Gender News in Taiwan
Taipei to commence gender audit with city government

Lee I-chia / Staff reporter

The Taipei Department of Labor yesterday said it has established a set of gender equality indicators for the workplace and would start by using the standards to audit the city government to set an example for the city.

World leaders in 2015 adopted the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals, with gender equality being the fifth goal, which aims to end all forms of discrimination against women and girls everywhere, the department said.

To achieve that goal, the department has set seven indicators for gender equality in the workplace: a mechanism for advancing gender equality; gender equality in organizational decisionmaking; gender equality in salary and benefits; gender equality in education and training; balance between work and family; child-raising-friendly measures; and gender-friendly and safety measures in the workplace.

Each indicator includes several standards for organizations to refer to, such as a gender pay ratio for employees and managers, sexual harassment prevention education and training, and a gender ratio for parental leave.

The nation’s Gender Equality in Employment Act, which was enacted in 2002, was considered a progressive law in international society, but gender discrimination is hard to eliminate by simply enacting a law, Department Commissioner Lai Hsiang-lin said.

Taiwan is facing the twin challenges of an aging society and a low birth rate, which also affect the working population, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je said.

If the nation wants to continue to be a growing economy, it should find ways to keep women in the workforce, as many have been forced to leave their jobs to take care of their children or elderly family members, he added.

The gender equality indicators can help build more gender-friendly workplaces that allow women to stay in their jobs, he said.

Taipei joined the Cities for CEDAW — the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women — campaign in 2016, so the city government should take the lead in using the indicators to examine itself and set an example, he said.

[Taipei Times, 2018-12-18]

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