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“Taiwan’s Girls’ Day” Press Conference: Taiwan’s Girls Demonstrate Their Vitality by Bravely Pursuing Their Dreams

The United Nations (UN) declared October 11th to be the International Girls’ Day in 2012. The UN appealed to the world to help girls attain more human rights and more opportunities, and to promote a greater awareness of gender inequality. In July of 2013, Taiwan also identified October 11th to be Taiwan’s Girls’ Day. It aimed to help Taiwan’s girls gain self-esteem, cultivate leadership capabilities, overcome the gender gap in education, and emphasis more on their physical and psychological health. The Government hoped that by instituting Taiwan’s Girls’ Day it would be able to promote the idea of greater gender equality in our society. The UN made the topic of the 2013 International Girls’ Day “Innovation in Girls’ Education” in order to stress the key role of education in the empowerment of young women.

The Ministry of Education (MOE) has been promoting gender equality in education in recent years. The level of women’s education in Taiwan is rising, and the total enrolment rate for schoolgirls is now higher than that for schoolboys. Besides, Taiwan now has more women in higher education than Japan and Korea. The number of women getting Master’s and Doctoral degrees is rising year by year, with an increase of 7% from the 90 to the 100 academic year. The MOE has made a General and Vocational High School Leadership Cultivation Plan for the New Century, and has established a College Schoolgirl Leadership Cultivation Camp to encourage schoolgirls to speak out boldly on their own behalf. Moreover, according to the “Statistics for the 101 Academic Year Higher Education Grants by Gender”, more schoolgirls are now applying for grants than schoolboys. The MOE will also keep paying close attention to the issue of disadvantaged schoolgirls’ right to an education.

The MOE has invited four female representatives, with an expertise in technology, art, physical education and entrepreneurial leadership, to share their life stories at the press conference. The purpose was to let these girls serve as positive role models for Taiwan’s girls, encouraging all to pursue their dreams. These girls’ success stories show just how much progress has been made with regard to gender equality, a fact which reinforces harmony in our schools and society.