As Taiwan fights against the future of its political freedom, the island`s women are increasingly making personal declarations of independence — unfaithful, caring or reluctant husbands to strip (2004). In a society that has long attached great importance to marriage, Taiwan`s divorce rate is increasing. After South Korea, Taiwan now has the highest divorce rate in Asia — a sign that their roles and rights change as more and more women enter the workforce. These divisions are increasingly initiated by women. Less married Taiwanese tolerate their husbands` extramarital affairs or are willing to live their entire lives with irreconcilable differences. In a society with a tradition of looking at men who have lovers the other way around, more professional women accept divorce as a way out of unhappy relationships.Â They know their rights. They can live independently and they don`t have to rely on their husbands,” said Alice Lee, a divorced volunteer at the Taipei branch of warm life association, a non-profit organization that provides legal services and marriage counseling. “Normally, women come here and get into big trouble with their husbands, and they want to get divorced first.” Experts estimate that about 25 to 30 percent of marriages in Taiwan end in divorce — more than twice as many as a decade ago. About 60,000 couples divorced this year, up 6% from the previous year. Polls show that 61% of these divisions took place after less than 10 years of marriage, according to the government`s Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics. The traditional view is that if people get married, the marriage will last forever,” said Anny Ko, an associate professor at the Chinese Cultural University, who has published several studies on divorce.
“But that view is changing. People see divorce as a normal thing. It gets worse every year.Â Taiwan`s divorce laws have historically favored men who had exclusive rights over all of their wives` properties, including their personal belongings, until 1985, said a family lawyer in Taipei. Today, women have the right to claim their property. Women`s rights groups are working to simplify the right to divorce so that couples can dissolve their marriages without being brought to justice. Wu Wei-Ting, general secretary of the Awakening Foundation, said his group had advocated for a law allowing couples to have a two-year separation period before a divorce was granted, in the hope that they would reconcile. For some women, there can be no turning back. In Jen Chen`s case, her marriage almost killed her. Chen, an account manager for a software company, has decided to no longer be able to bear her husband`s infidelity after 20 years of marriage. She wanted to go out.
In July, the 44-year-old mother attempted suicide, overwhelmed by the pressure of being “exceptional” as a wife, mother, daughter-in-law and career woman. Wendy, who asked to be identified by another name under Taiwan`s defamation law, soon found that even after a divorce in the United States, the dissolution of a marriage in Taiwan was much more complicated. Once you get divorced, you no longer assess this status. If you wish to remain in Taiwan, you must first leave your residence and resettle once your divorce is concluded. Do you know what that feels like? It hands over your five-year watch for permanent residence qualification (APRC). So no matter what time you came to become a “free man,” you have to start all over again. We`re sorry. Wendy says her legal problems are not over because she has been threatened with independent lawsuits while her partner and future ex-wife`s divorce proceedings continue. According to a recent survey by the Taiwanese Ministry of Justice in April 2013, 82% of respondents opposed the decriminalization of adultery.