Women's Struggle for Gender Equality in Korea
Gender Equality in Korea
Monday, May 22, 2006
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
243 Royce Hall
UCLA Center for Korean Studies presents
"Women's Struggle for Gender Equality in Korea"
by Dr. Mijeong Lee, Fulbright Fellow at Stanford University
"Under traditional Confucian patriarchy, Korean women had been confined to family and placed at the bottom of social hierarchy. Women's issues had never been recognized seriously until the 1980s. But, from the early 1980s, there have been drastic changes with regard to women status. These changes have been possible through the struggle of women's groups. From the early 1980s, new women's groups have emerged. A coalition of new women's group, KWAU was formed in 1987 and has been enormously successful in promoting gender equality. As democratic political process got back on track in 1987, a political opportunity was created for women's movement. With the rising level of education, women have become more conscious of gender equality.
Starting form the enactment of the Equal Employment Opportunity Act in 1987, a series of laws have been enacted to eliminate gender discrimination. Women's groups proposed the drafts for these laws and persuaded law makers. Government has tended to try to work with women's groups to fulfill the obligations imposed by the CEDAW. Ministry of Gender Equality was established in 2001. It can be said that women's movement in Korea has been well institutionalized into the political system."