korea project

The Korean women's movement

an introduction


The current movement of Korean women for democratic rights, peace, environmental and global justice is one of the most dynamic in Asia

"The women's movement in Korea began with the national liberation struggle against the Japanese colonial regime. After the division of Korea in 1945 and the Korean War, the women's movement in South Korea was dominated by conservative/elitist women's organizations. The women's movement stagnated and adapted itself to the status quo in South Korea. At that time, the 'loyalty and service of women to the nation' took priority. During the period of industrialization in the 70s, the movement received new impulses from women workers who began organizing themselves and fighting for their rights.

The women's movement at that time began to struggle for a democratic society which would meet the needs of the majority of women workers, both in factories and on farms, and of the urban poor. In the last few years, the women's movement has become one of the most significant forces of the South Korea's national- democratic movement..."

from Women Taking The Initiative: The Women's Movement In South Korea
Arm The Spirit, 9 March, 1995

See also: The Role of Women's Organization for Gender Equality and Challenges Emerged
by Young-sook Cho (Secretary General, Korea Women's Associations United) on the formation (1987) and work of the umbrella organization:

Korean Women's Associations Unite
d (KWAU)

Women and Tigers: Effects of Rapid Industrialization on Women in Asia
by Anna Gyorgy, Green Korea, Synthesis/Regeneration 16 (Summer 1998)