Last week Tsai Ing-wen was sworn in as the first female President of Taiwan. She is single and an alumni of London School of Economics [LSE] and Cornell University.*In an opinion piece by Wang Weixing that was published in the International Herald; a Xinhua run newspaper, the author suggested that:
[Tsai Ing-wen] as a single female politician, she does not have the emotional burden of love of family or children. So her political style and strategy tend to be emotional, personalized and extreme. Wang further suggested that when the Chinese leadership deals with President Tsai ‘we should bear in mind important factors such as her experience, personality and mind-set’ [emphasis added].*A spokesman for the Taiwanese President declined comment.
*Nevertheless, there was such outrage expressed by ordinary Chinese citizens on Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, that the authorities were forced to withdraw the offensive article.*Oddly, there is no female member serving on the elite seven members Standing Committee of the Politburo that actually governs China. There are only two female members on the 25 member Politburo. In the Central Committee, the number of female members has actually fallen from 7.6 per cent in 1969 to 4.9 per cent at present. Of the 31 provincial governors there is only one female governor.
* The Chinese authorities also disallowed celebrations to mark the 20th anniversary of the UN’s Fourth Conference on Women held earlier at Beijing in 1995.* The above attitude contrasts sharply with what President Xi Jinping told the UN last year that:
We must build-up women’s capacity of playing their part in society and the economy and involve women in the higher levels of decision making and support them in being leaders in political, business and academic fields.*Thus it would appear the male chauvinism is alive and well in China.