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Taiwan has a complex history of feminist and women's-rights movements with periods of progressiveness where feminism and strong female icons flourished and periods of strict authoritarianism where equality and individual rights were devalued.
Annette Lu is considered the founder of feminist thinking in modern Taiwan and established the first formal women's-rights movements in 1972. After delivering a twenty-minute keynote address during the Kaohsiung Incident in 1979, Lu was arrested, court-martialled and sentenced to twelve years in prison. She served five-and-a-half years and was released in 1985. She would later serve as the Vice President of the Republic of China between 2000 and 2008.
While Lu was in prison, Yenlin Ku and other activists published Awakening, a feminist magazine. Five years later, the same group founded the associated Awakening Foundation and, at the same time, a Women's Research Program at the National Taiwan University. Yenlin Ku later published a paper, Selling a Feminist Agenda on a Conservative Market – The Awakening Experience in Taiwan, summarising Taiwanese feminist history from the 1970s forward. titled,
Hwei-syin Lu's Women's Self-Growth Groups and Empowerment of the 'Uterine Family' in Taiwan provides a more detailed analysis of the progression of feminism in Taiwan and the role of uniquely Taiwanese concepts of gender.