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“Sex Equality, Milestone” “Anti-historical Decision”

“Sex Equality, Milestone” “Anti-historical Decision”

Posted February. 03, 2005 22:59,   


When the Constitutional Court ruled against the legality of the Household Register System, 20 members of the “People’s Coalition for the Abolishment of the Household Head System” shouted for joy outside the court.

At the press conference, this organization said that the Constitutional Court has finally opened a new chapter in terms of sex equality, and that this ruling has made a real co-existence between men and women possible.

An executive director of the Korea Women’s Associations United (KWAU), Nam Yoon In-soon, said, “I am very thankful that six judges ruled the Head of Household System as illegal”, adding, “I am deeply moved by our victory which we prepared from June 2000.”

A lawyer and the president of the Lawyers for a Democratic Society, Lee Suk-tae, noted that the family’s basis, civil law’s equality in terms of sex, highlighted the advanced Korean law.

The Korea Legal Aid Center for Family Relations also released a public statement saying, “Today will be forever remembered for its epochal (course) change in the Family Rights Law revision movement.”

A director of the center, Kwak Bae-hee, said that with the Constitutional Court’s this ruling, the National Assembly should pass a revised bill on the Family Rights Law.

Meanwhile, the Confucians raised their voices against the Constitutional Court’s ruling, saying that abolishment of the Household Register System would cause a chaos in the people’s value and accelerate family dissolution.

Some Confucian groups, including Sung Gyun Gwan Family Rights Law Revision Commission, issued a statement and said that it was very shocked by the Constitutional Court’s anti-historical and anti-national decision. It also claimed that the Constitutional Court should withdraw its ruling and that the government should hold a referendum.

They noted that it didn’t make sense that the Constitutional Court, which ruled against the new administrative relocation plan on the ground of the customary law, ruled against the Household Register System, which is a long national tradition in Korea.

Sung Gyun Gwan educational director, Choi Byung-cheol also expressed his disappointment, saying that the ruling was a wrong decision from the history point of view, and he would never accept that.

A secretary-general of the Alliance for the Korean Orthodox Family Institution, Choi Sang-gu, also stated against the ruling, saying that he couldn’t fully understand as to why a traditional culture was illegal, and he would continue a campaign against the ruling, with a massive rally in Jongro-gu on February 15.

Ji-Won Jun podragon@donga.com ditto@donga.com