An opinion has been raised regarding the public budget to finance women employment policies. The opinion is that such budget decisions need to be assessed from the viewpoint of gender-equal allocation.
Womenlink Korea opened a ‘Women Policies and Budget Assessment Workshop’ on November 12 on the 11th floor of the National Human Rights Committee and announced that “in the process of implementing policies and budgets related to women employment, assessing whether gender equality was a part of the deliberations is an important criteria in policy evaluation.” Since April, Womenlink has set up a ‘research team on the evaluation of women labor policies and budgets’ to compare the Equal Employment Bureau’s policies and budgets from 2000 to 2002 against the purpose of the Gender Equality Employment Act. During the workshop, the research team presented their evaluation results on ▲women’s work skill development and employment promotion ▲equal opportunities and treatment ▲maternity protection ▲childcare support for working mothers.
In assessing budgets, the research team emphasized that the proportion of the Labor Ministry’s budget allocated to women labor policies was still too small. It was also pointed out that although the budget for women labor policies shows an increase year-on-year in terms of statistics, the actual expenditure did not increase. In particular, there was a sharp decrease in this year’s budget allocated for developing work skills and facilitating employment. It was also emphasized that covering the budget for maternity protection using employment insurance defeats the purpose of getting society to take on the burden of maternity protection.
In evaluating each policy, the research team pointed out that the past 3 years’ policies to develop women’s work skills and promote women’s employment did not reach all women. There was also the lack of practical policies to deal with problems faced by working women everyday, such as facing discrimination in promotions, staff dispatch and lay-offs, as well as being given lower salaries or forced into irregular employment. Also mentioned was the lack of policies to support working mothers such as childcare leave and childcare facilities. After the presentations, Womenlink Korea announced 9 recommendations to facilitate women labor policies that can address gender discrimination and realize gender equality.