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Feminism in Taiwan

Taiwan has a complex history of feminist and women's right movements with periods of progressiveness where feminism and strong female icons flourished and periods of strict authoritarianism where equality and individual rights were devalued.

The 1970s and 80s

Annette Lu is considered the founder of feminist thinking in modern Taiwan and established the first formal women's rights movements in 1972.[1] After delivering a 20-minute keynote address during the Kaohsiung Incident in 1979, Lu was arrested, court marshalled and sentenced to 12 years in prison. She served 5-and-a-half years and was released in 1985. She later served as Vice President of Taiwan between 2000 and 2008.

While Lu was in prison, Yenlin Ku and other activists published Awakening, a feminist magazine. 5 Years later, the same group founded the associated Awakening Foundation and, at the same time, a Women's Research Program at the National Taiwan University. Yenlin Ku later published a paper summarising Taiwanese feminist history from the 1970s forward titled, SELLING A FEMINIST AGENDA ON A CONSERVATIVE MARKET --The Awakening Experience in Taiwan.[2]

The 1990s and after 2000

Hwei-syin Lu's Women's Self-Growth Groups and Empowerment of the 'Uterine Family' in Taiwan provides a more detailed analysis of the progression of feminism in Taiwan and the role of uniquely Taiwanese concepts of gender.[3]


Further reading