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Moon hopes for further progress in gender equality under next administration



President Moon Jae-in’s Facebook account
President Moon Jae-in’s Facebook account
Marking the 8th International Women’s Day, President Moon Jae-in said there is still a culture that prevents gender equality in Korea and expects the next government to make progress.

Moon posted a congratulatory message with a photo of a rose on his social networking services accounts, including Facebook and Twitter, on Tuesday.

“The courageous voices of female workers who shouted human rights 114 years ago continue to this day,” he said. “I would like to thank everyone who has solidified and cooperated for an equal society.”

International Women’s Day is designated to mark the rise of female workers in the US on March 8, 1908, to commemorate the women who died in a fire in poor workplaces, demanding improved working conditions and guaranteed suffrage.

The president said when the nation “becomes a more gender-equal society,” both women and men will be able to “face a sustainable tomorrow.”

He then mentioned the government’s women’s policies, including revising acts related to career-interrupted women, stalking punishment, digital sex crimes and child care support.

However, President Moon admitted the government has made considerable progress, but there are still “many shortcomings.”

“Structures and cultures that block gender equality, such as the glass ceiling, remain everywhere,” he said. “I hope that the next government will continue to make progress. Men can be happy only when women are happy.”

Both ruling and opposition party candidates also made pledges for women on the day.

Democratic Party presidential candidate Lee Jae-myung celebrated the day on his social media, saying, “What makes women’s lives better is for all of us.”

“The three-year pandemic has made our women’s lives more difficult,” Lee said.

Care time has increased, and the participation rate in economic activities has fallen compared to the Asian financial crisis, he said. The wage gap between men and women (35.9 percent) has also widened, falling to the bottom of the OECD.

“I will end the bad politics that divides the people and create a country where everyone enjoys opportunities and growth.”

Ham In-kyung, a spokesperson of the People Power Party, criticized the Moon Jae-in administration’s female policy in an online post, adding that the party’s candidate Yoon Suk-yeol would implement policies that substantially improve women’s lives and keep women safe.

“We will declare war on sex crimes to create Korea where women can live safely,” Ham said. “We will create a country where women can demonstrate their abilities in each field with peace of mind by dividing the responsibilities of childcare between the society and the state where women’s careers continue.”

By Shin Ji-hye (shinjh@heraldcorp.com)
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