Competition of Discourses in the Change of Childcare Policy in Taiwan

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 18:15
Oral Presentation
Chia-Ling YANG, Graduate Institute of Gender Equity Education, National Kaohsiung Normal University, Taiwan
Social welfare policies represent different kinds of ideology and decide how care services are provided by the state, market and/or the family. In Taiwan’s complex social context of high commodification of childcare, women’s low labour participation, and an on-going birth rate crisis, this article examines Taiwan’s feminist social welfare movement and analyses competition of discourses in the change of childcare policies in Taiwan.

This research focuses on the Childcare Policy Alliance since its establishment in 2005, including three women’s organisations and trade unions of child carers. With the research methods of discourse analysis of documents and publications of these four groups and child care policies and interviews of key members in these groups, this article aims to examine how the Childcare Policy Alliance transform the public provision of child care in Nordic model in order to construct discourse of ‘public governance’ of child care and how these women employ strategies to promote their discourse and compete with different discourses of child care, including familialism highlighting ‘mothers as best carers’ and neo-liberalist and captialist ideology of ‘limiting the state’s intervention of the market’ and ‘competition at an young age’.

Following transnational feminists’ agenda, I pay attention to local complexities of feminist struggles over boundary of public/private and production/reproduction. By examination of discourses competition in childcare policy change, this research results can have further dialogues with feminist social welfare research and social welfare movement studies.