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International Women's Day in Korea Updated: 2012-03-08 12:00:00 KST

International Women's Day in Korea
Loud applause, flowers, award ceremonies and new hope for the future.
It is March 8th, and all across the world it is the 104th International Women's Day.
In Korea, the 24th Women of the Year award ceremony took place in Seoul under the title "Progress towards Gender Equality."
Awards were given out to women who were at the frontlines in fighting for women's rights last year.
Discussions on women's rights followed the award ceremonies.

[Interview : Kwon Mi-hyuk, Representative
Korean Women's Association United] "On International Women's Day, women look back on what achievements have been made over the last year, and talk about how to carry on with the women's rights issues this year."

Student bodies also took active roles in speaking out for victims of sexual harassment or discrimination in schools.
A representative from Korea University's Women's Commission was honored for doing just that at her school.

[Interview : Lee Ah-rim, Representative
Korea University's Women's Commission] "I am thrilled and feel sorry that I'm the only one here to take this award while so many others helped me. And I will continue to reveal women's inequalities within the school."

[Reporter : Ji Myung-kil
mkji@arirang.co.kr] "The Korean Women's Association United have gathered here to commemorate its 25th anniversary and to celebrate International Women's Day. Among the attendees, women's activist groups are also present to advocate and raise awareness of new policies on gender equality."

Over at Seoul Station, the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions arranged gatherings for protestors demanding better working conditions for female workers in many fields of society.

[Interview : Lee Chan-bae, Chairwoman
Women's Committee Trade Union] "Today is the 104th anniversary of the International Women's Day. Many women are hired as irregular workers because they are simply women. Therefore, we are gathered here to demand the government hire us as permanent employees."

However, it seems that not many of the young women were aware it was International Women's Day.

[Interview : Jo Min-ju, Student] "I believe many people, including me, didn't know that it is Women's Day today. I hope more campaigns and advertisements will be done to increase awareness about Women's Day and on ways to improve women's rights."

Many Korean women took this day to celebrate and reflect upon the social status of women in society.
The year 2012 looks promising for many women in Korea and far beyond.
Ji Myung-kil, Arirang News.
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