The sinking of the ferry Sewol has moved mothers to get more involved in politics. Consequently, their vote became a key voting bloc for candidates for June 4 local elections.
Between March 20 and April 11, The Women’s News conducted an online survey on 1099 female participants who were allowed to select more than one answer. The results suggest that the respondents were interested in welfare, job, and safety the most.
The Women’s News asked ‘Which areas do you think candidates should focus on?’ and ‘welfare’ topped the list with 16% or 477 votes. ‘Economy’ followed with 14% or 400 votes. While ‘job’ ranked third with 14% or 393 votes, ‘safety’ came fourth with 13% or 360 votes.
Former administrations have also concentrated on policies regarding welfare, economy, and job creation all of which are in line with the current administration’s initiative to help mothers juggle between work and family. ‘Safety’ has always been a concern for mothers. Other areas of interest included ‘real estate (10% or 272 votes),’ ’education (8% or 238 votes),‘ ’culture (8% or 231 votes),‘ ’human rights (6% or 73 votes),‘ ’women (6% or 182votes),‘ and ’environment (4% or 106 votes).‘
On April 15, the Daejeon Women’s Political Network unveiled ‘10 Major Policies for Women’ which included job, women’s rights, and child care.
The Network representative Kim Kyunghee said “These days, women make their own political decisions instead of following those of men or their acquaintances. Since the latest presidential election, women voters have begun to draw attention. Policies relating to welfare, economy, and job are not only individual, but also family issues.”
Choi Yeonhyuk, Professor of Politics at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, commented “Economic democratization was the hot potato during the presidential election. As such, welfare and economy are two sides of the same coin. Due to the recent ferry disaster, safety, in particular, has become one of significant agendas for mothers who are concerned about the safety of their children in their day-to-day life or come across such issues on TV or print newspapers.”