Women's Day on March 8 has just passed. The Labor Affairs Bureau of Taichung City Government published a report highlighting the women's employment situation in Taichung City in the past 10 years. The report revealed that the number of female workers has grown nearly 30 percent from 433,000 in 2002 to 559,000 in 2012 and the female labor force participation rate also rose to 51.3%, which ranked 4th among all the cities and counties in Taiwan and only 1% less than that of the highest ranked Hsinchu City. It is obvious that women in Taichung City have gained much economic autonomy.
The working environment in Taichung City has become even friendlier to women since the Act of Gender Equality in Employment was promulgated and the gender-friendly concepts and measures were accepted by more and more enterprises and institutions. According to the Labor Affairs Bureau of Taichung City Government, female workers in Taichung City have filed to the Bureau of Labor Insurance nearly 30,000 applications for parental leave allowance payment. Ranked 3rd among all the cities and counties in Taiwan, the number of applications from Taichung City is only 400 less than that of 2nd ranked New Taipei City. Moreover, in 2012, the Labor Affairs Bureau helped 71.85% of the enterprises and institutions with more than 250 employees to set up child-care facilities and 46.07% of the enterprises and institutions with more than 30 employees to set up the Measures of Prevention, Complaint and Punishment of Sexual Harassment, in accordance with Article 23 of the Act of Gender Equality in Employment. Unfortunately, we at the Labor Affairs Bureau still received 37violation cases to the Act of Gender Equality in Employment, among which 10 were convicted after investigation.
Moreover, female workers in Taichung City are more enthusiastic than male workers in the pursuit of knowledge to enhance competitiveness in the workplace. There were 3,276 participants in the labor universities in Taichung City in 2012, among whom 2,159 were women students, accounting for 66%.
Labor Affairs Bureau said that the concept of gender equality has been widespread and related laws and regulations have also been promulgated. The Labor Affairs Bureau vows to offer counseling and help the enterprises and institutions to construct a friendly and gender affirmative working environment in the workplace. It is always a vision of the Labor Affairs Bureau to help people pursue a happy work and a rich life. It is hoped that all our employees, employers and the Government can work together to construct Taichung City into a place suitable for work, for life, for bread and for love.