Founding President Lu Hsiu-lien Annette
13th Magistrate of Taoyuan County (Dec 20, 1997- May 20, 2000)
10th Vice President of Taiwan (May 20,2000-May 20, 2004)
11th Vice President of Taiwan (May 20,2004-May 20, 2008)
Lu Hsiu-lien Annette, founder of BPW-Taiwan, was born on June 7, 1944 in Taoyuan, Taiwan. After graduating from the National Taiwan University College of Law, she received a master’s degree in comparative law from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1971 and a master of laws degree from Harvard University in 1978.
Later, she spent another 3 yeas at Harvard as a Research Fellow. In the 1970s, Lu started the Feminist Movement in Taiwan, her efforts included “Pioneer Publishing House” and a “Protect You Hot-Line Service.” In 1979, Lu delivered a 20 minute speech at the International Human Rights Day Rally in Kaohsiung City in which she criticized Taiwan’s authoritarian government.
This speech led to her arrest on the charge of sedition, for which she was sentenced to 12 years in prison along with other leading freedom fighters. In 1985, after spending almost six years in prison, Lu was granted medical parole for thyroid cancer. Upon her release, Lu did not stay quiet for long. Instead, she continued to campaign for women’s rights, democracy, and international recognition for her country.
In 1993, she founded the Taiwan International Alliance to promote Taiwan’s bid for membership in the United Nations and won a seat in the Legislative Yuan, where she served as co-chair of the legislature’s Foreign Relations Committee. While in office, she continued to promote women’s rights, organizing and hosting the Global Summit of Women in 1994 and the Feminist Summit for Global Peace in 1995.
In the following years, Lu’s presence on Taiwan’s political scene grew. In 1996, then-president Lee Teng-hui appointed her national policy advisor. In 1997, she became the first female magistrate of Taoyuan County, subsequently winning reelection. On March 18, 2000, she was elected Taiwan’s tenth vice president, thus becoming the first female vice president in Taiwan’s history.
She won reelection in 2004, and, during her eight years in office, made the promotion of gender equality and social justice her top priorities. Lu’s efforts received international recognition in 2001, when she became the first woman to receive the World Peace Corps Mission’s World Peace Prize. A few years later in 2005, for the purpose to promote her advocacy of “soft power,” she founded the Democratic Pacific Union, an international organization committed to enhancing cooperation among the democratic governments of the Pacific region.