Transformation of women’s status in Taiwan, 1920-2020

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Chang, Doris T.

Chang, D. T. (2022). Transformation of women’s status in Taiwan, 1920-2020. In P. C. Y. Chow (Ed.), A Century of Development in Taiwan: From Colony to Modern State. Edward Elgar Publishing.


This chapter surveys the continuities and changes of Taiwanese women’s status and roles in the family and society in the past century. The four key topics in women’s roles and status in marriage and the family, educational attainment, employment opportunities, and political leadership are addressed. Men still comprised most college students in the STEM fields. Consequently, gender segregation in career choices has remained a significant feature. As more women entered white-collar professions in the 1980s onward, their status in the family has also improved over time. The legislative reform in family laws in the mid-1990s dramatically improved married women’s legal status. As a newly consolidated democracy, Taiwan elected more women to serve as lawmakers in the Legislative Yuan in 2016 than any other country in Asia. Since then, Tsai Ing-wen has been a rare example of an Asian female head of state elected without the prestige and influence of a political family background.

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