SGA Opposes Obligatory Military Service
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SGA Opposes Obligatory Military Service
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  • 승인 2002.11.06 00:00
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The Student Government Association (SGA) held a press conference on September 26 to support male students refusing to serve in the military in Korea. President of the SGA Yoon Hye-jung (Law, 4) officially announced, "Women were always victims of war. They were treated as sexual prey, and are still treated that way today. Those who have not served in the military ­ women, transsexuals, and disabled people ­ have been considered abnormal, and they have been segregated from those who have served in the military.
Yoon furthered her statement by saying, "People tend to think the military has no connection with women. And because women have no military experience, people consider that it is inappropriate for them to discuss or even bring up the issue of the demerits of military service.
The SGA reported that military service is a mental strain on both men and women and that the military is violating basic human rights by forcing men to join the military service against their will.
Approximately 600 men who oppose the conscription system are sent to jail annually and about 1,700 men are currently in prision. In order to support those who refuse to enter military service, the SGA began a signature-collecting campaign and plans to submit the signatures to the National Assembly. Approximately, 2,000 Ewhaians have supported the campaign.
"We are also planning to suggest a different system, one based on social services, that could substitute for the current conscription system," said Yoon.
Hyun Jong (Seoul National University), one of the students who decided not to join the military service, explained that the reason he is opposed to the conscription system is to fight discrimination between those who join the military and those who do not.
However, on September 28, the SGA homepage along with other Ewha-related websites, such as Ewhaian.com, were filled with criticisms of the campaign. Some people objected by stating that military service should be mandatory due to the fact that the Korean peninsula is a war-torn nation.
As a consequence, the websites were forced to temporarily stop services, and the SGA immediately requested to the Public Prosecutor"s Office to investigate the case of sabotage.
"This issue is directly related to the problems of violating women"s rights and minorities" rights, and we are going to implement this campaign until the government suggests solutions to the problem," said Yoon.

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