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Rallies being held across nation to mark Int'l Women's Day Updated: 2018-03-09 09:09:39 KST

International Women's Day is a global celebration that sheds light on the struggle for women's rights.
The day was created to commemorate American female laborers who fought for their labor and voting rights in 1908, and this year, South Korea has officially designated the day as a public occasion.
One of the nation's largest labor organizations, the Korean Federation of Trade Unions held a special event to celebrate the day's 110th anniversary.
Hundreds of thousands of members of the union gathered in front of Seoul's Gwanghwamun square at 2 p.m. to attend the national female laborer's conference which seeks to highlight inequalities such as the gender wage gap in Korea.

"The root of the sexual harassment cases is not just because of one individual, but also because of the current social customs.
We will work to create a society where women's labor and sexual rights can be respected."

(STANDUP) ed:Steve
"Participants then headed to the annual "3 o'clock STOP" event, to join some 13 other organizations hoping to improve conditions for female workers in Korea."

The event, which is the second of its kind, demands for female workers to STOP and finish work at 3 p.m.
According to the organizers, the wage gap in South Korea was twice the OECD average, at 36.7 percent in 2015, which means that the wage women receive for a day's work is only equivalent to the wage men receive for working until 3 p.m.
The laborers demanded that the government find a solution to the multiplying sexual assault cases, solve the gender-based wage gap, and respect the labor rights of women.
The participants, most of them dressed in black, holding pickets that read '3 o'clock stop' and 'me too', shouted for women not to be afraid anymore.

"Let's end harassment in the workplace "

There were also male participants who raised their voices for gender equality.

"I came here to show my support towards eradicating violence against women. Especially nowadays when sexual harassment cases are rising, I hope that the government could come up with measures that can solve this problem as soon as possible."

Some of these people have been marching since this morning, and many also joined the street rally heading to the Ministry of Employment and Labor in Jung-gu district.

" I decided to visit because I wanted to celebrate the 110th anniversary of this special day.
I hope such movements can create a real democratic society where there is no sexual discrimination."

With ongoing campaigns such as the #Metoo movement, many hope the day could be an opportunity for women to be brave in speaking out.

Kim Mok-yeon, Arirang News.
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