Korean feminists and women's organizations can be credited with this remarkable development of Korean society in terms of women's rights.
Among them, the three organizations, serving as the matrix of Korean progressive feminist movement, Korea Women's Association United, Korean Womenlink, and Korean Women Workers Associations mark the 20th anniversary this year. The representatives of these organizations were interviewed about the characteristics of each organization and the future of the feminist movement.
By Kim Na-ryeong
한국 진보여성운동 20주년을 맞다
그동안 한국 여성계에서는 호주제 폐지를 비롯해 성폭력특별법, 가정폭력방지법, 성매매방지법 등 여성인권 3법의 제정을 이뤄냈다. 또 여성부가 설치되고 헌정사상 첫 여성 총리가 탄생하는 등 법적, 제도적으로 여권이 대폭 신장됐다.
한국 사회가 여성 권익 면에서 이같이 눈부신 성과를 거둘 수 있었던 데는 앞장서 활동한 여성운동가들과 여성단체들이 있었기 때문인 것으로 평가된다. 그 중에서도 진보여성운동의 모태격인 세 단체, 즉 한국여성단체연합, 한국여성민우회, 한국여성노동자회가 올해로 20주년을 맞았다.
Korea Women's Associ-ations United (KWAU) is a group representing the progressive feminist movement. Founded on February 18th, 1987, KWAU has six branch offices and 29 member groups nationwide. Korea Womenlink and Korean Women Workers Associations are its affiliated organizations.
Nam In-soon, the standing representative of KWAU, says that "we have accomplished many things, but there's still a long way to go," citing slowly shifting perceptions toward gender equality compared to swift legislation and anti-feminism as their obstacles. Ms. Nam also said that she planed to make the sincerity and meaning of feminist movement known through diverse promotions and campaigns, induce younger generations uninterested in feminist movement to participate in women's movement through UCC, and launch women's movement tailored to the needs of the younger generation such as finding employment.
KWAU, marking its 20th anniversary, also plans to focus on taking care of poor women, who suffer from social polarization.
"Designating the movement of solving the feminization of poverty as our core project of this year, we will launch 'sukksukk' campaign.
Through this campaign, poor women will receive diverse education for their independence, and they will also join in self-help organizations and support networks."
"여성빈곤화 해소·성평등 생활화 속도낼 것"
한국여성단체연합(이하 여연)은 진보여성운동의 대표적인 단체다. 1987년 2월18일 창립된 이래 현재까지 전국에 6개 지부, 29개 회원단체를 두고 있다. 한국여성민우회와 한국여성노동자회도 산하단체다.
여연의 남윤인순 상임대표는 "해온 일이 많은 만큼 앞으로 갈 길도 멀다"고 말한다. 빠른 법제화에 비해 더딘 양성평등 인식의 변모, 안티페미니즘 등 넘어야 할 산이 많다는 것.
여연은 또 창립 20주년을 기점으로 해 사회 양극화로 신음하는 빈곤여성들을 살피는 데 중점을 둘 계획이다.
The three co-representatives of Korean Womenlink
Korean Womenlink, which has led a 'women's movement closely related to daily lives', reached the age of majority this year. Standing representative Yoo Kyung-hee and co-representative Choi Myung-sook and Kwon Mi-hyuck, who have made a leading role in Korean Womenlink from its initial state, plan to launch a women's movement more closely related to daily lives.
Ms. Yoo said that "although Korean Womenlink has been working as a women's movement organization in many fields such as sex, labor, media, and policies on women's lives, but its focus has always been on a policy-oriented women's movement. From now on, we will disseminate a women's movement closely related to daily lives."
To this end, Korean Womenlink will organize a committee for visions and discuss future plans. It also plans to vitalize communication among branches through 'local branch network' and launch grassroots local movement based on the lives of the local women by finding local agendas for women.
They also put 'voluntarily accepting inconveniences'campaign into practice. 'Voluntarily accepting inconvenience' campaign is a daily life movement in which people carry one's own cup, handkerchief and using cotton sanitary pads.
'생활밀착형 여성운동'을 주도해온 한국여성민우회도 올해로 성년이 됐다. 초창기부터 민우회에서 활동하며 선구적 역할을 해온 유경희 상임대표와 최명숙, 권미혁 공동대표는 창립 20주년을 기점으로 해 좀더 생활 속 여성운동으로 파고들 계획이다.
유 상임대표는 "그동안 민우회가 성, 노동, 미디어 영역과 생활 속 여성정책 등 다영역에 걸쳐 여성운동을 해왔지만 아무래도 정책 중심의 여성운동이 주가 됐다"며 "앞으로는 좀더 여성들의 일상에 파고들어 생활밀착형 여성운동을 보급하는 데 앞장설 계획"이라고 말했다.
Korean Women Workers Associations (formerly Korean Women Workers Associations United) is an organization for women workers, which was established in 1970 for the promotion of political, economic and social status of working women. It has took the lead in solving diverse problems of working women through counseling on sexual discrimination, sexual harassment, payment delays, unstable employment, ma-ternity protection, and occupational diseases, etc.
During the IMF crisis, the associations established headquarters for jobless women in eight areas and engaged in many activities such as job counseling, finding employment, and monitoring government policies to solve women's unemployment problems.
Korea Women Workers Associations United marked the 20th anniversary this year on March 21st, its foundation day. Turning over a new leaf, it changed its name to 'Korea Women Workers Associ-ation' and redesigned its logo.
Chairperson Choi said that "we have made much effort to improve the rights of women workers for the past 20 years. However, we often feel like we've reached our limits. The number of poor women is growing due to the increasing stratification of society." She also noted that "working for temporary women workers is our future task."
"양극화 신음하는 비정규직 여성 돌볼 것"
한국여성노동자회(전 한국여성노동자협의회)는 일하는 여성들의 정치적, 경제적, 사회적 지위 향상을 위해 1987년 설립된 여성노동단체다. 그동안 성차별을 비롯해 직장여성들이 겪는 다양한 사안(성희롱, 임금체불, 고용불안, 모성보호, 직업병 등)들에 대한 노동상담을 통해 사회생활에서 겪는 각종 문제를 풀어나갈 수 있도록 앞장서왔다.
최상림 회장은 "지난 20년 동안 여성노동자 권익 향상을 위해 노력했지만 한계를 많이 느낀다"며 "갈수록 사회가 계급화, 양극화되면서 이로 인해 신음하는 빈곤여성도 늘어나는 게 현실"이라고 말했다.
Celebrating its 48th year, the Korean National Council of Women (KNCW, President Kim Hwa-joong) is a leading women's organization that has been striving for the improvement of women's rights. The organization was established in 1959 with the participation of eight central women's organizations including the YWCA of Korea and Korean National Mothers' Association. Currently the organization consists of 35 member organizations, 16 partners, and 234 affiliated organizations at city, district, and community levels.
Dr. Hellen Kim (Hwal-lan) took office as the first president. The title 'Korea Women's Associations Council' was also used but from 1962, the official title became the 'Korean National Council of Women'.
Until 2008, KNCW plans to focus on the following projects: women's policy, solidarity, labor welfare, and international relations. Last year, a new CI that symbolizes cooperation and friendship was developed as a fresh start of innovation.
한국여성단체협의회, 여성권익 위해 전방위로 활약
올해로 창립 48주년을 맞은 한국여성단체협의회(회장 김화중·이하 여협)는 여성의 권익 향상을 위해 다방면으로 노력해온 대표적 여성단체다. 지난 1959년 대한YWCA연합회, 대한어머니회 등 8개 여성단체가 주축이 돼 발족됐다. 현재 35개 회원단체와 16개 협동회원단체, 234개 시·군·구의 회원 산하단체로 구성돼 있다.
여협은 오는 2008년까지 ▲여성정책사업 ▲연대사업 ▲노동복지사업 ▲국제관계사업 등에 주력할 계획이다.
Kim Hwa-joong, the 16th President of the Korean National Council of Women (KNCW) declared that she will devote herself to making known KNCW's potentials and based on the organization's powers, KNCW will contribute to the nation's growth.
Having assumed office while KNWC was undergoing internal conflict, Kim focused all her initial efforts in establishing unity between member organizations. Last November, a national convention of women leaders was successfully held with over 15 thousand participants under the theme, "Overcoming national crisis with women power - childbirth is national power", "Women change the election culture", "Discover Korea first". President Kim stated that although it was an annual event, it provided an opportunity to move towards cooperation, unity, and synergy.
The organization is also taking initiative in supporting North Korea. Last year, KNWC offered 285 bags of rice- each bag collected from member organization- to North Korean flood victims. This year, KNWC plans to provide household items through a campaign to share household goods between the two Koreas.
KNWC is also striving for the growth of the women's community by hosting the 'Women of the Year' award to celebrate women that contributed to improving the status of women.
Kim asserted that she will continue to uphold the honorable ideas, values, and social responsibilities of her predecessors including Kim Hwallan and lead KNWC in playing its part for a healthy and democratic society.
Hong Jee-young, email@example.com
"협력과 화합·상생의 길 열어갑니다"
한국여성단체협의회(이하 여협) 제16대 회장으로 취임한 김화중 회장은 "여협의 저력을 온 나라에 알리고 이를 기반으로 나라의 발전에 기여하는 데 총력을 다하겠다"는 포부를 밝혔다.
여협이 내분과 갈등으로 어려움을 겪고 있을 때 회장으로 취임한 그가 가장 먼저 한 일은 바로 회원단체간의 화합.
또 북한동포를 위한 지원사업에도 앞장서고 있다.
김 회장은 "김활란 초대 회장을 비롯해 여협을 이끌어온 선배들이 남기고 간 숭고한 이념, 가치, 사회적 사명감 등을 이어가도록 노력하겠다"고 전했다.