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  • Date:2024-04-18

Chinese Name: 女書店

Address: 2F., No. 7, Ln. 56, Sec. 3, Xinsheng S. Rd., Da’an Dist., Taipei City, Taiwan

Established: 1994

Official Website:

Did You Know That…?

The Chinese characters of Fembooks on the bookshop’s signboard were written by renowned calligrapher Tong Yang-tze (董陽孜).



Established in April 1994, Fembooks, founded by a group of women’s rights activists and people who are concerned about gender equality, is a bookstore dedicated to championing literary works about feminism and homosexuality in the sinosphere. It aims to offer a comfortable space for reading feminist writings, listening to women’s voices, and exchanging women’s experiences. Adhering to its ideal, the bookstore has collected the most complete books and audio-visual products on women and gender issues in the Chinese-speaking world. Fembooks has maintained the three principles of its book selection: by women, for women, and about women, distinguishing itself from other bookshops.


When the bookstore was first formed, the society was unfriendly towards women. The Women’s movement was regarded as “a group of misandrists running amok,” and women who sought help from women’s groups were associated with “poor creatures that suffer misfortune.” When it came to women’s books, people only thought of ones about cooking, parenting, or embroidery. As for publications about homosexuality, which was an unspeakable secret hidden in the closet, they could hardly be found at a bookstore. However, the emergence of Fembooks began to subvert the oppression of sexual minorities.


In addition to cultural and historical values, Fembooks provides the public with a channel for learning more about feminism. It is not merely a bookstore but a cultural center where people can exchange ideas and interact with each other. In Fembooks, people can participate in a heated discussion or share their personal experiences of women’s self-awareness. Furthermore, Fembooks also hosts a variety of lectures, seminars, and exhibitions, offering attendants opportunities to think about multiple sexual identities.


Other than selling books, Fembooks has started to publish its publications since 1996 and held topic discussions and lectures from time to time, inviting people to get more familiar with feminism. The bookstore not only focuses on feminist issues but also pays attention to social affairs. Visitors to Fembooks can find real-life stories of sexual minorities and have discussions about marriage equality. This independent bookstore has become a place of enlightenment for those who once faced women’s predicament or confusion about their own sexual identity.


According to the founders of Fembooks, opening a gender-oriented bookstore was a bold decision. At that time, the society was generally ignorant of feminism. Feminist books were the least popular subject - even most female readers themselves didn’t realize the critical importance of feminism. Under the circumstances, a bookstore like Fembooks could not easily survive, let alone make good profits. In 2017, Fembooks once closed down because of financial difficulties, but the bookstore’s patrons attempted to prevent their favorite place from disappearing. Eventually, with the support of many people, Fembooks reinstated its business, revitalizing the bookshop’s space by holding reading sessions and art events.


Lending its relaxing and cozy space, Fembooks hosted a series of lectures related to gender and technology in collaboration with the Society of Taiwan Women in Science and Technology (台灣女科技人學會), combining expertise from various fields with gender issues. Meanwhile, hands-on workshops and reading sessions were also organized by the bookstore. Since its establishment in 1994, Fembooks has been not only a brick-and-mortar shop that sells feminist books but also the epitome of gender equality consciousness in the history of the women’s rights movement on the island. Keeping upholding its principles, Fembooks allows more people to be aware of gender issues, hoping women and sexual minorities can truly be themselves without social constraints.