The Ministry of Gender Equality is accepting 'applications for redress of gender discrimination' as well as funding some 10 billion Won to women starting their own business.
According to the Ministry, applications from the metropolitan area accounted for 59% (80 cases) of the total applications (136) filed with the Ministry's Gender Discrimination Redress Center. But applicants living outside the Metropolitan area faced greater inconveniences due to distance. Thus the Ministry has revealed plans to "overcome the disadvantage of distance by accepting faxed applications, conducting local survey trips, and making online applications possible in the near future."
The Ministry is also going to support businesswomen by providing loans up to 100 million Won at a low interest rate of 4.5%. Those eligible for the loan are women who attended the employment or business courses provided by the Korea Women's Development Institute, have more than 2 years' experience in the cultural or IT industry, or achieved state-approved certificates for manufacturing or service skills. To encourage new businesses, however, the loans are limited to those who have business registrations that were issued less than a year ago.
The Ministry points out that startup funds provided through women's welfare policies target female breadwinners, leaving out single women and fulltime housewives. Also, it is difficult for businesswomen to get bank loans that require creditworthiness or security. Thus the financing provided by the Ministry this time is for women with professional skills rather than for unemployed female breadwinners or women in the low income class.
Applications for startup funding will start on March 3 at each district's Small Business Support Center, and the Ministry is planning to set up a separate selection committee to manage the 10 billion Won worth of funds and to select recipients.