Taiwan Is Probably Getting a Female President

Taiwan candidatesBoth of Taiwan’s major political parties have nominated women presidential candidates, so unless something strange happens, Taiwan should elect its first female president on January 16th.The Nationalist Party has nominated 67-year-old former teacher Hung Hsiu-chu. She will face 58-year-old lawyer Tsai Ing-wen of the Democratic Progressive Party. Tsai was also nominated four years ago, making her the first Taiwanese woman to be nominated for president, but she lost by six percentage points to the current president, Ma Ying-jeou.This election is notable for more than the gender of its candidates: both Hung and Tsai are self-made politicians and built their careers from the ground up. As the Financial Times points out, their career trajectories are unusual in Asian nations, where women heads of state have historically gotten their power through family connections.So there is a place where anyone, regardless of gender or socioeconomic background, can become president—it’s just not America (at least, not yet). And until America gets there, it looks like we could learn a thing or two from Taiwan.