The Executive Yuan released Dec. 14 its third national report on the implementation of the U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), highlighting efforts by the government between 2013 and 2016 in promoting women’s rights on all fronts.
According to the Cabinet-level Gender Equality Committee, Premier Lai Ching-te said during a review meeting of the report Nov. 30 that gender equality is a universal value and also one of the country’s fundamental principles.
No one should be subject to unfair treatment because of their gender, religious beliefs, ethnic origins or cultural background, the premier said, adding that it is the government’s responsibility to ensure everyone can live in an environment free of discrimination and prejudice.
Following the signing of a presidential order in 2007, a law implementing the CEDAW was promulgated Jan. 1, 2012, requiring the government to deliver a national report every four years and revise all relevant laws and administrative measures that contravene the convention within three years.
According to the committee, highlights of the latest report include amendments to the Employment Service Act that stipulate special assistance to women returning to the job market, as well as the 2016 enactment of the Childbirth Accident Emergency Relief Act, which provides compensation in the event of death or injury during childbirth.
Equally important are revisions to the Domestic Violence Prevention Act made in 2015, which extend protection to youths who have witnessed domestic violence and those who suffer physical or mental abuse after moving from the residence of their current or former partners.
The Cabinet committee said it will invite international women’s rights advocates who have served on the U.N. Committee on CEDAW to Taiwan in July next year to review the report and offer their opinions.
Local experts and representatives from nongovernmental organizations will also attend the July meeting to take part in an international dialogue spotlighting related achievements by the country’s public and private sectors.
Adopted by the U.N. in 1979 and signed by 191 countries, the CEDAW has become one of the most important international codes for protecting women’s rights. Although Taiwan is not a signatory to the convention, the passage of the enforcement act makes its regulations effective as domestic law.