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Military might increase quota for female volunteers: minister

ROC Central News Agency

2012/12/19 21:59:07

Taipei, Dec. 19 (CNA) National Defense Minister Kao Hua-chu said Wednesday that the ministry might relax the mechanism for recruiting female volunteers in the military in an effort to eradicate gender inequality.

Currently there are about 15,000 female military personnel serving in the military, accounting for 7.7 percent of the country's total armed forces, Kao said during a legislative session.

However, Kao noted that the current mechanism, which allows for a maximum 8 percent of female volunteer military personnel, is unreasonable.

The numbers of female personnel have gradually increased since the military began allowing women to enlist in 1991, Kao went on. However, he pointed out that it would take time to fully develop gender equality.

Ruling Kuomintang Legislator Lin Yu-fang said the ratio of females to males serving in Taiwan is low compared with the 15 percent in the United States, France, Australia and 10 percent in the United Kingdom.

Kao said the agency will begin to adjust female personnel quotas once military bases have improved the facilities for women.

Opposition Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tsai Huang-liang, meanwhile, suggested that the agency should raise the ratio to 10 percent or 15 percent.

(By Chen Pei-huang and Hanna Liu)

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