Taiwanese do not value gender equality as much as most people think, as most parents leave their inheritance to their sons rather than their daughters, a recent report published by the Ministry of Finance shows.
Despite women’s rising social status thanks to their increasing economic independence in recent years, the older generation tend to stick to convention and favor their sons. Inequality is particularly obvious when it comes to inheritance, the study said.
Many of the older generation give their houses to their daughters as dowries and leave their other assets to their sons, said accountant Hsu Chih-chiang (徐之強), who has helped many wealthy clients deal with their assets.
This move forces some daughters to give up their inheritance, Hsu said.
In 2009, up to 64.9 percent of those who gave up their inheritance were women, statistics show.
This suggests that more than 60 percent of women had to abandon their right to inherit, the ministry said.
Last year, men accounted for 71.6 percent of those who inherited, compared with 72.7 percent a year earlier.
This inequality even manifests itself in the gifts that parents give before their death, with 59.5 percent of those receiving gifts last year being men.
Spouses and children of both genders are the first in line to inherit and are eligible for equal shares of the inheritance if one of the couple dies without leaving a will, according to the law.
Meanwhile, men were also found to occupy more high-level posts in companies, the ministry said.
About 500,000 owners of the 720,000 firms listed in enterprise income tax data in 2008 were men, while only 220,000 were women, the report shows.