The Summit for Democracy was an invaluable platform for sharing Taiwan’s democratic achievements, as well as discussing the major themes of defending against authoritarianism, addressing and fighting corruption, and advancing human rights. Maintaining the momentum of last December’s successful event demands an all hands on deck approach. This is why, with the concerted efforts of cross-sector partners, Taiwan has made 62 post-summit domestic and international commitments.
Based on this list, Taiwan will cooperate with like-minded partners to continue the work of strengthening democracy and optimizing human rights. One of the specific commitments is to disclose the gender ratio of decision-makers within ministries and councils under the Executive Yuan, state-run enterprises and government-sponsored foundations.
In 2007, our government signed the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. Article 7 of the convention seeks to “guarantee that different genders participate in the formulation and implementation of government policies, hold public office and perform public duties.”
The Gender Equality Committee of the Executive Yuan has made real headway on gender mainstreaming over the years. How should such a commitment be safeguarded and deepened going forward? The existence of the Significant Gender Statistics Database is crucial. This tool, created by the Gender Equality Council, identifies key items from the gender statistics established by various government agencies. Since 2015, more than 500 items from various agencies have been included, providing all sectors of society with the long-term trend of gender equality development.
Following the summit, it was decided to formally link the Significant Gender Statistics Database to the Government Open Data Platform. Making data structured and open for global use is an important foundation for promoting dialogue and participation on gender inclusion, and it also realizes another commitment we made at the summit: the implementation of our first National Action Plan for Open Government. Responsibility for planning the technical details of interfacing the database with the open platform falls to Executive Yuan’s Gender Equality Committee, National Development Council and, of course, my office.
Since the Significant Gender Statistics come from different agencies, the best and most cost-effective compilation strategy is importing the database directly into the open data platform in daily batches, with #GenderStat as the common keyword.
At the same time, each data set is marked with the contact interface of the agency to facilitate quick confirmation when the information is collated. These practices ensure the complete import of data and provide relevant agencies with more flexibility in subsequent data processing, such as adding multiple keywords to a single data set to make data search more accurate.
The Significant Gender Statistics Database represents the government’s viewpoints on gender policy. When this data is brought together with global open data for exploration, analysis and cross-comparison, the significance of gender factors in policies can be more clearly seen. It also allows for the spirit of evidence-based governance to be injected into public affairs and guarantee that gender impact assessment will no longer be abstract. This encapsulates Taiwan’s policy guideline, and is a cornerstone in the ongoing process of advancing digital democracy and human rights.