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A History of Taiwan Women's Movement

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An Introduction

@@Early in the 50's and 60's, there were already several women organizations such as YWCA and Women's Association in Taiwan. However, the major purpose of these organizations were to assist the elderly and the disabilities, and, most of all, to function as a communicative channel for their members. Members of these organizations were women of rich financial backgrounds. In other words, the early women's organizations in Taiwan were only rich women's clubs which has nothing to do with women of lower social position.

@@It wasn't until the early 70's that the first wave of Taiwan women's movement arose after Ms. Shiow-Lien Lu declared her "New Feminism." "New Feminism" has brought the public's attention to the unequal treatment of our society to women. The Awakening of Women magazine agency founded in 1982 by Ms. Yuan-Cheng Li was the only women's organization focus on the gender issues during the enforcement of martial law. The Awakening of Women foundation have played an important role in raising women's awareness of their status in the society.

@@Diverse women's organizations or associations have emerged since the martial law was lifted in 1987. The characteristic of these women's associations is that they begin to focus on gender concerns from different perspectives and provide professional assistance to women. Some provide women practical services and assistance, and others actively take part in the political and social movements to urge the modification of laws and to supervise the government's execution of the public policy to improve women's status in Taiwan society.

Influenced by the actions of these women's organizations, the general public begin to recognize the unequal treatment our social values impose on women, and the government begins to response to women's voice. Nevertheless, whether in economic, legal, or political issues, women still do not receive equal attention and treatment as men. Further, in comparison with other political issues, women's concerns are often considered to be "issues that are unimportant for necessary action." This attitude is what women's organizations and those who concern about women's status must break through in the future.

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Taiwan Women's Political Participation
---An Observation of Women's Movement

Thanks for Professor Ku, Yen-Ling's contributing the following article excerpted from the thesis "Taiwan Women's Political Participation--An Observation from inside and outside the Bureaucracy" that Professor Ku coauthored with Professor Liang, Shuang-Lien to us. This article is an excellence reference for those who concern about Taiwan women's movement. It provides detailed analysis of the topics and policies involved in Taiwan women's movement from 1985 to 1995.

Women's Political Participation--The Movement outside the Bureaucracy (Chinese Big-5)

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Seclected English Papers by Professor Ku, Yen-Lin

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  1. Current Status of Women in Taiwan
    -- August 8,1986

  2. Selling a Feminist Agenda on a Conservative Market--The Awakening Experience in Taiwan
    --November 12, 1998

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