In progressive Taiwan, sexist slurs mar presidential election

World News


In progressive Taiwan, sexist slurs mar presidential election


Taiwan has forged a reputation as Asia’s most progressive democracy, and it boasts a higher proportion of women in parliament than anywhere else in the region — yet misogynistic insults have littered its presidential race.

The campaign for the Jan. 11 polls has exposed an undercurrent where female politicians face a gauntlet of personal abuse and jibes that their male counterparts rarely suffer.

The island’s most prominent female politician is President Tsai Ing-wen, 63, who is seeking a second term.

She has once again faced insults based on her sex, much of it focused on the fact she is not married and does not have children.

Wu Den-yih, chairman of the opposition Kuomintang, earlier this month used a Taiwanese slang term to dub Tsai “an unlucky woman” who had brought misfortune to her people.

And her presidential opponent Han Kuo-yu, 62, invoked two characters from an ancient Chinese erotic novel to describe Tsai’s rivalry with her running mate.

Click here to read the full article published by France 24 on 27 December 2019.

Focus areas: