Taiwan Women's Link

Gender Equality
Taiwan Women's Link (TWL)'s work has had influence in a number of fields, including striving so that whether married, having children or not, women can continue their career planning, with assurances for their lives when elderly. When it comes to politics, we advocate women taking part in politics. In terms of health, we have sought to establish a grassroots women's network, to allow for healthy views from society.

Taiwan Women's Link (TWL) is concerned with the welfare of women and overall sexuality, hoping to connect women's groups, gender/sexuality-focused organizations, medical organizations, new migrant organizations, and other similar organizations to "link" them together.

1) 528 Taiwan Women's Health Action Meeting/Women's Health Action Network

At the fifth International Women's Health Meeting in 1987 in Costa Rica, it was decided that May 28th of each year would be " International Day of Action for Women's Health." The establishment of Taiwan Women's Link was to respond to this call, to promote women's health through public participation.

In 2004, in order to meet local women's health needs, provide women with health information, and promote health policy conscious of gender/sexuality, TWL worked with women's and medical organizations to form the "Women's Health Action Network." The participants decided that the International Day of Action for Women's Health would be the topic, promoting perspectives on gender/sexuality, advocating action and investigation.

Through the meeting, an annual "Action Manifesto" that makes policy recommendations to the Ministry of Health and Welfare is produced, and each year, this continues to provide oversight over the actions of government bureaus and whether they accord to such recommendations. Through more than twenty years of advocacy and follow-up investigation, TWL has allowed for many policies regarding women/gender and sexuality to be passed into law, including the Childbirth Accident Emergency Relief Act and Assisted Reproduction Act, which drew on relevant research from TWL.

2) Taiwan's Only Health Information Website with Perspectives on Gender/Sexuality: Taiwan Women's Health Website

Holding talks and speeches were ways of distributing information of the past, but we have come to find that there are limits on the number of people that can participate. Likewise, it is hard to influence young people. As such, TWL established the Taiwan Women's Health Website in 2004, hoping information could be spread to various groups. With the development of the Internet, there are more tools for social media, and so TWL seeks to always update its use of such tools, including Facebook, YouTube, etc. We currently hold livestream programs, to allow information to be spread more effectively.

Record book
The First Gender and Sexuality-Conscious Law - The Assisted Reproduction Act

In order to manage and respond to the impact of artificially assisted reproductive technologies on ethics, law, and the value of life, etc., starting in 1986, the Executive Yuan has continued to provide guidance and administrative laws. This led to the drafting of the Assisted Reproduction Act in 1996. But because the dispute about whether surrogacy should be legalized was too large, the law was stuck in the discussion phase in the Executive Yuan and was not sent to the Legislative Yuan. As such, administration of assisted reproduction continued to be impossible. The Executive Yuan's draft of the Assisted Reproduction Act was sent to the legislature on September 13th, 2005, with the TWL and legislator Huang Sue-ying planning a women's group version of the Assisted Reproduction Act. After review, this passed its third reading on March 5th, 2007.

Out of the Kitchen, Striding Toward the Presidential Office - Female Political Participation

The TWL encourages and seeks to assist women entering the arena of political decision-making, so women's voices can be heard, allowing women's rights to be an important policy consideration. Continuing to work for this, the TWL's founding general-secretary Hsu Chia-ching is the first Taipei city councilor to have originated from the women's movement, while founding director-general Huang Sue-ying became a legislator on the basis of this background.

In order to allow the voices of women to enter into political decision-making, the TWL seeks that representatives of the organization enter into various meetings, such as the Sexual Equality Committee of the Executive Yuan, the Sexual Equality Working Group of the Ministry of Health and Welfare, the Patient Safety Committee of the Department of Health, the Executive Yuan's Women Rights Promotion and Development Committee, the Executive Yuan's Women's Rights Promotion Committee, the Taipei Sexuality Equality Education Committee, the Taipei Women's Rights Promotion Committee, the New Taipei Sexual Equality Committee, the Yilan County Government Sexual Equality Promotion Committee, and etc. On the one hand, this allows for an understanding of how government bureaus shape policy, to add to the understanding of policy recommendations from the organization, using dialogue and communication to allow the views of women to enter into government planning and policy.

Seeing Elderly Women's Economic Needs - The National Pension

After the formation of the TWL, along with other social welfare and women's groups, formed the "Rescue the National Pension Alliance," criticizing how the national pension system implemented by the Executive Yuan did not accord to the desires of the people and had many shortcomings. With the Executive Yuan's version failing to take into account consciousness of gender and sexuality-related issues, as well as lack of inclusive policy for other groups, since 2005, the TWL has aligned with other civil society groups to push its own version of the National Pension Act.

With the third reading of the National Pension Act on July 20th, 2007, the version of the act pushed for by civil society groups, which included mutual payment obligations between spouses and formulated penalties to ensure that women participate in annuity insurance, was not incorporated into the bill. There are still many aspects of the National Pension Act that need to be amended. Examples include problems such as the couple's inability to pay premiums or the couple's failure to pay premiums due to separation or domestic violence. In recent years, with legislators hoping to remove the provision that spouses mutually share a duty to pay taxes, this raises the question of whether they understand the circumstances of elderly women. The TWL continues to be concerned with the development of the National Pension system and seeks to promote social insurance to fit women's needs.

The "Childbirth Accident Emergency Relief Act", as Outstanding in the World

On December 11th, 2015, Taiwan passed a law to protect women in childbirth, the "Childbirth Accident Emergency Relief Act". The TWL began advocating for this law in 2003 and did so for close to 13 years. The main points of the law are to take women as its focus, with the nation recognizing that childbirth is not just one person's business, but is a major event involving society and the country. Because of the risks of childbirth, the nation assumes responsibility, sets up a relief fund, and when there are accidents in childbirth, this can help women in providing them with economic support, saving them from needing to file lawsuits. At the same time, medicine should seek to review and improve to prevent accidents from happening, so that women can have no worries about childbirth, and this can become part of women's reproductive freedom.

See Women's Gender Differences - Women's Cardiovascular Health

TWL is concerned with gender differences in health, with cardiovascular health being a major issue. In 2016, responding to international calls, we began to promote the "go red for women" action, which is held every year on the second Friday in March. We request that people wear red on that day and to post #TaiwanGoRedForWomen on Facebook to express their concern for women's cardiovascular health. We work with the Taiwan Heart Foundation, Taiwan Association of Obstetrics and Gynecology, civic groups, and health authorities to plan activities and produce leaflets, to increase awareness of the differences between men and women in cardiovascular health, calling on more women to exercise to protect their cardiovascular health, as well as to make more aware of information about cardiovascular health and gynecology. We request that the government establish mechanisms about heart and breast cancer. This has become an activity supported by the central and local governments, celebrities, and elected representatives, with more and more each year.

Associated Events
2015-12-11 Press Conference on the Childbirth Accident Emergency Relief Act after third reading
2014-10-17 Press Conference about the launching of the Taiwan Women's Link
2023-06-01 TWL urged the government to educate the public on the risks of egg freezing and enhance related regulation
2019-10-16 Joint Press Conference on Adverse Reactions to HPV Vaccines
The 22nd 5.28 Taiwan Women's Health Action Conference in 2019