As Taiwanese women gain education, self-confidence, and economic independence, they are divorcing abusive husbands more than ever before or choosing to avoid marriage altogether.
Until recently, Taiwanese women did not have the legal right to file for divorce. Husbands were allowed to divorce their wives on the grounds of adultery or failure to produce a male child. Rejected wives were subject to public humiliation and social and often risked impoverishment.
The Taiwanese divorce rate is now 1 in 4.3, up from 1 in 17 twenty years ago. The decision to divorce is a difficult one for women, and often chosen only out of desperation. "Many divorced after having tolerated their husbands' physical abuses or affairs for 20 or 30 years," said Wango Yu-pao of the feminist group "Women's Awakening." Women's hesitance to choose divorce can be attributed to many factors. Divorcees still face social stigmatization, and their chances for remarriage are less than men's. Also, women may risk losing contact with their children, since men are awarded custody in the majority of divorces.
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .