It is pointed out that the government’s award scheme remains in the sixties style going against the Gender Equality Act which will take effect from this July.
Celebrating National Science Day and National Information and Communication Day on April 21, an award ceremony was held for those who contributed to the development in both fields. Three people received the most honorable medal of science and technology ‘Changjo-jang.’ Kim Myoung-ja, the former Minister of Environment and the Director of Center for Women in Science Engineering and Technology, was the only woman recipient.
The three awardees were given their medal one by one. However, the medal for Kim was obviously smaller than that of the other two. The width of her shoulder sash was slightly narrower than that of male recipients, too. Because of the size difference, her award could have looked of less honor than the same award that went to her male counterparts.
Kim Myoung-ki, the administrative official in charge of the government award scheme, said that “according to the enforcement ordinance for the governmental award scheme, the women recipients’ medal is to be smaller than men recipients’ one since women are smaller in size than men.”
Bewilderment arose among women scientists who were present at the ceremony. One prominent woman scientist revealed “It occurred to me that they had changed the medal. It looked as if they gave her a degraded medal” and pointed out “her build was not so much smaller than the male awardees. Such consideration for women is unnecessary.”
In response to the dispute between female scientists that this is an anachronistic administration, the Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs officials stated that “the enforcement ordinance was established in 1967. The need for overall revision of the implementing ordinances has been discussed since the beginning of the year. Today’s happening will be taken into consideration for review.”