"On the occasion of the 104th anniversary of International Women's Day it would be meaningful to highlight women's social status and their rights in Korea at present time.
As the head of Ministry of Gender Equality and Family where do you think they stand[Interview : Kim Kum-lae, Minister of Gender Equality & Family ] "I believe Korean women enjoy relatively high social status without discrimination in terms of the law and the system. However, they still seem to be going through a lot of social and economic difficulties in their daily lives, as they have a responsibility to take care of household affairs and child-rearing.
"When you look back on the past four years under the current administration, what are the significant achievements in terms of policies on women in Korea[Interview : Kim Kum-lae, Minister of Gender Equality & Family ] "I think we have achieved a great deal in helping women seek jobs. In the past three years, we found jobs for about 300-thousand unemployed women. We also introduced a special gender evaluation system that helps the government analyze and review the impact of each policies on women. And we enforced harsher punishments in dealing with sexual harrassment on women and children, to ensure their safety."
"Despite all the achievements you have mentioned just now there are looming voices of concern over ongoing gender discrimination at work and lack of childcare facilities. What do you think the most pending issue that needs to be addressed[Interview : Kim Kum-lae, Minister of Gender Equality & Family ] "I think Korean women feel the most burden from their responsibility of bringing up their children and taking care of domestic duties as they go on with their social lives. That's why we are trying to lighten their work loads by supporting childrearing, and acknowledge and reward family-friendly corporations that allow women to juggle both work and family by cutting down on women's work hours or dining arrangements that center around men."
"Ahead of the April general election and presidential election later in this year female political figures are certainly taking center stage in Korea. What do you make of this phenonenon[Interview : Kim Kum-lae, Minister of Gender Equality & Family ] "A new era has come, as three of Korea's main political parties happen to all be female. However, I think women tend to appear as relief pitchers whenever the parties are going through a difficult time. Nonetheless, I would like to view this as a positive phenomenon, as it could cultivate women's leadership skills, break down taboos and prove that they can do a good job. // I certainly wish the value of women can be fully realized in the political arena, not only during the election season, but at all times."