On the evening of March 8, President Tsai Ing-wen attended the Women's Power Night reception, marking the opening of Taiwan Gender Equality Week 2022. In remarks at the event, President Tsai said that Taiwan stands at the forefront of efforts to promote gender equality and women's empowerment, and stated that Taiwan will continue to pursue broad engagement with like-minded nations and international organizations toward these goals. The president also expressed hope that the achievements and voices of those women at the event will continue to inspire more women and girls to participate in public affairs and work toward a more sustainable and equitable society.
A transcript of President Tsai's remarks follows:
Before I begin, I want to send my condolences to the people of Australia who have lost loved ones in the recent floods. I hope those affected can resume normal lives as soon as possible, and I want you to know that Taiwan stands ready to help.
It is my pleasure to be here today, in the company of so many amazing women. I would like to thank the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for hosting this event to mark International Women's Day. I also want to thank the Foundation of Women's Rights Promotion and Development for working with the Ministry to host this year's Taiwan Gender Equality Week.
The events to come this week will focus on women and climate action, echoing the theme of the 66th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. These events give us a chance to share Taiwan's progress in promoting gender equality and climate justice. They are also to recognize the incredible accomplishments and contributions of women in Taiwan and around the globe. Let me take this opportunity to thank the women here tonight and across Taiwan for all that you do, in ways big and small, to improve this country and the world that we live in.
As I have said before, as president, I have a duty to promote women's empowerment both at home and abroad. I very much look forward to the day when phrases like "female president" and "woman president" are things of the past. I am proud to say that Taiwan always stands at the forefront, spearheading efforts to promote gender equality and women's empowerment. In this area, we have made great strides. According to the latest report released by the Executive Yuan, Taiwan ranks sixth of 163 countries around the world in overall gender equality, and first in Asia. And women account for more than 42 percent of our nation's legislators, well above the world's average.
Here at home, progressive policy has been key to our efforts to promote gender equality. Among other measures, the Gender Equality Policy Guidelines issued in 2011 have helped drive progress across a wide range of sectors. In addition, we will soon finish a major comprehensive review of our laws and policies to bring them further in line with international standards on human rights and gender equality.
Taiwan also continues to pursue broad engagement with like-minded nations and international organizations to promote women's empowerment. We have joined Indo-Pacific partners in innovative regional initiatives for women's economic empowerment. And our civil society organizations maintain a robust presence at the NGO Forum of the UN Commission on the Status of Women. Thanks to their efforts, we have been able to share our experiences with the world, particularly in achieving Sustainable Development Goals for gender equality and women's empowerment, and also to forge stronger links with global partners.
Such concerted efforts are critical for tackling global issues such as the climate challenge. As we saw in the short film just earlier, 80 percent of those displaced by climate change are women, who bear a disproportionate share of its effects. This is an issue that Taiwan is working to tackle through forward-looking climate change policy. In fact, our discussions on how to update our laws to combat climate change have highlighted gender equality and the rights of disadvantaged groups.
With our creativity and resilience, women can be powerful agents of change. Only with the participation of women can we hope to develop the solutions needed to address climate change, realize climate justice, and ensure sustainable development. I am sure that with civil society and government working together, we will make further advancement toward our goal.
I want to thank you all for taking part in Women's Power Night and in Taiwan Gender Equality Week. Your achievements and voices continue to inspire more women and girls to participate in public affairs and work toward a more sustainable and equitable society. Thank you, and happy International Women's Day!
After delivering her remarks, President Tsai took part in a ceremony with those in attendance to mark the launch of Taiwan Gender Equality Week 2022, and joined Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) and members of the foreign diplomatic corps in touring an exhibition on global progress toward climate justice, including relevant international trends and actions taken by Taiwan.