Actions and Achievements



  • The Care Economy & Labor Rights

    Statutory childcare, family and long-term care paid leave entitlements 

Migrant workers' rights, women's labor force participation, equal pay, enforcement of the Gender Equality in Employment Act (2002)


  • 1987: Awakening's advocacy began with denouncing discriminatory employment laws alongside protests at Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall against labor policies requiring women to resign when they become pregnant or reach a certain "marriageable" age. 
  • 2002: Awakening's draft "Act of Equality in Employment between Men and Women" was finally passed as the Act of Sexual Equality in Employment — later amended as the Act of Gender Equality in Employment (2007) — after eleven hard-fought years (2001). Today, we continue to track its implementation and push for further amendments. 
  • In recent years, Awakening has also focused on guaranteeing federal paid parental and family care leave to ensure that women do not assume the burden of care alone. Our 2019 Labor Day parade united labor unions and civil-society gender equality organizations over this  long-term care paid leave entitlements issue.  
  • Also in 2019, Awakening hosted the Taipei City Government Labor Bureau's annual Labor Film Festival, showcasing stories of women fighting the glass ceiling and other obstacles in the workplace from around the world. 
  • Awakening is a vocal proponent of paid typhoon disaster prevention leave. Current legislation does not mandate unilateral suspension of work with full compensation in the event of a dangerous natural disaster across all sectors, thus disproportionately putting women in the service industry at risk of life-threatening injury. A 2017 survey found that 91.6% of workers and 64% of enterprises in Taiwan are in favor of typhoon leave, yet, the Ministry of Labor has consistently blocked such legislation due to pushback from multinational corporations. 
  • We also pay special attention to labor protections temporary, part-time, and uncontracted workers may be denied, showing solidarity whenever possible with labor unions. 
  • The Awakening-led "Democratic Front Against Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement" and "Economic Democracy Union" NGO coalitions aim to draw attention to gender issues in free trade policy in 2013. 

  • Marriage Equality, Domestic Partnership & Family Law

Equal parenting and caregiving, equal sharing of household responsibilities, marriage equality (May 2019) and LGBTQIA+ family rights, gender equality in family justice services (dispute mediation, enforcement of parenting arrangements, support enforcement, etc.), decriminalizing adultery (May 2020), reforming surname law (May 2010), equal partner and single rights


  • 1980s: Beginning with the 1996 amendments to Chapter IV on Family Law in Taiwan's Civil Code, our work has won equal legal rights and recognition for heterosexual partners and parents for nearly four decades. 
  • 2009: Awakening established the Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights as a discussion forum 
  • 17 May 2019: Taiwan became the first Asian country to legalize same-sex marriage after 33 years of public debate. To reach this milestone, Awakening joined the Marriage Equality Platform — a coalition of five LGBTQIA+ groups (Taiwan Tongzhi (LGBTQ+) Hotline Association, Taiwan LGBT Family Rights Advocacy, Awakening Foundation, The lobby alliance for LGBT human rights, and GagaOOlala) — to support family diversity proposals, amendments to Taiwan's Civil Code, and draft civil partnership and family bills. 
  • 2020: Taiwan's constitutional court struck down an 85-year-old law criminalizing adultery in a major win for women's rights. Under Article 239 of the Criminal Law, women were 20% more likely than men to be convicted and left with criminal records. The law had also been used to silence sexual assault survivors with the threat of facing adultery charges. Awakening had been fighting for the decriminalization of marital infidelity since 1994.

  • Sexual & Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR)

Sexual harassment and gender violence prevention, sexual and gender-based violence criminal law reform, sexual consent, reproductive autonomy 


  • 1980s: Awakening has been fighting for SRHR in Taiwan since the mid-80s when Taiwan legalized abortion. We have continued our legacy of advocating for bodily autonomy, most recently by speaking out against a referendum seeking to restrict abortion to the first eight weeks of pregnancy and demanding that NGOs be invited to speak at legislative hearings related to reproductive rights. 
  • 1999: Awakening successfully campaigned for amendments to Chapter 16 on Sexual Offenses of Taiwan's Criminal Code
  • 1999-2000: Awakening's advocacy led to mandatory sexual harassment grievance systems in schools and workplaces. 
  • 2014-2015: Awakening-organized theater troupe travels the country raising awareness of "gentle" childbirth and protesting against delivery practices that endanger mothers. Discussions followed each performance at every stop on the 2-year tour. 
  • In recent years, Awakening has been a prominent voice on social issues, including, the use of "gender-blind" investigations into sexual harassment allegations, invasive physical examinations of plaintiffs, and abuse of power by public prosecutors. 

  • Educational Reform

Enforcement of the Gender Equity Education Act (2004), sexism and gender issues in the media and culture


  • 1988: Awakening conducted a comprehensive review of gender stereotyping and bias in Taiwan's public elementary and junior-high school curriculum. The resulting report, "Overall Examination of Gender Concepts in Textbooks" became the basis for the Foundation's educational reform demonstrations in the mid-90s
  • 2004: Working with the Ministry of Education and a coalition of NGOs, Awakening's efforts led to the passage of the Gender Equity in Education Act which stipulates a K-12 gender-balanced curriculum, mandates all universities in Taiwan to offer courses in gender studies, prohibits discrimination against pregnant and LGBTQIA+ students. The law also required every municipal and county government and all schools and universities to establish gender equity committees with at least 50 percent female membership. 
  • In recent years, Awakening has organized various press conferences and workshops to support teachers facing backlash from parents and the public for covering gender identity and sexual orientation in the classroom. 
  • Off-campus, we also work with communities to educate women on family law, safe childbirth, and gender equity. Our Civil Law Enquiry Hotline currently reaches more than 2,000 people a year. 

  • Women’s Leadership & Political Participation

Female representation in politics and public office, gender mainstreaming at all levels of government and policy making (particularly in economic and trade policy) 


  • Traditionally, women in Taiwanese households tended to be stay-at-home mothers whose opinions held little sway in public affairs. Awakening is dedicated to reforming Taiwan's electoral system to raise the visibility of women and their policy objectives in public office and to implement gender mainstreaming at all levels of government. 
  • 2010: Our efforts led to the creation of the Executive Yuan's Gender Equality Committee, a permanent fixture dedicated to ensuring the country's highest office takes a gender-equal approach to policy making. 
  • 2017: Awakening conducted a series of nationwide workshops in the run-up to the 2018 election season to survey public opinion on the most pressing issues facing women. Throughout our tour, we recruited local civil society organizations to join a "Gender Equality Policy Alliance" through which their efforts to fight for pro-women policies could be elevated during all campaign cycles. Members of the alliance were invited to participate in a joint press conference to present their policy demands. 
  • In recent years, we have published on the importance of increasing the proportion of female officials in the Legislative Yuan, the Presidential Office, and city councils and have been monitoring gender breakdowns in both local and central government. Despite electing Taiwan's first-ever female president to a second term in 2020, the Cabinet currently has the lowest level of female representation in the country's 30 years of democratization. Read our statement here.    

  • Minority Rights

Immigrant family rights, migrant workers' rights, indigenous women's rights


  • 1997: Awakening began uplifting the stories of aborginal tribes and female migrant workers in Taiwan. Indigenous and immigrant women continue to be denied a voice in public affairs directly affecting their lives. Migrant workers in Taiwan — the vast majority of whom are women — have systematically been excluded from existing labor laws. Our workshops and seminars focus on teaching intersectional feminism and the role that class and ethnicity play in shaping a woman's experience in Taiwanese society.
  • 2003: Awakening formed the Alliance for Human Rights Legislation for Immigrants and Migrants (AHRLIM) (移民/住人權修法聯盟). The NGO coalition reshaped Taiwan's immigration law, for example by abolishing mandatory financial statements for citizenship. 
  • 2012: Awakening holds a press conference on Children's Day with the Immigration/Migration Human Rights Amendment Coalition to discuss Taiwan's policy separating migrant workers and their Taiwanese-born children
  • In the last decade, we have focused heavily on monitoring the civil rights of new immigrants and overseas workers in Taiwan. We have supported the Migrant Empowerment Network in Taiwan (MENT), Taiwan International Workers' Association (TIWA), the Domestic Caretakers Union, Taiwan Association for Human Rights, among others, in public demonstrations and campaigns. 

  • Annuity & Pension Reform


  • In recent years, Awakening has advocated for pension system reform that better compensates unpaid maternity leave, childcare, eldercare, and long-term care that disproportionately falls to women. 


  • Civil Code Consultation Hotline

Marriage and family legal counseling, family dispute resolution


  • 1994: Awakening's consultation hotline was established to help women navigate Chapter IV on Family Law in Taiwan's Civil Code. It was also crucial for gathering testimonies to support legislative proposals and amendments to the Civil Code. Today, it receives over 2,000 callers annually. 


  • Volunteer Training 

 > HIGHLIGHTS: Legal assistance for minors and legal guardians

  • Workshops & Seminars 

> HIGHLIGHTS: Handling sexual harassment in the workplace, effective human rights advocacy



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