Action Center for Women's Unemployment
1. Background for the Establishment of Action Center for Women's unemployment

   The advent of the economic crisis in late 1997 has led Korean women to face severe unemployment. Women were affected by compulsory and prior dismissals and forced to transfer to contract workers.  However, the public view of this women's unemployment was so predominantly male-centered and outdated discriminatory that ideology of "women come   homes" raised its ugly head, rationalizing prior dismissals of women workers.  Gender equality achieved by women workers were at the risk of collapsing. Women householders were in particular threatened.  It was almost impossible for fired women workers to find new jobs. Women's unemployment did not become a social issue and the government released no measures to solve the problem.

   In this situation, Action Center for Women's Unemployment was set up on June 9, 1998 with the aim of making women's unemployment a social issue and carried out series of campaigns to pressure the government to set up measures for women workers to overcome unemployment.

2. Main Activities

1) Direct Support Services for Unemployed Women

* Counseling: Counseling on jobs and family matters, providing comprehensive information on
  women's unemployment.

* Lectures for re-employment, a meeting place for job seekers: Providing comprehensive information needed for re-employment including the real situation and issues concerning women's unemployment, job training, types of public service work and its registration procedures, medical support services for dismissed women householders, information on receiving temporary social welfare benefits, job planning, interview methods, etc. Women exchange information and try to understand their situation, lessening their feelings of defeatism and increasing their capability to survive.

* Skill and Job Training : Women get more opportunities for various skill and job training to help women get hope and strength for the future.
* Aid for poor women : Providing food or fuel supplies to protect unemployed women from severe winter

* Medical Support: Carrying out medical support services with the help of medical NGOs. Unemployed women and children under the age of 18 receive 30 to 50% discount of medical insurance payments.

* Job-creation Projects : Operation of sideline work programs for unemployed women. Participation as assistant child welfare workers in government public works.

2) Policy Campaigns, Research and Policy Recommendations

* Research & Public Discussions: Monitoring public employment agencies, publishing the case studies of women householders and unemployed women, research on long term programs to overcome women's unemployment, discussion in conjunction with the first anniversary of the establishment of Action Center for Women's Unemployment on the evaluation and policy proposals of women's unemployment, discussion on the measures to overcome unemployment faced by middle-aged women, on the case studies of preparations undertaken by women university graduates to overcome unemployment, and on the measures to overcome gender discrimination in the process of job seeking.

* Policy proposals for overcoming unemployment: Five campaigns were undertaken once a month demanding government policy measures together with two major trade unions and a university coalition to achieve women workers' rights. Undertaking continuous campaigns for policy implementation on women's unemployment.

3) Organizing 'Sang Jo Hoi', mutual assistance group : 'Sang Jo Hoi' was formed in each of eight regions to counter women's unemployment. Members of 'Sang Jo Hoi' help each other and come up with measures to counter unemployment.

3. Results of Action Center for Women's Unemployment

1) Support programs for unemployed women: To help and lessen the pain of unemployment through job counseling, skill training, and to provide job information and medical support as well as aid for poor women

2) Organizing Unemployed Women: The greatest result achieved by Action Center for Women's Unemployment lies in organizing of unemployed women and making their voices loud in the society.

3) Making Women's Unemployment a Social Issue: Completion of case studies through counseling and publication of reports, holding public discussions and publicity campaigns through rallies and demonstrations to help change public opinions which only emphasized the pain of men's unemployment.

4) Policy Reflection: Many of the measures put forth by Action Center for Women's Unemployment were reflected in government policy such as introduction of the special measures for unemployed women householders, extension of work for women in public projects, government research on  women-friendly public works, execution of the National Basic Livelihood Plan and guaranteeing minimum livelihood, etc.
4. Self-Support Activity Center

1) Main Objectives

* Creating work to avoid poverty for the achievement of a productive welfare society
* Contribution to increase the quality of life due to the income increase of low-waged women
   and women of secondary social status, and conditional beneficiaries.
* Support to increase in the individual quality of self-support and to cultivate cooperative
   awareness through community experience and project activities.
* Construction of Social Safety Net by providing comprehensive family support services.

2) Operational Aims

* To maintain successful self-support programs with the development and management of the
   potentials of the beneficiaries and people with low-income.
* To heighten the success of self-support programs through coordinated support systems in order
   to meet the challenges after entry into the labor market and in order to increase the desire of
   beneficiaries and people with low-income.
* To create a gender-neutral model of self-support programs through the supervision of case
   studies in consideration with the characteristics of women's life patterns.
* To overcome `the feminization of poverty' and to achieve women labor rights and
   contribution to productive welfare.
* To enhance regional community spirit and to construct a social safety net through
   comprehensive services for families who are the supporters and obstructers of people in
   self-support programs.
* To activate a liasing network of civilians and the government for the increase in the
   efficiency of self-support programs and for the regional stabilization of people in self-support
   programs and for the effective operation of women-related self-support programs.

3) Guro Self-Support Center
* Common Work Room

   Common work room for designated beneficiaries is used as a basic evaluation process, the first step being the completion of toys, the second step the completion of clothing and finally, the assembly of electronic products. That is, providing sideline work for people in conditions unfavorable to employment as a method of life support and opening a way for these people to join a business group or community after passing through step-by-step work processing.

* Another Room
   Another Room is a self-support clothing community open to the beneficiaries who have undergone step-by-step work processing in the common work room for producing and selling   clothing or house accessories.

* `Fox's Skill'
   `Fox's Skill' is a brand name of clothing company created by Seoul Branch of KWWAU, meaning of high skill. Every month, two job-seekers are assigned to the process of production, receiving direct training and this leads to employment opportunities. Production is expanded through education sessions on skill-training once a month.

* Cooking Project
   Cooking project provides training for people who want to develop and open their own food business. Raw materials for cooking are supplied.

* Helpers for Mothers Project
   Helpers for Mothers Project is to make up an occupational community carrying out training to secure jobs for members of the project. Members are trained and dispatched as helpers to the homes where mothers have given birth. Monthly regular meetings are held in order to share experiences and exchange information.

* Comprehensive Helpers Project
   Like the helpers for mothers project, this project is to build an occupational community which trains people as maids, cleaners and so on as part of a comprehensive helpers project. A monthly discussion is held to increase cohesion of members and effective operation of the project.

4) Bupyong Self-Supporting Center

   Designated by Ministry of Health and Welfare, the Center is to carry out self-support projects for low-income people and to give information necessary for self-reliance, skill training, support for economical activities such as business openings, etc. Participants manage the operation and nurturing of self-support communities and common work rooms and share job introductions. Also the Center holds self-support contract projects, and develops many activities for improving the welfare of residents from other regions.

*  Lunch-box Community "Mother's Taste"
   This is for the unemployed women and they make contracts to supply lunch for children  and workers. They prepare all types of lunchboxes (company lunchboxes, lunchboxes for events) with care and love and take orders for gimbab and kimchi as well.

*  House Renovation and Construction Community "Master Craftsman"
   This is for unemployed people with low-income who have the intention to be part of self-support house renovation and construction projects and they repair public offices, schools, parks, social welfare facilities and non-profit organizations.

*  Private Nursing Community "Mother's Touch"
   This is  a fully service-oriented community for nursing the sick. Community members have to complete a training course under a professional instructor and then dispatched as private nurses to the sick in hospitals or homes or as helpers for women who have just given birth.
   11 hours - 30,000 won / 24 hours - 45,000 won

*  Free Housing Repair Project
   This project provides free housing repair services to the beneficiaries of National Basic Livelihood Plan, the elderly who live alone, disabled people, and so on.

*  Welfare Private Nurses' Project
   This provides free private nursing care at home or in the hospitals to the beneficiaries of National Basic Livelihood Plan, the elderly living alone, the disabled, boy and girl householders and other seriously ill people who have no family members.
*  Common Work Room Project
   This operates common work rooms for producing 'Han Bok' Korean traditional casual dress and common work rooms for producing electronics parts and toys to give sideline work for the participants.

5) Buchon Self-Supporting Center

   Designated by Ministry of Health and Welfare, the Center is to carry out job consulting, job training, operation and support of communities concerning self-support and self-reliance activities for low-income women in the Buchon region. The Center creates public service works and also provides economical, social, psychological support for self-reliance.

* Basic Projects for Self-support Projects
①   Consultation
  ․Counseling for the beneficiaries of National Basic Livelihood Plan
  ․Job counseling/ counseling on self-support activities/ life counseling
  ․group counseling for building self-esteem
②   Education
  ․Community education to enhance awareness on self-reliance
  ․Self-support project-oriented education
  ․Job training for women householders
③   Business Opening Support Projects
  ․information for business loans
  ․supporting joint business openings
④   Surveys and Research Projects
  ․Model development for women self-support work
  ․Analyzing the types of self-support work applicants and holding research and discussions on
    the resources for self-support work

*  Social Work Creation Project
①   Sharing Private Nurses' Service Project
․offering private nursing care to seriously ill patients without guardians in low-income
․free private nursing care in hospitals or at home
②   Dispatching teachers for after-school activities
․supporting teachers in non-profit study classes as welfare services for children in
   low-income families
․guiding children after-school hours and creating work for women

*  Operation and Support of Self-work communities
①  food community
․well-trained women from low-income families with excellent cooking skills prepare
   food and meals.
․common meals in the offices or factories
․all kinds of kimchi / side-dishes
․lunchboxes for events - meals for nursery schools

②  Durea’ Comprehensive Helper Dispatch Project
․dispatching trustworthy and well-trained people.
․Domestic helpers: parties, house cleaning and other household work
․Helpers for mothers: Operates a program to help new mothers
․Babysitters: natural and communal with tender care
․Private Nurses: caring for patients at home & hospitals

③  Straw Crafts Project
   Training by a master in traditional straw craftsmanship and support provided for operation of crafts room or training as instructors inducing the spread of traditional culture and self-reliance

④  Durea Car Cleaning Project
   Training program offered on car maintenance/cleaning and also providing steam cleaning and coating using a steamer cleaner in places convenient to customers, helping to increase income and self-reliance

⑤ Operation of Common Room for Sideline Work
   Training on making clothing and later introduction to jobs or development into self-support communities
Posted by KWWA
Welfare Center for Women Workers
Kounggi Province and Ansan city assigned Welfare Center for Women Workers to give general education courses and job counseling to unemployed and middle-aged women. Welfare Center also provides support for small group activities and welfare services and holds diverse programs for capacity building of women.

1. General education course
1) Lecture on labor laws including Labor Standard Law
2) Courses for women workers
3) Prevention Courses of sexual harassment at workplace
4) Exposure programs
5) Special Lecture for working women
6) Training for women leaders

2. Job Training for capacity building and capacity enhancement
1) Professional courses of tele-marketers
2) Courses of after-school teachers
3) Capacity enhancement courses for reading guiders for children
4) Other professional courses of women-friendly jobs
Posted by KWWA

Women Resource Development Center
  Despite the increasing rates of female labor force in economic activities since the 1980s, conditions for women to enter into the labor market are still limited.  Thus, in order to answer the demands of women, to expand the employment of women, and to secure their employment, it's essential and required to expand the opportunities of skill training and vocational training for women as well as to strengthen up the training programs.   Especially as women workers fall into irregular women workers recently, it is urgent and important to develope vocational training for women.
   Women Resource and Development Center is a special training organization for women as ray of hope for women to give diverse job training and job information actively and to hold general education courses.  
  Women Resource and Development Center sets up the following main goals:
  * Development of job areas for women in the 21st century and Implementation of special job  
  * Active job counseling and Creation of jobs to expand the women's opportunities for  
    economic and social activities  
  * Effective management of child care facilities and counseling center for solving the
    difficulties of women workers to improve the welfare of working women
  * Development and Implementation of useful and diverse general education programs

Kuro, Seoul 82-2-867-4456 (FAX 4459)
Dongrae, Pusan 82-51-503-7268 (FAX 505-7151)

Posted by KWWA
Hotline for Equality (Equaline)
1. Background of Hotline for Equality (Equaline)

    Equaline was opened  in five branches of KWWAU (Seoul, Inchon, Masan, Kwangju, and Pusan) in October of 1995 and now expanded to other three branches (North Cholla, Ansan, and Buchon). KWWAU has given training programs to counselors in each branch twice a year and published case study books based on counseling cases from all branches every year. Besides 8 branches, KWWAU also helps other organizations open a counseling center for women workers by exchanging information and advice.

   Equaline wants to solve the problems and difficulties that working women face today. Equaline gives counseling to women workers who seek for advice and help from employment insecurity, gender discrimination at workplace, maternity protection, sexual harassment and verbal/physical violence at workplace, and occupational disease.   Equaline also counsels women workers who asks for advice about obtaining jobs, difficulties with jobs and colleagues, and  unjust labor practices and explains how to organize a trade union and how to secure basic rights of workers. Especially, the recent economic slowdown made female labor periphery and irregular workers so that Equaline now concentrates on the protection of women workers' rights.

   In addition to counseling, Equaline holds public hearings and urges the Government to make proper policies for women workers as well as makes Equaline public and develops training programs.

2. Main Activities of Equaline

1) Counseling
*  Free counseling for legal advice : women workers get legal advice for free who are suffering from backwage, dismissal, temporary job status, forced resignation on marriage, discriminative earlier resignation and so on.
* Maternity Protection : women workers get counseling on protection of pregnant women workers, menstrual leave, miscarriage leave, and delivery leave.
* Child Care leave and facilities at workplace : women workers get support to improve the conditions of child care facilities at workplace.
* Equal rights as workers : women workers get counseling on gender discrimination of recruitment, employment, promotion, education, discriminative wage and bonus gap, forced resignation on marriage and discriminative earlier resignation.
* Unstable employment : temporary and subcontract women workers get information on their rights protected by labor laws in case of plants closure, plants dislocation, layoffs, and dismissal and women workers can be protected and enjoy healthy lives through counseling on occupational disease, harmful chemicals and poor working conditions.
* Counseling on basic rights of workers : women workers get counseling on unjust labor practices, backwage, sexual harassment, assistance for establishment and activities of trade unions.

2) Training programs : Equaline holds training programs for counselors twice a year and supports education for women trade union members.

3) Development of women-friendly policies : Equaline develops proper policies for women workers to expand the coverage of maternity protection and to secure equal working conditions for both women and men.

4) Publication : Equaline publishes case study books based on counseling cases from all Equalines and holds a report announcement for the case study book.  Equaline also holds seminars to discuss the problems of women workers and provides materials for the trade unions and labor organizations.
Posted by KWWA
Action Center for Restoration of Irregular Women Workers' Rights
1. Main Objectives

1) To ensure that all protection measures guaranteed by the Constitution be observed for the enhancement of the basic rights and lives of women workers.
2) To guarantee the rights of women who could not actively assert their rights through counseling and through the use of legal and administrative protective mechanisms and contribute to the awareness enhancement of women workers.
3) Campaigning the government for the strengthening of administrative supervision and policy implementation for the protection of irregular workers.

2. Projects

1) Counseling projects
* Operation of counseling counters by KWWAU including headquarter and eight branches and  
  by Korean Women's Trade Union (KWTU) including headquarter and nine regional branches
* Workshops (once a month at headquarter and branches) to exchange information on    
  counseling cases and to prepare measures
* Supporting petitions or law suits to guarantee the legal rights of irregular women workers
* Connecting women to organizations providing legal support and to joint activities

2) Educational publicity campaigns
*  Publication and distribution of [This is How I Protect My Rights]
*  National Campaigns (once or twice a month, headquarter and branches)
*  Publication of [This is How I found My Rights] by Headquarter

3) Policy Projects

* Public debates to achieve the basic rights of irregular workers
       ① Workshop by experts on legal structural reform for irregular workers
          (once a month)
       ② To achieve the basic rights of subcontract women workers
       ③ Real situation of women workers and measures needed to realize their basic rights
       ④ Structural measures to eliminate gender discrimination
       ⑤ Research on the working and living conditions of women workers
       ⑥ Activities related to the minimum wage system
       ⑦ Debate on the reality of work accidents faced by golf caddies and application of
          work accident insurance

* Submitting policy proposals to the government administrative bodies, National Assembly and political parties to achieve the basic rights of irregular women workers

* Requesting administrative supervision
Posted by KWWA
Seoul Women Workers' Association
Seoul Women Workers' Association
TEL : 02-867-0516 / FAX : 02-861-0815

Starting with Korean Women Workers' Association in 1987, it changed into SWWA in 1992. SWWA has carried out diverse activities for women workers and built a new phase of women workers' movement by supporting the setup of KWWAU together with other regional women workers' associations.

SWWA, striving for empowerment of women comprising a half of heaven and breaking the chains of discrimination at home, at work and society, is your friend and hope to open a bright future for women.

Her activities

* Activities for Lifelong Equal Labor Rights

1) Women and Work

At work and at home, against all discrimination,  women need to live self-reliant and independent lives. For this, SWWA gives women diverse educational programs to raise their awareness and to support their economic activities.

2) Women and Gender, Marriage  

SWWA gives education courses to women to help them get better understanding of the essential systematic women's problems. Especially working women need to get the courses for understanding of realities of women workers, their movement, maternity protection, and sexual harassment at work.  

3) Women and Family

SWWA prepares educational courses such as sex education, points of view on love and marriage, and how to deal with sexual harassment at work. In addition, SWWA carries out programs for women such as how to be good parents, how to communicate with your children, how to make a democratic home and how to give sex information to their children.

4) Women and Law

SWWA carries out programs for women workers so that they can get more information on women related laws such as Equal Opportunity for Employment between men and women, Child care laws, Employment Insurance laws, laws for women's development, or Labor Standard Law.  

5) etc
For men, SWWA prepares programs. For example, anyone can participate in open lecture on history of labor movement given by labor activists who played vital roles in 1970s to 1980s.  
Also anyone interested in our programs feel free to call us.

* Job Training Activities

More and more women want to keep working after marriage. As only monotonous low-paid jobs are allowed for women, women also want to have their own speciality in job markets. However, now we are facing the reality that we can't get any stable jobs due to the lack of skills and training courses are not enough for all women who want to take.
Thus, SWWA leads the way to job creation and job stability for women. SWWA published case study book on job training of women and suggestions to develope the programs in 1994 and now making every effort to develope advanced programs for women, which can facilitate women to get jobs again. In addition, SWWA has diverse retraining courses to help them get better skills. After completing series of training courses, SWWA give job information to women trained and also gives counseling and advice for women to keep their lifelong right to work.

* Policy Development

1) Maternity Protection : "women workers' safety and health","vocational disease and maternity protection", "schemes for society to share the cost of maternity protection"

2) Equal Employment : "struggle guidelines for raise of women workers", "abolition of forced retirement due to marriage and pregnancy and of early retirement", " guidelines of Ministry of Gender Equality for trade unions", "policies for women to work"  

3) Job Security

"the real situation of job insecurity for women workers and its countermeasures","how can we solve the problem of deteriorating job insecurity","no rights, double exploitation, how can we see this", "employment insurance and women's job security"
4) Child Care  

"amendment bills for child care laws", "direction of current child care movement and future tasks of women labor movement", "proper measures to establish nursery at work"

* Solidarity Building : SWWA regularly exchange and share experiences and activities     with other organizations in and abroad.

* Her Associates

1) Hot Line for Equality (EQUALINE)

In order to protect women workers against infringement of their human rights at work   and to effectively support them, Equaline is set up and gives counsels and advice to women. Call, visit, letter, or e-mailing can contact Equaline.
Tel : 02-853-8354 / 0505-555-5050/
Fax : 02-861-0815
E-mail :
Cyber-counseling :
Biz hour : Monday to Friday 10:00 a.m. ~ 7 :00 p.m./ Saturday 10:00 a.m.~ 1:00 p.m.
           Besides biz hour, appointment in advance can make counseling time.

2) Tuntuni(Sound mind sound body) Children's House
For working parents in Guro, in 1989 Tuntuni Children's House was established and in August 2001 it was rebuilt as schooling community for children.  Child care is not only a family responsibility but also a responsibility of our society and Tuntuni Children's House can be an alternative child care community.  
Tel : 02-837-3073

3) Guro Women Resource Development Center  

Guro Women Resource Development Center was established for the rights of women workers and for their economic reliance by support of Ministry of Labor.
While more women want to participate in economic activities since 1980s, there are still high barriers to limit their participation in labor market. Thus SWWA has asked for enhancement of job training and educations to expand women's employment and job stability, especially in this period of increasing irregular women workers.  

◐ Cultural courses for the community
- acupuncture
- sports dance
- reading fairy tales
- English conversation by native speakers

◐ Building job capacity courses

- making clothes and repairing
- attaining licenses to be hair dresser and Korean Food cook
- home nurses courses

◐ Computer courses: windows, Excel, Hangeul 97, HTML, Flash, Photoshop, Ilustrators and web design

Tel : (02) 867 - 4456
FAX : (02) 867 - 4459
E-mail : /  

4) Guro 'Samteo' Self-support Center

◐ Community Workplace
For women who can't get jobs due to their conditions, community workplace can provide them with side jobs to support their livelihood. At the first course, women can learn how to make stationeries and at the next course, they can complete fuzzy stuffed toys and electronic parts. During the courses women can meet each other and completion of the courses can make them open a common business together.
◐ Another Room
Another Room is a collective which produce uniforms or accessaries for the women completing the courses of Community Workplace. It gets orders and produces goods for the demanders.

◐ Skillful Foxes
Skillful Foxes is a brand name for SWWA. Among job seekers, every two women a month are arranged for high-skill training and given jobs as sewer.  By giving one skill training a month, SWWA aims to increase productivity.

◐ Food Delivery Service
Food Delivery Service markets, cooks, and delivers their food for special events. It develops Korean Daily Food and family events menu for marriage or funeral and for women who want to open their business it can be experience for management.

◐ Home Helper for women delivered a baby
◐ Home Helper : housekeeping or cleaning
Tel : (02) 856 - 0516
E-mail :
Posted by KWWA