Evolution of Laws
Article 7 of the Republic of China (Taiwan) Constitution stipulates that “All citizens of the Republic of China, irrespective of sex, religion, ethnic origion, class, or party affiliation, shall be equal before the law.” This also infers that laws themselves must not violate, but must safeguard citizens’ right of equality. In recent years, Taiwan has passed a number of laws to ensure gender equality in society and improve women’s living conditions with respect to personal safety, employment opportunities, marriage and family life, education, and social welfare. In sum, the evolution of laws has witnessed a process of using the power of law to advance women’s rights. Laws & Regulations Database of the Republic of China (Taiwan)
Legal regulation related to women’s rights
Amended the Criminal Code to remove the article that made adultery a criminal act.
Enacted the Stalking and Harassment Prevention Act, specifying 8 types of stalking and harassment behavior to make sexual violence prevention more comprehensive.
Amended the Civil Code to lower the age of majority from 20 to 18 and set the legal age for marriage at 18 for both men and women.

Enacted the Act for Implementation of J. Y. Interpretation No. 748, which is a substantive law recognizing same-sex marriage in Taiwan.
Amended the Nationality Act to exempt foreign nationals with certain circumstances, including new immigrants, from submitting a certificate of loss of original nationality before applying for naturalization.
Renamed the “Labor Safety and Health Act” as “Occupational Safety and Health Act,” and added the clauses that aimed at maternity protection at workplace.
‧Announced the Enforcement Act of Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women and requested that all government units adopt necessary legislative or administrative measures to eliminate gender discrimination.

‧Amended the Sexual Assault Crime Prevention Act to seamlessly integrate sex offender treatment measures such as pre-prison and post-prison interviews and treatment.

‧Amended the Gender Equity Education Act to add regulations governing gender bullying on campus and preventing gender-based violence on campus, to protect the rights to education for students regardless of their gender, sexual orientation and gender identity.

‧Amended the Social Order Maintenance Act, which stipulates that both sex provider and buyer are punishable for sexual transaction outside the designated area. Prior to the revision, only the person providing sexual services would be punished for sex transaction, while the client would not be punished.
‧Enacted the “Human Trafficking Prevention Act” to prevent human trafficking and to provide victims with a comprehensive set of services.

‧Renamed the “Special Assistance for Women under Special Circumstances Act” as “Act of Assistance for Woman in Hardship,” to raise the number of people suitable for receiving the assistance by including single fathers or male victims of domestic violence.

‧Amended the Domestic Violence Prevention Act to lift restriction on qualification for victims to apply for the entrepreneurial loan subsidization. The responsibility of staff of immigration service was also added into the Act.
‧Renamed the “Gender Equality in Employment Law” as “Gender Equality in Employment Act”. The amendment included extending the protection to lesbians, gays, and transgender to ensure their rights to work; extending the period for parental leave without payment and the applicable range of reasons for requesting family leave; prohibiting the denial of request for paternal or family leave without reasonable grounds; and increasing days for fraternity leave.

‧Amended the Part of Family of the Civil Code (To extend the grounds applicable for divorce by ruling by including abuse towards direct relatives as a valid cause.)

‧Amended the “Social Worker Act” (To include stipulation that one shall not practice as a social worker if one has been convicted of embezzlement, domestic violence, sexual harassment, or forced sex acts.)

‧Amended the “Act Governing Relations between Peoples of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area” (To extend the years for residency or permanent residency in Taiwan for spouses from the Mainland Area.)
‧The President signed and promulgated the accession of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), indicating that Taiwan is legally bound to follow all women’s right regulations issued by the UN.
‧Amends “Senior Citizens Welfare Act” (To safeguard human rights of senior citizens. To provide a comprehensive range of individualized and diversified services and measures. To provide supportive measures for family care providers.)
‧ Enacts “Artificial Reproduction Act” (To safeguard the rights and interests of
infertile couples, children conceived through artificial reproduction, and donors.)
‧Amends “Domestic Violence Prevention Act” (To extend protection to cohabitating couples. To add clause that allows the authority to forthwith take suspects whom they believed have inflicted domestic violence into custody. Those who request for a protection order are exempted from courts cost.)
‧Amends “The Part of Family of the Civil Code” (To stipulate that children’s surname are given by mutual agreement between the parents. To allow children to change their surname after 18 year-old of age with parental consent. To change the marriage requirement from the ceremonial nuptials to registered nuptials.)
‧Amends “Employment Services Act” (To expressly state that no discrimination shall be made on the basis of place of birth, age, sexual orientation, or marriage status. To actively provide various measures assisting women in finding employment. To safeguard the rights and interests of new immigrants and foreign nursing workers.)
‧Amends “Child and Youth Sexual Transaction Prevention Act” (To extend the responsibility to report to Internet service providers and suppliers and members from the electronic communication system.)
‧Amends “Immigration Act” (To include clauses of anti-domestic violence, right to family reunion, clauses of anti-discrimination. To prohibit transnational marriage match to become an operating item and the objectification of women. To protect victims of human trafficking. To safeguard rights and interests of new immigrants at all fronts.)
‧Amends “Civil Servants Election and Recall Act” (To specify that in the Legislative Yuan election, the number of women elected in proportion to the votes won by a political party shall be no less than one-half of the total numbers of representatives elected using the same method. To stipulate reserved seats and quota.)
‧Enacts “The Statute For Ancestral Estates In Joint Ownership” (To lift the restriction and allows women as the successors sharing the worship, to break the tradition that women shall not undertake the worship.)
‧Enacts “National Pension Act” (To provide housewives with financial safety when they become old.)
‧Renames “The Disabled Person Welfare Law” as “People with Disabilities Rights Protection Act” (To provide people with disabilities with individualized and diversified services from the perspective of human rights.)
‧Amends “Special Assistance for Women under Special Circumstances Act” (To include disadvantaged unmarried pregnant women into the list for receiving subsidy.)
‧Amends “The Additional Articles of the Constitution of the Republic of China” (To stipulate that in the Legislative Yuan election, the number of women elected in proportion to the votes won by a political party shall be no less than one-half of the total numbers of representatives elected using the same method.)
‧Enacts “Sexual Harassment Prevention Act” (To safeguard right to sexual autonomy. To regulate preventative measures and handling procedures for sexual harassment in public place.)
‧Amends “Sexual Assault Crime Prevention” (To establish a comprehensive system for compulsory physical and psychological treatment and counseling education. To establish supervising and controlling system within a community.)
‧Amends “Public Assistance Act” (To lift restriction on identification criteria for single-mothers suitable to receive subsidy.)
‧Enacts “The Aboriginal Basic Act” (To stipulate and establish social safety net for aboriginals. To safeguard the rights and interests of indigenous women.)
‧Enacts “Gender Equity Education Act” (To eliminate gender discrimination. To establish an enabling environment and resources for gender equality on campus. To safeguard right to education for people of different genders. To explicitly stipulate the preventative measures and handling principles of sexual assault and harassment on campus.)
‧Enacts “Legal Aids Act” (To assist the rights and interests of indigent women to necessary legal aid. To safeguard the fundamental rights and interests to legal actions and litigation for women.)
‧Enacts “Children and Youth Welfare Act” (To combine Child Welfare Act and Youth Welfare Act to safeguard human rights of children and youth. To comprehensively provide children and youth with services and measures that will enable their individualization and diversification.)
‧Enacts “Family Education Law” (Before marrying, men and women eligible for marriage shall receive courses on family education for over four hours from municipal or county governments.)
‧Amends “Name Act”(In case of divorce, minors with a surname different from the parent granted with their guardianship can change their surname.)
‧Enacts “Gender Equality in Employment Law” (To safeguard women’s rights to work. To expressly define what constitutes as sexual harassment in workplace and to state the principle that the responsibility of child care shall be shouldered by the State and society.)
‧Amends “The Part of Family of the Civil Code” (To modify the matrimonial property system. To safeguard married women’s rights to freely manage their property. To implement right to request allocation of the remainder of the property between husband and wife. To include what additional property can be counted into the remainder of the property and tracing. To allot “free funds” for recognizing housewives’ contribution.)
‧Amends “Act Governing Relations between Peoples of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area” (To specify the managing mechanism for interviewing and fingerprinting the spouses from the Mainland Area who are entering Taiwan, and for registering them for record.)
‧Enacts “Indigenous Peoples Status Law” (Indigenous peoples can obtain legal status concerning their identity by tracing their maternal blood line.)
‧Enacts “Indigenous Peoples Employment Rights Protection Act” (To safeguard the right to work of the indigenous peoples and their financial wellbeing. To explicitly state the employment quota of indigenous peoples within the state enterprises.)
‧Enacts “Special Assistance for Women under Special Circumstances Act” (To provide measures such as living support and urgent care to women under special circumstances, and to help them become independent.)
‧Amends “Nationality Act” (The acquisition of a child’s nationality is changed from assessing only his or her paternal line to include both paternal and maternal lines.)
‧Amends “Act Governing Relations between Peoples of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area” (To accord broader rights to work in Taiwan for the spouses from the Mainland Area.)
‧Amends “Criminal Code of the Republic of China” (To add chapter on “Offenses Against Sexual Autonomy” to safeguard right to sexual autonomy, to shatter the misconception surrounding unilateral female chastity. To change the offence from rape to forced sexual intercourse, repealing essential factor of “rendering resistance impossible” in what constitutes an offence, thus broadening the definition of intercourse. To expressly define offence of forced sexual intercourse between married couples. To change Offences Against Sexual Autonomy from indictable only upon complaint to subject to public prosecution.)
‧Enacts “Local Government Act” (To increase the reserved seats and quota for women to one-forth in all local representative elections at all levels)
‧Enacts “Immigration Act” (To specify matters concerning the immigration of foreigners and implementation of immigration guidance. This Act serves as the legislative basis for the residency of new immigrant women in Taiwan.)
‧Enacts “Educational Fundamental Act” (To explicitly state that all people, regardless of their genders, shall be given an equal opportunity to receive education.)
‧Enacts “Domestic Violence Prevention Act” (To prevent domestic violence, to actively provide safeguard measures for victims, to eradicate the traditional belief of “laws have no power over family affairs.”)
‧Amends “The Part of Family of the Civil Code” (To specify that the domicile of a married couple and whether to prefix one’s surname to that of the other half’s shall be agreed by both husband and wife. To abolish discriminatory clauses such as the restriction on the period of time a woman must wait before remarrying and the stipulation that a mother who has participated in unchaste conducts can not claim acknowledgement from her child’s natural father.)
‧Enacts “Education Act for Indigenous Peoples” (To stipulate providing education, job training, family education, and human rights education for indigenous women.)
‧Enacts “Sexual Assault Crime Prevention” (To prevent sexual assault and to provide the victims with safeguard measures.)
‧Amends the entire content of “Public Assistance Act” (To stipulate that members of a low-income family who are pregnant for 6 months or longer can receive additional cash subsidy. To provide special subsidy such as nutrition subsidy for puerperas and babies, nursing subsidy, and procreation subsidy.)
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