Tsai Ing-wen

Tsai Ing-wen

On the 16th of January this year history was made in Taiwan when the public elected Tsai Ing-wen their first female president. Tsai Ing-wen studied law in Taiwan before continuing her education in the U.S. and then London. Following her return to Taiwan she began teaching law at universities before she entered the political world.

Due to her legal knowledge and the fact that she was fluent in English she was named as the chairperson of the Mainland Affairs Council in 2000 which was responsible for developing policies between Taiwan and China. Following her introduction to politics she joined the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). In 2006 she was named as the vice premier of Taiwan while at the same time also serving as chairwoman of the Consumer Protection Committee which reviewed consumer laws and protections as well as consulting on consumer protection policies for Taiwan. She held the post of vice premier for one year following the elections.

Her next post caused some controversy as she was named chairwoman of a major biotechnology company (TaiMedBiologics). The controversy stemmed from accusations that she had given this company government contracts while being in office with the intention of working for them following her departure, she was cleared of these charges after a full investigation.

In 2008 she was elected as the chairperson of the DPP, a post she would hold for four years. During this time she was able to regain some support for the party, this did not translate into support for her as in 2012 she ran for President of Taiwan for the first time where she was defeated, she subsequently resigned her post as chairperson of the DPP. Her absence from politics did not last long as in 2014 she ran in the elections to be the chairperson of the party, she was successful. The crowning achievement of her second term was leading the party to victory in the local elections of 2014. In 2016 she once again ran in the presidential elections and this time she was successful, making history as the first woman to be elected President of Taiwan.

-Michelle O’Brien
Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

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