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Women's Movements in Twentieth-Century Taiwan

Doris T. Chang

Publication Year: 2009

This book examines the way in which Taiwanese women in the twentieth century selectively appropriated Western feminist theories to meet their needs in a modernizing Confucian culture. Doris T. Chang illustrates the rise and fall of women's movements against the historical backdrop of the island's contested national identities, first vis-à-vis imperial Japan (1895-1945) and later with postwar China (1945-2000). In particular, she finds that when autonomous women's movements were successful at various points in history, they operated within the political perimeters set by the authoritarian regimes. Delving into period sources such as the highly influential feminist monthly magazine Awakening as well as interviews with Taiwanese authors and feminist leaders, Chang provides a comprehensive historical and cross-cultural analysis of the struggle for gender equality in Taiwan.

Published by: University of Illinois Press

Title Page

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Copyright Page

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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-viii

I wish to thank the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange for the Visiting Fellowship to Taiwan in the summer of 2006. I also wish to express my sincere gratitude to Chung Shu-min and Hsu Hsueh-chih of the Institute of Taiwan History for inviting me to conduct research at Academia Sinica. ...

Chronology of Taiwan's History

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pp. ix-xii

Note on Transcription

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pp. xiii-xiv

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pp. 1-16

Since the 1970s, several books in the English language have discussed women’s movements in mainland China during the twentieth century. The Chinese origin of most Taiwanese notwithstanding, no comparable study in the West has examined the political factors that contributed to the emergence of a Taiwanese women’s movement in the 1920s, ...

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1. Feminist Discourses and Women's Movements under Japanese Colonial Rule, 1895-1945

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pp. 17-45

In the early 1920s, Taiwanese feminist discourse emerged in the context of the Japanese colonial government’s limited tolerance of political dissent. Beginning in the 1920s, the Taiwanese students who studied in China and Japan served as transmitters of a liberal strand of feminism and women’s rights ideology (J: joken shugi; C: nüquan zhuyi) ...

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2. The Kuomintang Policies on Women and Government-Affiliated Women's Organizations

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pp. 46-77

In 1949, four years after Taiwan was reintegrated into the Chinese polity, Chinese Communist troops defeated the Chinese Nationalists (Kuomintang) and the Kuomintang transferred the government to Taiwan. Prior to its arrival on the island, the Kuomintang promulgated civil codes and policies on mainland China dealing with women’s issues. ...

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3. Hsiu-lien Annette Lu: The Pioneering Stage of the Postwar Autonomous Women's Movement and the Democratic Opposition, 1972-79

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pp. 78-106

On the occasion of International Women’s Day in 1972, Lu Hsiu-lien (Hsiulien Annette Lu) made a speech at the law school of National Taiwan University that launched the autonomous women’s movement in postwar Taiwan. This autonomous social movement emerged from the Taiwanese middle class ...

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4. Lee Yuan-chen and Awakening, 1982-89

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pp. 107-117

In 1982, one of Lu Hsiu-lien’s feminist associates in the 1970s, Lee Yuan-chen, emerged as a leading figure in Taiwan’s autonomous women’s movement. In the same year, Lee and other feminists (nüxing zhuyi zhe) founded Awakening (Funü xinzhi), a monthly magazine for feminist intellectuals and activists. ...

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5. The Autonomous Women's Movement and Feminist Discourse in the Post-Martial Law Era

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pp. 118-156

After the revocation of martial law in 1987, Taiwan’s democratization facilitated the diversification of feminist discourses and the creation of non-governmental women’s organizations. Rather than providing a comprehensive analysis of all such organizations during the period, this chapter will focus selectively on organizations that address specific women’s issues. ...

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pp. 157-166

As we have seen, Taiwan’s democratization in the post–martial law period facilitated the diversification of feminist discourses and non-governmental women’s organizations. The revision of family laws and the enactment of the Gender Equality in Employment Law also significantly enhanced women’s rights and status. ...


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pp. 167-200


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pp. 201-220


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pp. 221-228

E-ISBN-13: 9780252090813
Print-ISBN-13: 9780252033957

Page Count: 248
Publication Year: 2009