March 28: Gender and LGBTQ Equality in Taiwan
On March 28th at noon, GTI will hold its first Civil Society and Democracy series event of the year titled, “Gender and LGBTQ Equality in Taiwan.” This year’s Civil Society and Democracy Series’ theme is ‘Taiwan’s global impact’, in which each panel for the year will examine an issue relevant to Taiwan that is also global in nature. In terms of gender equality, Taiwan made international headlines when Tsai Ing-wen was elected president in 2016, the first woman to hold that office in Taiwan. President Tsai is also unique in that among the few women who are heads of state in Asia, she is not part of a political family dynasty. Taiwan also came into the international spotlight for LGTBQ rights in 2017 when Taiwan’s Constitutional Court paved the way for the legalization of same-sex marriage, poising Taiwan to be the first in Asia to achieve marriage equality. However, despite the impressive achievements Taiwan has made in terms of gender and LGBTQ equality, there are many aspects of society and politics in which women and sexual minorities still suffer from discrimination and exclusion. GTI is happy to welcome Dr. Shu-Ling Hwang, Chairperson of the Taipei Women’s Rescue Foundation, and Dr. Chloe Schwenke, professor at University of Maryland and formerly of the International Center for Research on Women, to discuss Taiwan’s achievements thus far on gender and LGBTQ rights, and areas for future improvement, and how it impacts the global fight for equality.
Doors will open at 11:30 am. A light lunch will be served, and the event will begin at 12:00. Kindly RSVP by March 26. Please, direct questions or concerns to Program Associate Marzia Borsoi-Kelly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
**Media: Please contact Marzia Borsoi-Kelly at email@example.com if you would like to bring additional crew members or equipment, so that we can be sure to accommodate you.
Dr. Shu-Ling Hwang is professor in sociology and gender studies at the National Defense Medical Center. She has a master’s degree in social work and a Ph.D. in social welfare from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Hwang is a feminist activist, former director of the Taiwanese Feminist Scholars Association, and has advised Taiwan’s government to develop strategies for gender mainstreaming while sitting on the Executive Yuan’s Commission of Women’s Rights Promotion (2005-2009) and on many ministerial gender equality committees. She was also a member of the Anti-human Trafficking Coordination/Supervisory Council, Executive Yuan. She is presently the chairperson of the Taipei Women’s Rescue Foundation and a representative of civil society organizations on the Supervisory Board of Taiwan Foundation for Democracy. She also serves as a member of the Presidential Office’s Gender Equality Committee and the Taipei City Commission on the Promotion of Women’s Rights. Her past research examined sexuality, prostitution, masculinities, family violence, and aboriginal women in Taiwan. She edited two Mandarin-language books: Gender Relationships (2012) and Gender Dimensions in Taiwanese Society (2012). Her recent empirical research focuses on comparative state feminism and gender mainstreaming in Taiwan and Sweden. During 2012 and 2016 she was team coordinator of two integrated research projects comparing gender mainstreaming in various countries. The results of these projects were published in her new edited book, Gender Mainstreaming: Taiwan’s Experiences and International Comparison (2017) also in Mandarin.
Dr. Chloe Schwenke is a researcher, an international development practitioner, human rights activist, educator, strategic thinker, and policy expert with extensive experience in government, non-profit, and for-profit organizations. She recently completed a year-long contract as Director of the Global Program on Violence, Rights and Inclusion at the International Center for Research on Women, and she is an adjunct professor at the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland. Her prior employment includes service as vice president at Freedom House, a senior political appointment at USAID under the Obama administration, managing director at a South African country office of a multinational (Siyakhana, a joint venture of the Louis Berger Corporation and a South African organization), and co-founder and managing director of a US-registered development firm with offices in four African countries. Dr. Schwenke also serves on the board of the International Development Ethics Association and the advisory board of World Learning, and previously was on the board of the Society for International Development Washington DC chapter. Dr. Schwenke is currently awaiting publication of completed chapters for the following upcoming publications: Gender, Health and Security – Critical Feminist Perspectives(Routledge); Handbook of Development Ethics (Routledge); Ethics, Agency, and Democracy in Global Development (Cambridge University Press); Routledge Research Companion to Transgender Studies; and her forthcoming memoir, Self-ish: a transgender awakening, to be published May 4th by Red Hen Press.
The Civil Society and Democracy series will continue throughout the year and focus on various topics relating to Taiwan’s democracy and human rights. The Taiwan Foundation for Democracy is a non-profit, non-partisan organization and is the first national democracy assistance foundation to be established in Asia, and is devoted to strengthening democracy and human rights in Taiwan and abroad.