How to gather the power of Korean women all over the world to elevate women's status?
That was the topic that gathered more than 100 Korean women from 23 countries including the US, Germany, Australia, Russia and Egypt. The Global Korean Women's Network Rally, held in Seoul from July 2 to 4 on the occasion of the 6th Women's Week, holds great significance in that it gathered women from all over the world in one place.
During the Society and Culture Conference that was held on the 3rd with the theme 'Ways to Establish and Activate a Korean Women's Network,' Kang Jeong Sook (Chief of Education, Munich Education Research Center) pointed out, "To date, exchanges or cooperation between domestic and overseas women groups have focused on the political needs of women in Korea, neglecting the human rights struggle of overseas Korean women." Kang called for the solidarity between domestic and overseas women groups to "develop into a mutually beneficial relationship." For example, "in the recent case where Korean women living in Germany were subject to violence from German ultra-rightists, the Ministry of Gender Equality and women groups in Korea should have issued a protest statement and held protest rallies."
Jang Pil Hwa, professor of Women's Studies at Ehwa Women's University, suggested one way to strengthen cooperation within the Korean Women's Network, saying, "Korean women living in a 3rd country can contribute to the national goal of reunification by activating exchanges between North and South Korean women." Jang also mentioned other activities that should be taken up by the Network, such as forming alliances with civic groups to prevent the trafficking of North Korean women and forming an international alliance to eradicate poverty among women.
Choi Im Ja, director of the International Women's Development Institute, called for "a broader perspective in sending out invitations to the rally that includes nominees from prestigious universities and credible civic groups instead of just famous figures from the leaders' community recommended by diplomatic establishments." This, she claimed, would be the way to "prevent the Global Korean Women's Network from becoming a superficial and politicized event."