Feminism and Protest Camps
Entanglements, Critiques and Re-Imaginings

5: Women Activists, Gendered Power and Postfeminism in Taiwan’s ‘Sunflower Movement’


This chapter examines gendered power and women’s experiences in the ‘Sunflower Movement’ in Taiwan, also known as the 3/18 Parliament Occupation Movement. This large-scale, intensive, month-long protest against a trade pact with China in 2014, which centred on a protest camp within the parliament building, was marred by several gender imbalances. However, emerging research on the 3/18 Movement largely ignores gender and women’s experiences. In contrast, this chapter focuses on how individual women and women’s organisations responded to gendered representations and gender imbalances in the parliamentary occupation, as well as in the larger movement. I will argue that the young women activists employed feminist perspectives when analysing the inequalities they faced, but did not turn to feminist approaches or the women’s movement in their responses, instead employing a variety of individualised strategies. This is explained as a result of specific postfeminist contexts in Taiwan.

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