Ewha Nabi is a student club that works to promote the rights of the “comfort women.” Be Ewha, the Student Government Association, and each college’s student council also joined with Ewha Nabi on this project. About 50 students, including 20 Ewha Nabi members and 17 student supporters, took part in the demonstration.
“Comfort women” is a term referring to victims of sexual slavery for the Japanese military during the Sino-Japanese War and the Pacific War. The victims were denied compensation or an apology even after the war. In fact, the Japanese authorities had denied that such a thing had ever existed. Later, the authorities eventually admitted its existence, but said that private businesses, not the government nor the military, were responsible for it.
In protest to such claims, on Jan. 8, 1992, surviving “comfort women” as well as various non-government and religious organizations held the first Wednesday Demonstration. The demonstration spoke not only for the rights of “comfort women” but for all women and children who are endangered by warfare worldwide.
Due to busy daytime schedules, some Ewha students who are interested in the “comfort women” issue have been unable to join the official Wednesday Demonstrations. Ewha Nabi noted these complaints in a Web community for Ewha students, and decided to hold one on campus as a solution.
“During the three years I’ve spent in Ewha Nabi, I realized that while a lot of students are interested in this issue, there were few opportunities for such students to actually do something about it on campus,” said Lee Hae-ji, the head of Ewha Nabi and a junior majoring in History. “Through the Wednesday Demonstration at Ewha, I wanted to give them a chance to get physically involved.”
The demonstration began with singing the theme song of the official Wednesday Demonstration.
Park Kyoung-rim, a freshman of Sungkonghoe University, Yang Sun-mo, a freshman of Kaywon University of Arts and Design, and the pungmul band of the College of Social Sciences contributed to special performances. Park performed a monologue from “Vagina Monologues,” a feminist episodic play written by Eve Ensler, and Yang held a busking performance. Bae Oi-sook, who graduated from Ewha in 1989, made a statement as a spokesperson of Ewha Democracy Association in encouragement of the Ewha Nabi’s activities concerning the “comfort women” issue.
“We hope to run a similar and even more successful project next year,” said Jeong Na-young, an Ewha Nabi member. “It would be great if students took more interest in the ‘comfort women’ issue through Wednesday Demonstrations in Ewha.”