The Constitution which symbolizes a modern and democratic state was established in our country during the worldwide civil rights movement. In the last 50 years, the protection for women’s rights and the promotion of female status has been greatly improved, and we are proud of this achievement. Although the Constitution acknowledges the rights of women, in the past, women still took full responsibilities of family care and reproduction, while men controlled capital and production advantages. These inequalities have been advocated by women’s rights groups and gender related issues have been discussed by scholars which affect policy making. In 1997, the cross-departmental “Commissions on Women’s Rights Promotion, Executive Yuan” was established which included representatives of women’s groups and scholars.
After the first-ever transfer of the ruling party in 2000, a better mutual balance on gender was reached based on the election of the first female vice president. The ruling party has since been actively promoting the rights of women and implemented that at least one quarter of the cabinet directors are female. This is a big step in encouraging women to participate in politics.
Several steps have been taken to improve the educational resources for women: equal access to educational resources for both sexes; the diminishing of existing gender stereotypes in educational development; and long-term learning programs for women. These efforts have helped women in many ways and gained recognition from various communities.
In terms of social welfare, the “Five Community Care and Service Projects” aims at lightening the burdens of family care off women; the ”Family Assistance Regulation for Women in Disadvantaged Conditions” provides emergent caring services for single parents and victims of domestic violence; and the “Caring and Council Measures for Spouses from Foreign Countries and China” helps immigrant women adopt to the new life and surroundings.
As for the labor market and economy, the “Gender Equity in Employment Law” promotes the status of working women, integrates loans for women entrepreneurship, and assists women who want to start their own business.
When it comes to health care and medicine, the government provides routine check-ups for women to prevent cancers such as breast cancer and cervix cancer, breast-feeding rooms in public areas, and woman-friendly medical environments.
As for personal security, the government established a “113 Woman-Child Protection Hot Line,” and made stronger preventions on domestic violence, sexual abuse, and harassment in working places and school campuses.
With the collaboration and cooperation between the government and the local community, the women’s rights movement has flourished in the past few years. However, the government still needs to be intact with current social issues, especially those regarding women and amend policies for the benefit of women.