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Framework for the Integration of Women in APEC
Gender Analysis
Image of Women in Chinese Taipei
Marriage and Family
Economic security and welfares
Personal Security
Participations in Society and Politics
Comparisons with Other Countries
Involvement of Women in APEC
Sex-Disaggregated Data

I: Overall

1.Marriage and Births

The average age of first marriage in Taiwan is 31 for men and 26.8 for women in 2002.

Sources:Annual Report of Statistics from Ministry of Interior

The average age of mothers having babies is 28.2 in 2001 while the ratio of those aged over 30 rose to 35.6% in a clear tendency of high-age pregnant women.

Influenced by late marriages, late births and core families, the birth rate in 2002 is 1.34%, i.e., each woman gave a birth to 1.34 children, 1.2 less than that in 1981.  This rate is close to that (1.33) in Japan, higher than (1.17) in South Korea, but lower than those in Germany (1.36), Singapore (1.37), France (1.9) and U.S.A. (2.06).

1. Overall Birth Rate refers to the average number of babies born to each pregnant woman (aged 15-49) in the producing period.
2. Save for the data of U.S.A. are of 1998; those of Germany are 1999, those of Japan are 2001, the rest are  2002.
Sources:Statistics from Ministry of Interior

Despite that the overall birth rates in most countries drop due to longer duration of education and higher labor participation rate and Taiwan is of no exception, the rate in Taiwan is lower than the population replacement level (2.1 people) since 1985 and the current 1.34 is the record low.  The population policy shall not only encourage births, but requires overall reviews.

The birth ratio by non-married mothers in Asian countries is comparatively lower than that in Europe and the States.  It was merely 1% in Japan in 1990 while around 3.6% in Taiwan in 2001, an increase of 1.5% from 2.1% in 1990.

The number of minor mothers in Taiwan ranked the first in Asia with 12.95 babies from each 1,000 teenagers aged between 15 and 19, far exceeding 4 in Japan, 2.8 in South Korea and 8 in Singapore.

Sources: Population Statistics in Taiwan and Fujian Areas, 2002

The number of abortions of each 100 living babies in Taiwan is 24.7 in 1997, lower than 28.3 in Japan and 30.6 in the States.  It is around 50% lower from 1991 and the reasons are worth further analysis.

Teenage girls in Taiwan are around 40% of between 200,000 and 300,000 women having abortions.

The number of married couples is 173,343 in 2002, 473 every day, or 3.04 every minute.  That of divorced couples is 61,396 in the whole year or 168 daily, one in every 8.6 minutes.  The divorce rate is 0.273% (2.73 in every 1,000 coupes), higher than 0.14% in 1991.  The divorce rate (8.4%) among 40-49 is the highest.

The number of single-parent household is 523,000 at 7.7%, 55% higher from a decade ago and is slightly higher than that in Japan.  Among which women as householders is 51.8% with serious problems of raising and economy on the children.

 Sources: Monthly of Budget Accounting and Statistics, July 2003, p. 38

2. Family Types and Family Work

The rate of single people living with parents is without great difference of both sexes at around over 80% in 1998.   The rate of married men living with parents is 32.9%, much higher than 2.1% of married women.  This clearly reveals the tendency of patrilineal families after marriages in Taiwan.

Moreover, core families are the main stream in Taiwan at around 60% while more than 90% of the homemaking is taken care of by women with only 6.9% by men. 

With the descending of wives’ employment and ages, the rate of house labor which men share increases.  Men spend an average of one hour daily on homemaking without differences in whether they are employed or not.  That of unemployed women is 3.4 hours and 2.2 hours for employed women.

Sources: 1. Investigation on Social Tendencies in Taiwan, 1998, Directorate General of Budget an Accounting, Executive Yuan
             2. Sources: Monthly of Budget Accounting and Statistics, July 2003, p. 34

In 2000, provided there are elders or sick persons requiring caring, the time of homemaking by women increases to 3 hours and 55 minutes daily while it rises to 4 hours and 24 minutes if they have to take care of children under 3.

Ways to raise children under 3 among married women aged between 15 and 64 in 2000 are 72.3% by themselves and 20.7% by parents or other relatives.  It shows that married women in Taiwan have to depend on themselves or the relatives in taking care of the children without enough support from the government.

Sources:Investigations on Marriages, Births and Employment of Women in 2000, Directorate General of Budget an Accounting, Executive Yuan

As high as 77.12% of children aged between 3 and 6 were taken care of in nurseries or kindergartens in 2001.  From the statistics by Ministry of Interior in the same year, private nurseries or kindergartens provided 67% of nursing services at the average monthly expense as high as NT$11,695.  Obviously, government lacks policies of medium-priced nursing services, which is also one reason causing the drop of birth rate.

Sources: Investigations on Living Conditions of Children in Taiwan and Fujian Aras

Since 1990’s, rate of children aged 0-3 into public nursing systems is highest in East Germany at 50%, followed by 48% in Denmark, 37% in Sweden, 37% in Iceland and 30% in Belgium.

The rate of children aged 3-6 into public nursing systems is highest in East Germany at 100%, followed by 99% in France, 95% in Belgium, 91% in Italy, 84% in Spain, 83% in Denmark, 78% in West Germany, 75% in Austria, 74% in Sweden, 71% in the Netherlands, 70% in Greece, 64% in Iceland, 61% in Norway and 60% in U.K.  It is normal for children of 3-6 to enter public nursing systems in advanced countries in Europe, except the capitalist U.S.A., which focuses on personal freedom.

3. Parent-Children Relationship

It was still women who make more efforts in parent-children relationship.  As for children less than 6, what bothered parents most is “not having enough time to take care of the children” at 28.5%, followed by “mentally and physically overload” at 21.3% and 14.6% of economic troubles. Main concern of fathers is lack of time while that of mothers is the overload.  However, time is the major pressure for working mothers at 35.6%.

Major issues for children aged 12-18 is with 33.5% that parents have no ideas on their friends; 25.6% that parents are not aware of children’s interests and specialties and 5.2% that parents do not know well about children’s health.  Generally, fathers know less about children than mothers do.  In sexual education, 37.6% of parents never discuss with children on sex issues; 11.2 % try to avoid as they can while only 16.5% bring up the topics by themselves with children.

Sources:Investigations on Social Development Tendencies in Taiwan, 1998 by Directorate General of Budget and Accounting, Executive Yuan

II: Aborigines

There are 296,000 aborigines aged above 15 in 2000 with 148,000 women of 49.9%, slightly higher than 49.3% of overall women in total population. Difference of numbers of men and women of aborigines is smaller than that of overall population.

Aborigines are mostly with spouses—50.5% by men and 58.7% by women.  The rate is lower that that of non-aborigines.  Among which, the largest difference is 57.4% of men with spouses, a 6.9% lower than overall population of men aged above 15.  The number of unmarried aborigine men is 17.4% higher than that of women, clearly higher than 7.9% of overall unmarried rate.  Under the poorer social and political statuses, it is more difficult for male aborigine to find spouses than female aborigine do.

Aborigines are mainly composed of core families at 51.0% in 2000, followed by single parent families of 20.3%.  Due to the high divorce rate, the 9.2% of single-parent families is 3.4% higher than 5.8% of overall single-parent families.

The ratio of female householders in aborigines is 42.5%, much higher than 33.4% of overall households.  The highest ratio is in single-parent households at 65.9%, followed by 57.8% of grandparents and unmarried grandchildren households and 47.3% of grandparents, parents and unmarried grandchildren households.

Sources:1. Household Census in Taiwan and Fujian Areas, Directorate of Budget and Accounting, Executive Yuan
             2. Study on Comparisons with Foreign Countries of Statistics on Sexes and Living Status of Women in Taiwan, p. 26

Sources:1. Household Census in Taiwan and Fujian Areas, 2001, Directorate of Budget and Accounting, Executive Yuan
            2. Study on Comparisons with Foreign Countries of Statistics on Sexes and Living Status of Women in Taiwan, p. 26

Ratio of female householders in aborigines is higher.  Save for higher divorce rate and rate of losing spouses, children are mostly under mothers’ custody, which has something to do with matriarchal ethnical culture.

Rate of aborigine women as breadwinners is 37.5% with the highest 60.0% in single-parent families, followed by 54.6% of grandparents and unmarried grandchildren and 46.5% of single households.

III: Spouses from foreign countries and China

The number of married couples is 173,343 in 2002 with 128,500 of local brides at 74.13% followed by 44,843 foreign brides at 25.87%.  Among theses 44,843 foreign brides, 27,626 (61.61%) were from China, 16,746 (37.34%) from S.E. Asia, 141 (0.31%) from Hong Kong and Macao and 330 (0.74%) from other areas. 

The percentage of brides from China and South East Asian countries is 98.95%.

Sources: Announcements from Ministry of Interior

Foreign brides married under 24 were at 72% in 2002 with 61.6% from China and 36% from Taiwan.  Foreign brides married under 24 was as high as 30%

The number of infants born in Taiwan is 247,530 in 2001 and 12.46% of the infants were from foreign and mainland Chinese spouses.

The educational attainment of foreign and mainland Chinese spouses is mostly under junior high school at 41% and 40.0% while their husbands tend to have lower social and economic status in Taiwan as well.  Issues of getting along between couples, adaptation to lives, employment and raising children should be highly concerned and the following problems such as trafficking marriages, insulting women, double exploitation of agents, identities and residence have to be solved.

IV: Homosexuals

Ministry of Justice was drafting “Basic Act of Human Rights Protection” in 2001to legalize homosexuals’ marriages and the following adoption of children.  However, it is still not arranged in the session in Legislative Yuan.

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