Taiwan should attract more women politicians thanks to the quota system


TAIPEI–Taiwan is likely to win more female assembly members in the November 26 unified local elections thanks to a quota system that allocates reserved seats for women in proportion to the number of seats in each electoral district.

For a constituency of four to seven seats in the assembly, one seat must be allocated to a woman. In districts with eight to 11 assembly seats, two must be filled by female members.

Political parties are looking for candidates likely to win these reserved seats for women.

In previous unified local elections in 2018, an average of 30.83% of candidates supported by all political parties were women. In these elections, 33.66% of all elected members of the assembly were women.

This means that female candidates won seats that were not reserved for women.

In local elections on Nov. 26, 36.94 percent of candidates for the ruling Democratic Progressive Party are women, while the rate of female candidates for the opposition Chinese Nationalist Party is around 35 percent.

This shows that the quota system has taken root among political parties in Taiwan.

Huang Chang-ling, a political science professor at National Taiwan University who has studied the political systems of various countries, says more needs to be done to increase women’s representation in politics.

“To encourage women to enter politics, social structures must change, such as expectations that women take on roles such as household chores,” Huang said.

The professor also says that it is necessary to eliminate the barriers that prevent women from participating in society.

Nine of the 21 candidates vying for the nine New Taipei City Assembly seats are women, including 32-year-old DPP candidate Shan-tian Mo-yi.

“My name is Chan-tianshe said during the November 11 election campaign in the northern Taiwan city. “I am a candidate for the municipal assembly for the first time.”

Born to a Japanese father, who died when she was a child, and a Taiwanese mother, Chan-tianThe name can be pronounced “Mai Yamada” in Japanese, which surprised some voters.

His surname is pronounced “Chan-tian” in Chinese.

After graduating from college, she worked as a staff member of the Legislative Yuan, Taiwan’s legislature, and as secretary to its president.

She decided to run in the local elections last fall.

“I want to make sure that the voice of young people is heard in politics,” she says.

Chan-tianwho is fluent in Japanese and English, also wants to use his connection to Japan.

Before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Chan-tian visits Toyama Prefecture, his father’s hometown, every year.

“I would like to create policies in cooperation with Japanese women politicians”, Chan-tian said.

According to the Japanese government, at the end of the 2021 fiscal year, an average of 11.78% of prefectural assembly members in Japan were women.

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