In 2016, Taiwan elected its first female president, Tsai Ing-wen. Her coming into power was thought to be a historic harbinger of Taiwan’s new era, in which the long-standing male-dominated political sphere would be challenged. Many women’s groups celebrated this historic moment without foreseeing that they would soon become deeply dissatisfied with Tsai for her perceived failing commitment to gender equality. In this article, I select three political events to examine if the female president facilitates the integration of state resources with the needs of civil society, especially in relation to gender equality and civil rights: 1) women’s groups’ protests against the gender imbalance in the new Cabinet, 2) the legalization of same-sex marriage, and 3) the amendment to the Nationality Act that deprives marriage migrants of their citizenship. These events illustrate the vitality of Taiwan’s civil society and the achievements of Taiwanese feminist movements in the past decades.
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