27 August 2013 -- The Republic of Korea's Gender Equality and Family Minister, Cho Yoonsun, discussed a series of policies and programs, adopted by the new administration, on gender equality and women's empowerment. She emphasized the importance of a women-friendly work environment, more political representation of women, and a women-safe society.
Korea's Minister Cho Yoonsun (left) and ADB's VP Bindu Lohani (right) at the Eminent Speaker's Forum on 16 August in ADB HQ.
Minister Cho shared the government's plan for working towards 70% female participation in the labor market (currently at 53%), to promote work and family life balance for women, to eliminate sexual, domestic and school violence, and "junk" food. She stated that the prospects for women's employment were "gloomy" and that career interruptions were taking place due to the lack of work-family life balance.
Korean women viewed child care responsibilities as the biggest obstacle to work-family life balance. There was an urgent need for policy actions to best utilize female human resources, both in the public and private sectors.
The minister also shared the government's gender mainstreaming strategies including that of gender responsive budgeting. Her ministry's major tasks were that of monitoring the implementation of the national agenda and campaign pledges relating to women's affairs; establishing the Basic Plan for Women's Policy and Action Plan and monitoring its implementation; being responsible for gender mainstreaming planning and monitoring; and the management of the Gender Equality Index at each ministry.