Women Empowerment and Gender Equality in South Korea


Women empowerment can be defined as promoting women’s sense of self-worth, their ability to determine their own choices, and their right to ...

Women empowerment can be defined as promoting women’s sense of self-worth, their ability to determine their own choices, and their right to influence social change for themselves and others. Women tend to be the “behind every man’s success is a woman.” 

Most women stand on their own, powerful along with their experience, their intelligence, and their instincts. The first woman president of South Korea, Park Geun-Hye was a turning point in the role of women in South Korean politics.

According to Eun Mee Kim, Dean at Ewha Womans University:

“Korea has been heavily influenced by traditional thoughts such as Confucianism that really made it difficult for women to be respected equal to men. The value and position of women was much lower in the society. Even if you look around the world, there were more women presidents, leaders, and vice presidents but we have not have that in Korea. Discrimination against women made it difficult.”

With the promulgation of the South Korean Constitution on July 17, 1948, women’s rights to employment and education were highlighted in an attempt to prohibit discrimination. Article 9, Paragraph 1 of the 1948 Constitution states:

“All citizens shall be equal before the law and there shall be no discrimination in political, economic, social, or cultural life on account of sex, religion or social status”.

The Women's Empowerment Principles:
It was created in a collaboration between the UN Global Compact and UN Women, the Women’s Empowerment Principles are used to empower women in the marketplace, workplace, and community.

The seven principles are:

Principle 1: Create high-level corporate leadership for gender equality
    - Men and women should have equality regardless of their nature of work, their experiences and level of education and living, and where they came from.

Principle 2: Treat all people fairly at work, respecting and supporting non-discrimination and human rights
    - Workplace can be as hard as home, some people discriminate against women and vice-versa. We should treat people as who they are. We are the same and equal.

Principle 3: Ensure the health, well being, and safety of all workers, whether male or female
    - Regardless of gender, we, people should protect one another and not pull people down.

Principle 4: Promote education, training, and professional development for women.
    - Men are responsible to make a living for his family and women should too.

Principle 5: Implement supply chain, marketing practices, and enterprise development that empower women.
    - Team-building is a good idea for practices and for the community. It makes us trust one another and lean onto each other when things get rough.

Principle 6: Champion equality through community initiatives and advocacy.
    - Women are the ones who tend to do parent-teacher meetings in school for their children. They are the ones doing household chores, groceries, and many more. That’s why we have Women’s Day to thank them.

Principle 7: Measure and report publicly on progress to create gender equality.
     - Women in South Korea are guaranteed all legal rights: the right to drive, vote, own, and inherit properties and assets. They even have all access to medical and healthcare services. Nevertheless, Korean females tend to not have equality with men in their nature of work. They are being trained at a very young age to prepare them to become a wife and a mother. Insubordination does not happen to them. They are very well-mannered and centered on the family.

Women are part of the industry. A lot of women made their careers on their own and became successful because of their experiences and hard work. Some women made history that no one can ever achieve. Gender equality is important as water.

“Never underestimate the power of a woman.”



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PinoySeoul.com: Women Empowerment and Gender Equality in South Korea
Women Empowerment and Gender Equality in South Korea
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