Do not let Politics conflict with Sisterhood and Solidarity!
The Sixth East Asian Women’s Forum is currently underway in Beijing, but we have
been forced to be absent. Here we want to express our strong protests!
Taiwanese women have actively attended every single East Asian Women’s Forum (EAWF)
since the first meeting in Japan. In 2000 more than 50 women’s organizations formed
an EAWF network in Taiwan, and hosted the Fourth EAWF in Taipei. We currently have
more than 90 women’s organizations in the network. After the Fifth EAWF, ECPAT Taiwan
was elected to be our contact person. Since then, ECPAT Taiwan has actively communicated
with the international and domestic EAWF network, in preparation for the 6th EAWF.
This May, we eagerly inquired all our contacts about this year’s EAWF. We did not
receive any information, much less an invitation from China. We did not know the
dates of the EAWF, or even who the organizers were, until the Hong Kong sister informed
us. ECPAT Taiwan actively pursued further information, but the organizer constantly
evaded questions and refused dialogue by claiming that they were still in the preliminary
drafting process and did not have any concrete plans yet. About one month later,
they told us that there were other Taiwanese women’s organizations registered already.
They claimed the Taiwanese quota had already been filled and denied our request
to participate. However, on July 11th they suddenly changed their mind and informed
us that we could participate. We were given the related information officially from
China only one week away from the Forum!!! Of course, we did not have enough time
to prepare reports and manage the travel logistics.
We did not know what the Chinese organizer is afraid of. However, it was very clear
that the Chinese organizer deliberately ignored our elected official contact person,
and assigned a “cooperative” organization to attend. This same problem also happened
in Hong Kong. Such political maneuvering not only disrespects Taiwanese women, but
also conflicts with the spirit and the tradition of the EAWF. We strongly condemn
Taiwanese women’s organizations have always been a part of the EAWF, we may be forced
to be absent for once, but we are sure we will come along and join you all again
at the Seventh East Asian Women’s Forum.
Best wishes to all of you.
Taiwan Contact Person
EAWF Committee Members
National Alliance of Taiwan Women’s Associations (NATWA)
Taiwan Women’s Link (TWL)
The Women’s Ministry Committee, The Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT)
Taiwan Women’s Association