Beyond discrimination and hatred, gender equality toward democracy

:Nothing justifies discrimination and hatred




  The government born out of candlelight revolution should make policies reflecting "candlelight" citizens' voice and pursue them. They demanded a genuine democratic society where no one is discriminated and marginalized and where everyone is respected and their voices are respected. We are concerned that the National Assembly and the government do not reflect candlelight citizens’ voices. They even show moves to accept demands from hatred groups.


  Recently some hatred groups distorted the meaning of 'gender equality’ and incite and foster discrimination and hatred. These groups interrupted discussions about constitutional reform which were held around the country under the pretext to block a constitutional reform for gender equality. They even almost canceled a public hearing for Master Plans for Gender Equality Policies on 16 Nov., which is indisputable violence having broken democratic principles in public sphere. The groups aggravated discrimination and incite hatred in the name of religion and this is just like insulting their own religion. Religions fundamentally aim for humanity but they damage their reputations and values by themselves.


  What is more problematic is that the government moves toward accepting voices from the hatred groups. In the plenary session of the Special Committee for Constitutional Reform in the National Assembly in late November, some lawmakers demanded to change the term ‘gender equality’ into ‘gender equality between man and women’ in the Constitution, which was followed by media reports of the announcement from the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family on 15 December 2017. Media reported that it would change the term 'gender equality' into 'gender equality between men and women' in Master Plans for Gender Equality Policies. Korean Women's Association United and other women's organizations announced statements in protest against the move and the MoGEF said it uses gender equality mixed with gender equality between men and women.


  The MoGEF's mixed use of both terms, ‘gender equality’ and ‘gender equality between men and women' goes against the spirit of candlelight protests where people demanded redressing discriminations. Therefore, the government born out of hope of women who kept defending the candlelight must change the name of the act 'Framework Act on Gender Equality between Men and Women' into 'Framework Act on Gender Equality' and use the term 'gender equality.' The term 'gender equality between men and women' used by the hatred group is to exclude sexual minorities and condone discriminations against them. 'Gender equality' policies are measures to address gender inequality and discrimination, hatred and exclusion. 'Gender equality' is a basic human right in the perspective of individual right which is enshrined in the Constitution and must not be violated by any reasons.


  The National Assembly should push ahead with the unwavering constitutional reform for gender equality faithful to the spirit of popular sovereignty and representative system. The reform must be to reduce gender discrimination for the sustainable society. The MoGEF, as a responsible department for gender equality policies, must clarity fundamental principles and related contents and keep its own way to gender equality. This is the way to remove deep rooted evils in women polices while it does meet its obligation.


 We will keep close eye on the announcement of Master Plans for Gender Equality Policies expected on 20 Dec 2017.



2017. 12. 18


Korean Women's Association United and Seven sections and 28 member organizations affiliated with it

Posted by KWWA