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More sons in Taiwan get inheritances than daughters: report

2011/12/25 19:16:42

Taipei, Dec. 25 (CNA) Taiwan probably does not value gender equality as much as most people think, as most parents leave their inheritances to sons rather than daughters, according to a recent report published by the Ministry of Finance.

Despite women's rising social status thanks to their increasing economic independence in recent years, the older generation tend to stick to local convention and favor men.

Inequality is particularly obvious when it comes to inheritance allocation, the study pointed out.

Many of the older generation give houses to their daughters as dowries and leave the other assets to their sons, said accountant Hsu Chih-chang, who has helped many wealthy clients allot their assets. This move forces some daughters to have to give up their inheritances, said Hsu.

In fiscal 2009, up to 64.9 percent of inheritors who gave up their inheritances were women, compared with men's 35.1 percent, the statistics show. This suggests that more than 60 percent of women inheritors had to abandon the right to inherit, the ministry said.

Last year, men accounted for 71.6 percent of the inheritors, compared with 72.7 percent a year earlier.

This inequality even manifests itself in the gifts that parents give before death, with 59.5 percent of the gift receivers that year being men and 40.5 percent women.

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 in Taiwan were also found to occupy more high-level posts in companies, the ministry said. Some 500,000 owners of the 720,000 firms listed in the 2008 enterprise income tax data were men, while only 220,000 were women, the report found.

(By Kendra Lin)