On May 24, this year, Taiwan became the first Asian country to legalise same sex marriage. The woman behind this historic move is Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan’s first woman President who was sworn in last year. She is the chairman of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). Tsai Ing-wen has asked the Ministry of Justice to formulate a legal framework in order to maintain the decision in favour of same sex marriage.

Here are a few things to know about her:

The 59-year-old, a former law academic, came into notice when she conducted a research proving that Taiwan was not part of People’s Republic of China in a legal experts’ meet.

In the DPP administration, Tsai Ing-wen became the head of the Mainland Affairs Council which is a cabinet agency. She became the vice-president under former President Chen Shui-bian.

She changed the picture of DPP and removed all corruption allegations against the party in year 2008. In her book, she wrote, “In a mature democratic society, if there is no strong opposition party, then democratic politics will most likely regress.”

She is known as the Hakka woman and is the youngest child in her family. To a Taiwanese newspaper she once said that her parents used to be quite upset with her because she never used to be a top scorer in academics.

Coming from a business family, her father wanted her to pursue law which she eventually did, despite her interests in archaeology and history. She did law from National Taiwan University, Cornell University and the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Tsai Ing-wen is a publicity-shy person but a great negotiator and thinker. She admires former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

She has a different ideology with respect to the status of Taiwan. She wants to preserve the status-quo with China.

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