August 2023 | Legislature amends anti-sexual harassment laws
Taiwan's legislature swiftly responded to the country’s latest #MeToo movement and recent high-profile cases triggered by the hit show, Wave Makers, amending three key laws on sexual harassment. On 31 July, amendments to the Gender Equity Education Act, Act of Gender Equality in Employment, and Sexual Harassment Prevention Act were passed. These changes introduce harsher penalties, including up to three-year jail terms and substantial fines, along with longer statute of limitations and broader definitions of sexual harassment. The ruling party also took prompt action to remove officials implicated in sexual misconduct cases. However, critics argue that these amendments, while a "legislative milestone", fall short in addressing harassment beyond the workplace. Activists call for increased fines to prevent retaliation and more targeted educational initiatives to challenge societal attitudes toward sexual harassment.
May 2023 | Same-sex couples afforded full adoption rights
Taiwan's legislature on 16 May approved a change to a law that allows same-sex couples to jointly adopt a child to whom neither of them is biologically related. LGBTQIA+ rights advocates have hailed the move as a significant step towards achieving full marriage equality. Previously, the adoption rules only permitted a same-sex partner to adopt a child if there was a biological connection to their spouse. If neither partner had a biological link to the child, only one partner could legally become the child's parent - a restriction which did not apply to heterosexual couples or single people.
January 2023 | Taiwan recognizes transnational same-sex marriage
Taiwan's Ministry of the Interior lifted restrictions on registering same-sex marriage between Taiwanese and foreign nationals on 9 January, with the exception of mainland Chinese citizens. While Taiwan was the first Asian country to legalize same-sex marriage, it had not previously allowed registration if one partner was a citizen of a jurisdiction where same-sex marriage was illegal.
November 2022 | Local election losses for ruling party
President Tsai Ing-wen resigned as head of the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) following DPP losses in the local election held on 29 November. DPP secured only five out of 22 municipalities, whereas the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) emerged victorious in winning 13 seats. The voter turnout rate was relatively low for Taiwanese local elections, at approximately 60 per cent. Voters also rejected lowering the voting age from 20 to 18, in a referendum that ran alongside the elections.