korea project

On the government's establishment of a task force on the problem of temporary workers in the public sector

May 15, 2006


The Korean Women's Associations United, Korean Women Workers Associations United and Korean Women's Trade Union urge adoption of gender-sensitive methods of statistical research

1. The government announced recently that it will conduct a study of current conditions for temporary workers in the public sector and establish a task force, responsible to the Prime Minister, to address problems found. We welcome this announcement as a sign that the government has recognized the seriousness of the situation, which has increased without being checked, and the importance of this issue to help resolve socioeconomic polarization and unify the country. It is a good way to express the government’s will to take a first step, and develop a model for action.

2. The temporary workers’ problem is a women's as well as a national issue. Around seventy percent of (South Korea’s) 6.2 million female workers are leading unstable lives as temporary workers, contributing to the impoverishment of women. A female temporary worker’s average pay is only 35.8 -41% of a permanently employed male worker’s average salary. The availability of inexpensive temporary female staffing results in a full-time, more secure labor market biased towards men.

3. We strongly suggest that the government design the fact-finding study to include analysis by gender. In 2004, classification of temporary workers by sex was not included. However investigation of the problem without consideration of sex misses the point.

4. We expect the government to adopt a statistical model that includes a gender analysis, and to conduct the investigation from a gender-sensitive perspective, so as to map out fitting measures that can deliver the desired effects.