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[Opinion] Focus of the Gender Policy Is to Expand the Social Participation

[Opinion] Focus of the Gender Policy Is to Expand the Social Participation

Posted June. 12, 2001 09:48,   


Rapidly growing intellectual competency of women is not well utilized. The average year of education of women is 9.37 years. Although this is 1.81 year shorter than that of men, the average year of education of men and women between 20-29 years old is the same. The average year of education of women between 6-19 years old is longer than that of men in the same age. A total 47.9 percent of women is educated more than high school: 34.8 percent of women are high school graduate, and 13.1 percent of women are college graduate.

Although women are gaining firmer intellectual footholds, the discrepancy in the social participation between women and men becomes widened. For instance, the rate of the Assemblywomen remains 5.9 percent currently, while it was 3.3 percent in 1985 and 3.0 percent in 1995. Among women workers, 4.5 percent women is in the position of chief section leader. Only 3.4 percent of women are in the position above the fifth-grade government official position. 66.1 percent of women labor workers is in the service job. 88.8 percent of the total women employees occupy only 10 different kinds of job. Women’s alienation in the area of information becomes apparent since female Internet users are 41.8 percent of male Internet users.

It is important for the society to use the intellectually competent person according to the principle of the free competition. If women’s intellectual capacity is not used due to the discriminatory custom, it is not helpful for the development of the nation. When the intellectual competency of women is not appropriately embraced, it is likely that women will seek the various civic movements or other organizations. Therefore, the gender policy should focus on the expansion of women’s social participation. In order to accomplish this, the consciousness of gender equality should be achieved first. However, for the practical reason, the maternity protection system should be expanded to ease the stumbling stone for women’s social participation, and the incentive should be granted to spread the provisional treatment in the companies. In order not for women to be alienated from the center, the information capacity should be increased. Gender policy should shift its focus from the welfare-centered policy to the mainstream-centered policy to move more efficiently. Although Ministry of Gender Equality has limits in terms of its function and structure, it should set up the trajectory of the policy in order to practically move forward the gender policy.

Cho Woo-Chul (president of the Korean public administration quality committee and visiting professor at Sangmyung University)