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Taiwan Women Protest Postal Quota

October 28, 1999

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) _ Taiwanese women say they can deliver the mail just as well as men, and they’re demanding that the postal service hire more female workers.

Carrying signs that read, ``I’m a woman and I want to be a postal worker,″ dozens of women protested Thursday outside Taipei’s main post office.

The demonstrators complained that the postal service plans to hire 500 new workers and regulations say only 41 of those employees can be women.

Authorities say the mail is getting heavier, and they fear women may not be strong enough to carry the loads.

But Chen Mei-hua, of the feminist Women’s Awakening group, disagreed. ``This is discrimination against women executed under the excuse of protecting them,″ she said

Chen’s group proposed that a physical fitness test be added to the examination instead of imposing a quota on women employees, which the organization said violates the law.

According to a 1992 law, an employer can be fined Taiwan $930 for sexual discrimination, but feminists say violations are rampant because of the small fine.

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