Relative Status of Men and Women

Participation in the labor market, especially in professional occupations, has increased the decision-making power for women, both in the United States and Taiwan. However, immigration facilitated more influence for Taiwanese American women at an earlier time and often without their entrance in the work force. Prior to a more women-friendly adjustment of Taiwanese laws in 1985, immigration to the United States provided women with more rights to property ownership and inheritance, especially in the case of divorce (Ahern & Gates, 1981). Not surprisingly, women are generally the leading force in a family's decision to stay in the United States. Nevertheless, most first-generation Taiwanese American women still refrain from asking for a divorce, even if their estranged husbands have permanently returned to Taiwan.

The cultural expectation that a woman needs to stay with her husband in order to maintain a complete dyad keeps women from having equal status to men. Although men are also expected to stay married, divorce is considered less shameful for them and implies finding a new partner. Among second-generation immigrants, divorce is generally more acceptable for both men and women. However, despite their equal access to economic and educational resources, second-generation women are expected to comply more closely with the wishes of their parents, specifically their mothers, regarding both their financial and marriage-related decisions.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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