Staff writer, with CNA
Readers of the Financial Times have selected President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) as one of the most influential women of this year, alongside others such as US vice president-elect Kamala Harris and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
The newspaper this week published its annual profile series on influential women, which included features on Wuhan lockdown diarist Fang Fang (方方), European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Black Lives Matter cofounder Patrisse Cullors.
In addition to its own selection, the paper also asked readers to nominate their own choices for women who had made a difference.
On Friday it released its selection of the top 12 figures nominated by readers.
The 12 women were introduced with a quote from a reader.
In the section on Tsai, an unnamed reader wrote that the president had generated enthusiasm in the elections in January, “made an excellent decision to ban arrivals from mainland China early [in the pandemic] and made Taiwan one of the world’s strongest economies this year.”
Politically, Tsai had resisted “pressures from Beijing, while not offending China, thereby avoiding further escalation in tensions,” the reader wrote. “She also supported same-sex marriage in Taiwan, which is now legal.”
Readers also selected Ozlem Tureci, chief medical officer at German vaccine developer BioNTech, Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The list also recognized late US Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, pop star Taylor Swift and all working mothers, who they said are balancing multiple roles amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
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