S-Space College of Education (사범대학) Center for Educational Research (교육종합연구원) 교육연구와 실천 Journal of the College of Education (師大論叢) vol.64/65 (2002)
한국 여성정책전담기구의 변천과 여성정책
"Change in the Form of State Apparatus Specializing in Womens Affairs and Government Policies toward Women in Korea"
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 사범대학
- 사대논총, Vol.65, pp. 101-134
- Whether or not the existence of a government office of ministerial level specializing in women's affairs actually ensures more effective formation and implementation of policies directly related to the issues of gender equality and social arrangements affecting womens quality of life may be debatable. This study examines this issue by looking into the historical processes of formation of separate government apparatus to specifically deal with policy matters related to women and gender equality in Korea, factors affected the processes, the effectiveness of such an office, and problems related to the functioning of those government organizations. Using available documents and data gathered from intensive personal interviews with former female cabinet ministers, vice ministers, and high-ranking officials in those various relevant offices that have existed so far, the changing form and nature of such government apparatuses have been identified with uneven results in terms of their relative effectiveness. Some theoretical implications of those issues that emerged in the interviews and analysis of documents were discussed. In Korea, matters related to womens affairs used to be handled sparsely in the scattered bureaus of various ministries up until the early 1980s. Since 1975 when the United Nations declared the International Womens Year, some feminist advocacy groups sprang up to demand a more systematic approach to women's policies on the part of the government. In response to the international pressure and domestic advocacy, Korean government set up the Women's Policy Review Board under the office of Prime Minister together with the Korean Women's Development Institute, a research branch, in 1983. As democratization proceeded, in the late 1980s, the government sought to establish some separate ministerial office in this field and the first such effort was to appoint a woman as the cabinet Minister without Portfolio the Second to deal specifically with matters related to women in the late 1980s. This was not to be satisfactory to more vocal feminist activists and the Special Committee for Women Affairs was created. In the late 1990s, to fulfill the campaign pledge made during the presidential election, the Ministry of Womens Affairs was separately established. While improvements have been made in the process, there are still many social structural and cultural barriers to be overcome in order for the policy making office of this kind to be genuinely effective in its functions.