Newsletter - Jun 2002

Jenny Ma, to become first woman president of one of Taiwan's biggest national business associations

On 25 July 2002, former Taiwanese Senator Jenny Ma will be sworn in as the first woman president of the Council for Industrial and Commercial Development (CICD).

CICD is one of the largest four national business associations in Taiwan and has 1,000 active members. The gross income of the companies belonging to CICD members represents 45% of Taiwan's GDP.

"I feel very honored to represent this business organization, especially being the first woman to do so," beamed Jenny Ma.

Before her election as Senator to Taiwan's National Assembly in 1991, Ms. Ma is one of her country's leading entrepreneurs. In 1980, she was chosen as one of 10 outstanding women in Taiwan. The following year, she was selected as one of the 10 outstanding women entrepreneurs.

At the National Assembly, she was chosen as deputy secretary for the Kuo Min Tang (KMT) caucus. After her term ended in 1995 she chose not to run for re-election.

"I declined. I felt that serving the public should be passed on to the younger generation," said Jenny Ma who was only 54 that time.

Although out of public office, she is still politically active especially in pushing for women's active participation in politics. In 1997, she established the Chinese Women in Politics Institute, which sponsored the Fourth Asia Pacific Congress of Women in Politics on the same year.

Today, aside from her involvement in CICD, Jenny Ma is one of CAPWIP's most active Trustees.

CAPWIP's Board Secretary is now Palau's Vice President

Sandra Pierantozzi, Palau first woman senator and CAPWIP's Board Secretary, was elected Vice President of the island republic in the Western Pacific. She was elected in November 2000 and took her oath of office on January 2001. Concurrently she is also Palau's Minister for Health.

Pierantozzi started involving herself in her country's political affairs when she served as treasurer for the president's campaign and as the chief clerk in the senate in the 1980s. There she was able to discover what was happening in her country and traveled to other countries seeing how their political systems worked.

In 1990, she was appointed Minister for Administration. Gaining enough confidence in herself she ran for office in 1992 and lost.

"I lost because I was not serious enough about the campaign, started running too late and wasn't really well-known enough outside of Palau. But I was still proud of the narrow margin of the loss," said Pierantozzi.

In 1996 she ran again and this time she won. Pierantozzi "found that the women were very sincere in their support and had a lot of the women's votes."

"I am very proud that the older women in Palau see me as a role model for younger women to take part in politics, and I support moves to get more women into government."

Give way to onlinewomeninpolitics!

Now everyone can access data and information related to Asia Pacific women's involvement and participation in politics, decision-making and governance.

CAPWIP launched in November 2001 the Asia Pacific Online Network of Women in Governance, Politics and Decision-Making or simply known as onlinewomeninpolitics. The website, http://www.onlinewomeninpolitics.org, was presented during the Asia-Pacific Congress and Training of Women and Men in Media, and Women in Politics, Governance, and Decision-making on Transformative Leadership, which was held in Makati City, Philippines.

The website was the brainchild of the Asian women leaders who were gathered during the March 2000 Women Parliamentarians Conference where they agreed on utilizing available Information and Communications Technology (ICT) tools to stay linked together for the furtherance of their gender-related work and goals.

"The Internet offers excellent opportunities to link women leaders from all over the world without worrying about the cost, time and geographical barrier," stressed CAPWIP's head Sylvia Muñoz-Ordoñez. She added that onlinewomeninpolitics would fill in the communications needs of Asian women leaders.

"It is not only a website. It is an online community. Asian women can post their own events, participates in the message boards and vote in the online polls," beamed Ms. Ordoñez.

Other features of onlinewomeninpolitics are the country reports on women's situation in politics, profiles of Asian and Pacific women leaders and directory of women's organizations with programs and projects related to women's participation in politics. Ms. Ordoñez added that visitors of onlinewomeninpolitics would soon be able to access chat rooms and try the online distance learning module.

Dr. Jung Sook Kim, Vice President for East Asia of CAPWIP, was given the privilege to be the first person to log on to the website while Remedios Rikken, Chief Executive Officer of Women in Politics Institute-Philippines, gave the audience a digital tour of the website.

Also present during the launch were CAPWIP's President Khunying Supatra Masdit, Lorraine Corner of UNIFEM East & Southeast Asia and representatives from the Philippine office of the Asia Pacific Gender Equality Network, which funded onlinewomeninpolitics.

 


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Updated: 24Jun2002