Who''s Who in the Worlds of Politics and Economics
Who''s Who in the Worlds of Politics and Economics
  • 여성신문
  • 승인 2005.08.20 00:00
  • 수정 2013-07-12 16:27
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From the late 1990s during the Kim Dae-jung administration there has been a significant increase in women from professional groups and women's organizations entering government and politics. Then, for the first time, the 17th general election in 2004 lifted the percentage of female lawmakers to double digits, 13%, and provided a foundation for women to gain political power. Currently, 40 out of 299 lawmakers are women.

Women who were formerly cabinet members, Han Myeong-sook, the first Minister of Gender Equality and the Minister of Environment and Kim Myung-ja, the Minister of Environment were elected to the National Assembly, For the first time in the history of the National Assembly, there are three committees that are chaired by women- Gender Equality and Family Committee chaired by Kim Ae-sil, National Policy Committee, by Kim Hee-sun, and finally, the Culture and Tourism Committee, by Lee Mikyung. Also, lawmaker Park Geun-hye is the representative of the major opposition party, Grand National Party, while outside the Assembly, an era of woman party leaders has started with Kim Hye-kyung, a former anti-poverty activist, as the president of Democratic Labor Party. Although not a politician but with significant symbolic influence, the First Lady Kwon Yang-suk, expresses her concern for the underprivileged including the handicapped and also actively supports women by participating in women-related events.

Jang Ha-jin, Minister of Gender Equality and Family, Kim Sun-uk, Minister of Government Legislation, and Park Sun-sook, Vice Minister of Environment are current female members of the cabinet. Other high-ranking women officials include Park Ki-young, Advisor to the President for Information, Science, and Technology, Kim Kyeong-im, Ambassador to the Republic of Tunisia, Kim Chung-sook, the Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, Choi Young-ae and Jung Kang-ja senior commissioners of the National Human Rights Commission, Choi Young-hee, Chairperson of the Commission on Youth Protection, Suh Myung-sun, President of the Korean Women's Development Institute, and Hwang In-ja, Head of the Seoul Metropolitan Government's Women and Family Policy Bureau.

In the legal circles, followed by the appointment of Jeon Hyo-sook as a Justice of Constitutional Court in 2003, in August of 2004, Daejeon High Court's senior judge, Kim Young-ran became the first woman appointed to the Supreme Court and senior judge of Seoul High Court, Lee Young-ae became the first woman chief justice of a regional court (Chuncheon).

Although women are still a minority compared to the male population in the economic world, their numbers are increasing as they are demonstrate outstanding abilities.

After taking over Aekyung, a company founded by her husband 13 years ago, Chang Young-sin has nurtured it into a major enterprise with 13 affiliates. Lee Myung-hee, the President of Shinsegae put her company on the top of the distribution industry, just five years after separating from Samsung in 1997. Also, Hyundai's Chairwoman Hyun Jung-eun is recognized for her leadership as she successfully managed Hyundai's businesses with North Korea after the death of her husband, Chung Mong-hun.

President of Virtualtek, Suh Ji-hyun, is a 1st generation venture-businesswoman who founded a company that developed "collaborative solutions for businesses". In 2001, Asiaweek magazine selected Suh as one of the 25 young leaders of the Asian economy. And last year, Park Ji-young, CEO of Com2uS- the first company in Korea to develop mobile games for cellular phones- was selected by Time magazine as a "global tech leader."

Women corporate executives include Kim Jin, Managing Director of LG Electronics Design Management Center's Mobile Communications Design Institute, Sul Keum-hee, Managing Director of Human Resources and Corporate Support Division of LG CNS, Jang Gye-won, Managing Director of CJ GLS, Yoon Song-yee, Vice President of SK Telecom, Song Young-hee, Managing Director of LG Household & Health Care, Park Hyun-jung, Managing Director of Samsung Fire & Marine Insurances, Lee Taek-geum Managing Director of Korean Air, Lee Hyun-jung, Deputy Managing Director of Samsung Electronics, and Choi Jung-soon, Chief of Woongjin's Human Resources Development Center.

Representatives of women's economic associations, through which businesswomen develop networks, are Jung Myung-kum of Korean Women Entrepreneurs Association, Kang Ki-won of Korean Business Woman Federation, Kim Sang-kyung of Women's Financial Network, Kim Soon-jin of 21c Women CEO Association, Song Hye-ja of Korea Venture Business Women's Association, Han Mi-young of Korea Women Inventors Association, and Hong Mi-hee of Korea IT Business Women's Association.

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