<Press conference statement>

 “For women, all of corporation are Hanssem” Brave women,

vicious corporations and a broken system





We, coming together here, have been accusing and fighting for gender discrimination in the labor market. We have demanded fair treatment for women’s labor who are forced to marginalized work and urged the need of decent jobs from the start for youth women. In line with this, we have made efforts to dissolve gender pay gap, to abolish discrimination on placement and promotion, to remove unfair labor practice in regard to child-care leave, and to eliminate sexual harassment/violence at work that women suffers routinely. Testimonies of survivors from sexual harassment at work have been requesting the disciplinary action to perpetrators and prevention measures, together with redressing measures, for sexual harassment at work, gradually resulting in outcomes to some degree toward reinforcing corporation liability and social responsibility.


In recent, sexual violence occurred in Hanssem and Hyundai Card, leading companies, shows how women are used for sexual objectification in a corporation. What outrages us is that the incidents were committed by bosses who have power to make decision on victims’ employment, and the corporations, which is supposed to be liable, is irresponsible in redressing, rather producing other harms against the victims. The fact that the distorted prejudice, which frequently spoken against victims in sexual violence cases, such as ‘Ggotbaem, false accusation, being in love relationship, misunderstanding, and etc, are encountered in cases of sexual harassment at work shows that workplace, for women, is not different from our society which be packed with misogyny.


Above all, the sexual harassment cases occurred in Hanssem and Hyundai Card are not exceptional but represent the actual faces of all of companies and workplace in which women in our society work. more than 53% of women workers of LG Household & Health Care, carrying on a strike for 52 days, experienced sexual harassment, and 72% of them didn’t make a complain about it. They appeared not to trust redress system of the corporation on sexual harassment and testified that they faced employment disadvantage when they disobeyed. We have witnessed, once again, the damage of sexual harassment women undergo at work through the bold testimony of the sexual harassment victim of Hanssem. And we are outraged that the company and society don’t recognize it nor do they make efforts to redress legitimately, rather they use vicious media manipulation to return the responsibility to the victim.


Often women in low occupational status, in non-standard employment, and in young age are victims of sexual harassment but it occurs in any workplace where power relation exists including old ages, managerial positions, professionals. At the Equal Employment Counseling Center, counseling on a sexual harassment case has been skyrocketing over the years. Sexual harassment is not only damaging individual human right of the woman worker but also results in crisis in employment by disadvantageous treatment and dismissal. Therefore it is a serious violation of labor rights.


A notable case is the case of Samsung which violates the article 14 (2) of EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY AND WORK-FAMILY BALANCE ASSISTANCE ACT which prohibits disadvantageous measures against a victim of sexual harassment, rather incites bullying, exclusion from work, and giving low grade on the performance. The judgment of the court and decision of the Ministry of Employment and Labor on this case has been delayed for 4 years. In the meantime, more damage has occurred. It is the delinquency of duties of the court and the Ministry of Employment and Labor, and an organized violence against victims of sexual harassment who has accused, with bold courage, a large conglomerate, Samsung. 


Bold women corrected the broken system.

Yesterday, at National Assembly, the EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY AND WORK-FAMILY BALANCE ASSISTANCE ACT has been amended with contents to reinforce the employers liability on sexual harassment at work and to strengthen prohibition of disadvantageous treatment against a victim. It is one of the achievements brought by our action to testimony vigorously of, fight and be in solidarity against sexual harassment.


There should be no longer any woman who surrenders or leaves workplace because they are not able to cope with alone. We would stay with bold witnesses to alter the environment of corporations and our society so that corporations and social system all together never tolerate any sexual violence and gender discrimination.





2017. 11. 10.


KCTU Women committee, Woman labor law support center, Korea Women’s Trade Union, NGA/SF, Seoul Women Workers Association, Korea Sexual Violence Relief Center, Korean Women Workers Association, Korean WomenLink, United Korea Women’s Association, United Kyeonggi Women’s Association, Daejeon Women’s Association for Democracy, Deagu Women’s Association, United Daegu&Kyeongbuk Women’s Association, National solidarity to solve the problem of prostitution, Jeju Association for Women’s rights, Jeju women’s Association, Pohang Women’s Association, Women Migrants Human Rights Center of Korea


Posted by KWWA