, we are connecting women to the resources they need to turn their ideas into reality in Taiwan, and around the world.
And we are ready, willing, and able to work with like-minded friends like you all, to achieve true global gender equality. And channels like the GCTF are a great way to come together and compare what works, and what doesn't.
But our work won't end today, because women's empowerment requires constant dialogue and cooperation to create lasting progress.
Next month, AIT will be cohosting an event on women leadership, and I heard that they have a great lineup of speakers and activities planned. So I hope to see you all there as well, and I look forward to finding even more opportunities to collaborate on women's rights and gender equality.
And I want to end with a quote from a woman who never believed in limitations. Helen Keller once said: "Alone, we can do so little. Together, we can do so much."
There's no limit to what we can achieve when we come together like we have today. So let's get to work, and make the world a better place for women everywhere. Thank you.
Attendees included National Security Council Secretary-General David T. Lee (李大維), Deputy Foreign Minister Kelly Wu-Chiao Hsieh, Economic Affairs Deputy Minister Mei-Hua Wang, Legislator Karen Yu, AIT Taipei Office Director William Brent Christensen, US Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, and Jane Nishida, Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator for US Environmental Protection Agency's Office of International and Tribal Affairs.