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Taiwan: Law Implementing CEDAW Adopted

(May 31, 2011) On May 20, 2011, Taiwan's highest-level legislative body, the Legislative Yuan, adopted a law to implement the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). Taiwan is not a U.N. member and therefore was unable to be a signatory to the document, but the adoption of the enforcement act makes the Convention provisions effective as domestic law. Minister of the Interior Jiang Yi-huah averred that “[w]ith passage of the act, the government will work proactively to eliminate existing gender discrimination and promote gender equality.” (June Tsai, Legislative Yuan Passes UN Convention on Gender Discrimination into Law, TAIWAN TODAY (May 23, 2011).)

The new law takes effect on January 1, 2012. It gives the government three years to revise all laws and administrative regulations that contravene the Convention and mandates that the government deliver a national report on the promotion of gender equality every four years. (Id.) According Huang Pi-hsia, head of the Department of Social Affairs of the Ministry of the Interior, the government plans to invite experts at home and abroad to review the reports and suggest improvements. (Shih Hsiu-chuan, Legislature Passes CEDAW Act, TAIPEI TIMES (May 21, 2011).) Legislators appended a resolution to the law that seeks government establishment of a monitoring process in accordance with the Convention. (Tsai, supra; Formulation of the Enforcement Law of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women [text of the new law, in Chinese, but not yet promulgated by the President], Legislative Yuan website (May 20, 2011).)

The Convention, adopted by the U.N. General Assembly on December 18, 1979, and in force since September 3, 1981, has 186 parties. It is monitored by the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, which comprises 23 women's rights experts from around the world. (CEDAW, New York, Dec. 18, 1979, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights website.)