The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), described as an international bill of rights for women, was adopted by the U.N. General Assembly in 1979 and entered into force in 1981. States parties to the convention agree to adopt legislation and all appropriate measures to eliminate acts of discrimination against women so that women can enjoy their rights on an equal basis with men. Currently 189 states have ratified or acceded to the convention.
Though not a member of the U.N., Taiwan took it upon itself to sign CEDAW in 2007 to elevate the standard of gender rights in the country and advance gender equality. The government also promulgated the Enforcement Act of CEDAW on January 1, 2012 to make CEDAW provisions effective as domestic law.
Progress of CEDAW implementation in Taiwan
Of all international conventions implemented in Taiwan, CEDAW has undergone more reviews by international experts than any other. Since signing CEDAW and passing the CEDAW enforcement act, Taiwan has upheld the U.N.'s standards for CEDAW and worked diligently to advocate gender equality as a human rights issue. Moreover, all government agencies have been required to conduct education and awareness campaigns as well as review laws and regulations for revision. Among the legislative actions taken:
■ The Domestic Violence Prevention Act was amended to curb sexual violence.
■ Guidelines for broadcasting gender contents were revised to prohibit gender bias in the media.
■ The Nationality Act was revised to protect the rights of foreign spouses who apply for naturalization.
■ To promote work-life balance, a provision was added to the Labor Standards Act allowing workers greater flexibility to adjust what time they begin and end work.
■ The Childbirth Accident Emergency Relief Act was enacted to create a national relief mechanism that alleviates the risks to women during childbirth.
Moving forward, Taiwan will continue implementing CEDAW by pushing policies and measures that eliminate discrimination against women and safeguard women's rights and interests. All of these efforts will help bring about a happy and harmonious gender-equal society.