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[0호] 승인 2005.07.07  
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Koo Sun-mo
Desk of International and Social Affair
smo009@hanmail.net

Can you guess the similarity of these people, Arroyo, Megawati Sukarnoputrii, Thatcher Margaret, Hillary Clinton, Choo Mi-ae, and Park Geun-hye? They are all famous international and domestic politicians. Arroyo is the President of Philippine; Megawati represents Indonesia; Thatcher was a prime minister of Britain and Hillary, the fomer first lady of the U. S. A., is now a Senator of New York State. And in Korea, Choo Mi-ae and Park Geun-hye are the women who are recently in the limelight. Even though some women like Ms. Choo and Ms. Park enter into politics, the number of women politicians is very small compared to that of advanced countries. Thus the roles of them are very feeble.

According to the statistics of Ministry of Gender Equality, up to nowÑMay 2002, the number of women politicians is 17 and it occupies 6.2% of the total number, 273 politicians. It is a little higher than the average number of women politicians-2.1% of all politicians who were elected until 15th election.

You can also learn the seriousness compared to international statistics. Occupancy rates of women politicians in national issues which mean how actively women take part in the parliament are 5.9% and Korea ranked at the 96 out of 179 countries.

Moreover, Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) announced that only 16 women entered into the parliament in Korea during last five years and it is far less from the world averageÑ14.2%.

Then why cannot Korean women go to the parliament? There are two important reasons. First, it is the introvert atmosphere of our society, peculiar to Koreans and political environments that prevent women from participating into politics. Koreans have got the influence of Confucian philosophy from Chosun era.

It made women’s outdoor activities shrink. Thus, our society required women to stay home quitely. This consciousness remains to many Koreans until now and it makes women’s participation of assembly hard.

Moreover, plutocracy and organic politics are main characteristics of Korean politics. In order to get the recommendation of the party, applicants have to keep not the ability but money and close relationship with the leaders. In addition, women have low reputation, absence of speciality and funds, fear of opening privacy to the public and unfamiliar recognition than men.

Even though many opinions about women’s participation in politics are appearing nowadays, they leave much to be desired. For example, the ruling and the opposition party members made it a rule to allot women’s quarter up to 30% in the parliament and to increase the number and they assured that the era of woman politics would emerge.

However, not until February 25th, the Parliament politics innovation committee modified the policy discriminatively. This movement means that they do not consider women’s participation of politics at all.

Unlike Korea, other countries induce to participate women in politics. The Germanic party, Sozialde-mokratische Partei der Deutschland, for instance, makes it a rule to arrange women’s seats. And the Germany Green party also provides women with seats.

This can lead women to get the even seat as a minimum kind of allotment. The British Labour union stated clearly that they would give 50% of seats to women in the local governments and parliament candidate preliminary judgements. France also enacted a special law.

France was made fool of because of its low rate of the women occupying in the parliament. France, however, made a law that favor women. As for this law, if the number of men are more than women, the election committee does not accept the list and if any party breaks the law, the government cuts down subsidies and levies lots of fine.

To improve our situations, we have to replenish the system and use special programs such as political education for women and election back up. At the same time, voters make final decision, so voters have to be of justice. Nowadays you can see these movements.

According to the statistics researched by Korea Women’s Political Solidarity, three out of four people think women politicians have to be increased and 80 percent of people said they would vote for the women if they have the similar capacities compared to the men’s.

Now, it is time to change. Women no longer stay in society thoughtless, rather they have to be active and participate. Women’s kindness and power will decrease the injustice and improve well-being of all Koreans. May come the political culture for all the people in Korea and let’s see how the result will be.
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