• Taiwan a leader in gender equality
• Pension schemes
• Boosting workers’ rights

The Tainan City government hosts a mass wedding ceremony at Yizai Jincheng, or Eternal Fortress, overlooking Anping Harbor. Built in 1874, the fortress is deemed an auspicious site for the ceremony as the expression yizai —literally meaning “100 million years”—is regarded as symbolic of eternal love and devotion. (Liao Tai-ji)

Taiwan’s population of some 23 million is graying, and its fertility rate fell to 0.895 per woman in 2010, the lowest in the world. Policy measures have been enacted to encourage young people to marry and have children. Public pension schemes offer a measure of economic security for the elderly, while a variety of welfare services are provided to the disadvantaged. Laws are in place to strengthen protection of children, the disabled, low-income groups and workers, as well as to safeguard the rights of women in the workplace. Programs are being implemented to help low-income households recover from economic difficulties and become more prosperous through education and vocational training. And a new Cabinet-level agency tasked with promoting women’s rights is set to be-gin operations in 2012.Taiwan’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.27 percent as of the end of May 2011, down from a high of 6.13 percent in 2009, due to a strong re-bound from recession resulting from global economic turmoil.