Women And Politics: Impossible Equation?
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Women And Politics: Impossible Equation?
  • 강서미
  • 승인 2004.04.22 00:00
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One after another, the Grand National Party (GNP), the Millennium Democratic Party (MDP) and the Uri Party have appointed women as speakers for the parties. This effort is meant to increase appeal to the rising number of women voters who had been disappointed by the cancellation of a proposed addition of 26 voting districts earmarked for female representation. Women groups and their supporters had previously completed a blueprint of national districts that would have only female candidates, in anticipation of legislation that never materialized. In addition, presently, female candidates are falling back in local elections polls because of the still-pervasive idea that men are more efficient at work than women.
Though there have been setbacks in the women community? attempt to secure women politicians advancement into the political arena, efforts are ongoing by the parties to incorporate women in their representation. The parties are putting forth policies for allocating seats to women. The GNP, the MDP and the Uri Party set a goal of 50 percent representation to its female members. By March 22, there were eight female candidates from the GNP, 11 from MDP, 11 from Uri Party, and 11 from the Democratic Labor Party running for the local district elections. The effectiveness of these measures will have to be evaluated not only by the results of the general elections, but also by the women? continual and increasing participation in politics.
Some criticize the Affirmative Action-like steps taken by some parties and the government, arguing that it is an infringement of the constitutional right to equality. Park Mi-ra, Director for the Political Leadership Program at the Ewha School for Leadership Development, comments, ?hey call for fair competition. What is fair? Not giving women the opportunity but expecting us to come up to the same level as males? It is like expecting a premature infant to live out in the world like other children without going through an incubator.
Due to Korea? rapid industrialization, the state invested in male labor and females had to be left at home to take care of the family that required full-time caring. Now women are left on their own to make home and work compatible. ?omen were supporters of working men then, and is it not the time now for males to support women? asks Park.
Korean females role in politics scores a low 5.9 percent, far from that of Germany, which reached the 38 percent mark in the 2002 National Parliament. The nation needs to reflect on the fact that South Korea ranks lower than North Korea in the pervasiveness of gender equality. North Korea has a 20.1 percent of participation of women in politics.
neyessioui@ewha.ac.kr

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