The latest issue of Mirror Media reported that Atomic Energy Council Minister Hsieh Shou-shing, who is also an associate professor, took his female secretary to a coffee shop to teach classes via video. The report also quoted colleagues as saying Hsieh has a preference for young, tall, and long-haired women as his secretary and is suspected of sexual harassment.
Premier Su Tseng-chang went to the legislature to give a budget report. TPP Legislator Chiu Chen-yuan instead asked him about a media report saying Atomic Energy Council Minister Hsieh Shou-shing has four secretaries and sets gender and height requirements when hiring secretaries. Female subordinates have also accused him of harassing them physically and verbally. Su said Hsieh is on leave and vowed to uphold gender equity.
Su Tseng-chang, Premier: “The relevant responsibilities of government functionaries or employees are extremely clear. We will follow regulations in handling it. ”
Chiu Chen-yuan, Legislator (TPP): “Including ensuring gender equity and friendly workplace cultures? You need to help us defend those, okay? ”
Su Tseng-chang, Premier: “Of course.”
DPP legislators Fan Yun and Lai Pin-yu issued a joint declaration urging the Executive Yuan to take the initiative and investigate the accusations of sexual harassment and workplace bullying against Hsieh to protect the rights of victims. They also said they think the government should use higher standards to determine if workplaces are gender-friendly. Women's groups say the perpetrator is the AEC's top official, and therefore higher authorities should be the ones investigating.
Chen Hsiu-feng, Chair, Nat'l Alliance of Taiwan Women's Associations: “The Gender Equity Education Act clearly stipulates that it's better for higher authorities to investigate in a situation like this one because you can't expect an implicated person to investigate his or her own behavior.”
“Your call is being forwarded to voice mail.”Reporters got no response when calling Hsieh's number. The AEC released a statement on Hsieh's behalf in which he clarified five points, including that he didn't constantly change secretaries and that he went to a coffee shop to give lessons via video because he wouldn't use his workplace.
He also said that if his behavior towards his colleagues is inappropriate, then he will make improvements. He also thanked the media for their supervision.