After Mar. 8 ushered in the 93rd 'World Women's Day,' and in Korea, it was a culmination of a variety of events organized by women groups that began on Feb. 26.
The Korea Women's Association United (KWAU) held the 17th Korea Women's Day Rally on Mar. 4, where participants renewed their determination to abolish the Hoju system, secure government support for child care and housework, and protect women in irregular employment.
At the rally, the 13th 'Women of the Year Award' was given to Yoon Jeongok, the co-representative of the Korean Council for Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan.
Others recognized at the rally as 'stepping stones' to women's rights enhancement were: the▲ families of victims of the fire in Kunsan red light district, for demanding preventive social measures rather than personal compensation ▲ the soap opera 'Ajumma' (the Korean equivalent of 'Missus'), for realistically depicting the social problems of divorce and the Hoju system ▲ 88CC branch of the Korean Women's Trade Unions, for helping to get people to acknowledge golf caddies and other sport competition assistants as workers ▲ Feminist singer Ahn Hyekyong.
The dishonor of being named 'stumbling blocks' to women's rights went to: ▲ Foreign Minister Lee Joung-binn ▲ President of Hotel Lotte, for giving light punishment for sexual harrassment while firing the victims ▲ Judge Kim at the Seoul District Court, for ruling that Agricultural Cooperative's dismissal of married couple employees is not unfair ▲ President of Korea Telecoms, for illegally dismissing married couple employees ▲Major general Kim, for sexually harassing a women soldier.
The Korean Women Workers Associations United and the two federations of trade unions will join forces on Mar. 8 to hold a Women's Rally. They are due to call for an end to discrimination against irregular workers, whose fate has worsened due to the government's procrastination in allowing multiple union membership. There are other unusual events, such as a national bus tour in support of women in irregular employment and an online debate on the obstacles to women's participation in society.