TAIPEI, Taiwan - President Ma Ying-jeou yesterday expressed his wish to see more female military personnel promoted to higher-ranking positions in Taiwan's armed forces.
Speaking at the conferral ceremony of 28 generals in Taipei, President Ma said that as of this January, about 8.9 per cent of the total military personnel in Taiwan are women.
Some may still hold the stereotypical view that female soldiers only serve in administrative positions in the military, the president noted.
However, female military personnel are now serving in many different positions, including in combat units.
"Some of them have been serving in combat units, such as serving as platoon leader in a missile unit; company commander in the Marine Corps, captain of a naval vessel and pilot of an Air Force jet," the president said.
He attributed the servicewomen's stronger presence in the military to the R.O.C. Armed Forces' ongoing efforts to promote gender equality.
The president said he hopes more female military personnel will have the opportunity to be promoted to the position of general in the future.
There are currently no female generals in the R.O.C. Armed Forces.
The last female general was Ministry of National Defence General Political Warfare Bureau Section Chief Major General Lisa Chi (池玉蘭). A former military spokesperson, Chi filed for retirement this May.
Meanwhile, Ma yesterday urged the nation's armed forces to continue to beef up their self-defence capabilities, despite warming relations with China, saying that only a defence-ready military can serve as a deterrent to maintain national security.