Since the inception of the Taiwan Gender Equity Education Association in 2002, we have been firmly committed to implementing gender equity education and eliminating gender discrimination. We strongly believe in building a society characterized by diversity and equity and maintain our efforts at the central and local levels.
In 1999, the first draft of the Gender Equity Education Act was formulated. In the aftermath of the Yeh, Yung-chih incident, a tragic event on a local campus in 2000, the government took a proactive approach to deal with gender-related bullying incidents on campuses. The “Gender Equity Education Act” was successfully enacted in 2004.
This Act serves as the legal foundation for an equal society. As an NGO, we actively participate in, monitor, and verify the implementation of the Act and make an all-out effort to cultivate gender equity awareness through education. We vocally advocate all gender education-related issues.
15th anniversary of the enactment of the Gender Equity Education Act (23 Jun 2020)
TGEEA’s ultimate goals are to implement and promote gender equity and completely eliminate all forms of discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender expression, and gender identity. We, therefore, strive to identify and correct relevant problems on the legal foundation of the Gender Equity Education Act. Whenever incidents occur that impair teachers’ professional autonomy and the right to education of students, we rely on social media and news networks to communicate the value of diversity and respect to the public.
2019 marks the 15th anniversary of the enactment of the “Gender Equity Education Act“. The association has decided to utilize this occasion to hold a joint press conference in cooperation with numerous teachers, parents, and student organizations and issue a joint appeal to the government and conservative groups to give back a gender-friendly and welcoming learning environment to our students.
The book “King & King” incident (2020)
In 2020, the Ministry of Education adopted a Reading Promotion Program for Elementary Schools’ First Graders, which involves the handing out of illustrated books to first graders in a random manner. One of these books, titled “King and King” tells the story of two gay men who fall in love and decide to start a family.
Some people with questionable intentions utilized this book’s publication to manipulate public opinion and departments of education in certain locations adopted measures in direct violation of the Gender Equity Education Act, such as the recall or exchange of issued books or the display of warning messages.
In response to this incident, we reaffirmed our commitment to defending teachers’ professional autonomy and the right to education of students during this press conference. We appealed to government agencies to adopt a more proactive attitude toward the challenges members of the LGBTQ+ community face on our campuses, thereby setting a positive example for society.
We also shared the insights of one of our members whose children read this book under her personal guidance and thereby gained a better understanding of the experiences of LGBTQ+ community on our official Facebook platform. This post generated considerable positive feedback.
The incompetence of Taipei City Gender Equity Committee members (2020)
We raised objections to the nomination of two members of the 8th Gender Education Committee by the Department of Education, Taipei City Government. Not only was the nomination process flawed, but the past statements of these committee members also raise concerns about their gender equity awareness. We, therefore, issued a joint statement together with other gender diversity friendly groups and seven members of the “Taipei City Council Alliance for the Promotion of Gender Equity” formed by Taipei City Councilors.
We appealed to Taipei City Government to conduct a thorough review of the selection and nomination system, ensure transparency of administrative processes, and establish a withdrawal mechanism for incompetent committee members. We also believe that the Taipei Association’s repeated appeals for the Promotion of Women’s Rights (TAPWR) to appoint candidates with high gender equity awareness to relevant committees should be positively addressed.
The Alliance of Friendly City Councilors
Numerous members of our association have attended meetings of central and local government committees, including the Gender Equity Education Committee. It has a direct impact on the right to education of students. The Taipei Association for the Promotion of Women’s Rights, is committed to enhancing the welfare of women and safeguarding their rights and interests, and the Task Force for Coordination of Gay Affairs in Taipei City. It monitors the formulation and implementation of laws and measures that protect the rights and interests of the LGBTQ+ community.
In 2020, we paid official visits to city councilors of 7 different counties and cities in Taiwan, accompanied by representatives of other gender-friendly organizations. During these visits, we engaged in discussions with the city councilors on the following four issues: deliberation and formulation of gender-neutral policies, complementary administrative measures, city promotion, and implementation of gender equity education. We shared the observations of our first-line educators as a valuable reference for the councilors.
Member Organizations of Covenants Watch
The Taiwanese Government has adopted resolutions in 2011 and 2012 to incorporate the “International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)“ passed by the UN in 1966 and the “Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)” into national legislation.
Over many years, we have participated and assisted in the composition of parallel reports to facilitate the monitoring of international human rights covenant implementation by the government and ensure an accurate representation of gender equity education concepts and addressing challenges that students who belong to the LGBTQ+ community face on our campuses.
We identify problems including deficiencies in the implementation of gender equity education by the government and local administrative agencies as well as inadequate policy formulation in a detailed manner. We also proactively provide policy advice.
LGBT Pride Parade
The first LGBT pride parade was held in 2003. Taiwan Gender Equity Education Association (TGEEA) has been attending every parade and has also served as a co-organizer for this event. We show our solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community by participating in this annual event which has grown from a few hundred to hundreds of thousands of participants. We also participated in the first and second Taiwan Trans March held in 2019 and 2020.
Despite the numerous challenges that members of the LGBTQ+ community face in our society and on our campuses, we still uphold our original mission as educators by promoting gender equity education and vocal advocacy. Our ultimate goal is to ensure fair treatment and protection of all members of our society against bullying and discrimination based on gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation.