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Girl Ambassadors Met Mayor of Taoyuan and Local Girls 2017/10/25
A Press Conference in Taoyuan on 11th October.

11th October is Taiwan Girls’ Day and is also International Day of the Girl Child. Three Asian Girl Ambassadors from Taiwan, the Philippines, and India met Mayor of Taoyuan Cheng Wen-tsan and local girls. Mr. Cheng promised to improve the security in the city, and build more public toilets for females according to the gender proportion. Moreover, he claimed to establish a Center of Girls in Taoyuan in order to offer teenage girls accessible spaces for exhibition, performance, studying and any other events. CEO of the Garden of Hope Foundation (GOH) Hui-Jung Chi indicated that these three Asian girls experienced sexual assault, car accident, and burns. She indicated that these experiences could inspire other girls to be brave as the Asian Girl Ambassadors, and to fight against the structure of violence.

 

Yu-qin Lu, a student from St.Francis Xavier High School, represented Taiwanese girls to express local girls’ opinions to Mr. Cheng. She revealed that stalking and harassment are still bothering girls’ daily life, and listed some general problems that girls face in Taoyuan for the mayor’s reference:

 

1.Not enough public toilet for females. Females need more toilets and therefore they do not need to wait for a long time to access it.

2.Verbal or physical sexual harassments are still daily problems for girls, and stalking happens frequently. The stalkers could be strangers, bus driver, classmates, or even friends. That makes girls feel insecure and fear. It seems that they need to be “lucky” to be safe.

3.Females need more respect regardless of their body types, behaviors, and careers. They should have the freedom to choose their lives without being restricted by the society.

 

Therefore, Ms. Lu gave some advices regarding to the issues:

 

1.Establish security facilities: more lights on streets and emergency public telephone on the streets in rural areas. Alarms should be set up in public transportations.

2.More implementation in gender equality education: The education should focus on not only self-protection but learn how to respect others.

3.Increase girls’ self-confidence: Educate girls to say no to any harassment, and to be able to express themselves regardless of their looks or careers. Their decisions for career development should be respected and encouraged.

 

Yu-qin Lu hoped Taoyuan would take gender equality as a part of city development, and be a friendly city for girls who live without fears.

 

In the end of the meeting, Asian Girl Ambassadors gave gifts from their countries to the Mayor. The Indian girl Monisha gave 20 handmade greeting cards that was made by burned survivors; the Filipino girl Flory gave a stone carving which symbolized the diligence and hardworking of Filipino farmers. Taiwanese girl Victoria Hwang gave the mayor a set of coffee cups. The mayor returned them stationaries and thermos bottles.

 

Taiwan inaugurated Taiwan Girls’ Day on 11th October since 2013, which was in line with the International Day of the Girl Child adopted by the U.N. This is a move expected to empower girls’ mental and physical developments, and to promote girl’s rights in education and human resource investment, security protection, media, and traditional culture.

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