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In Commemoration of the 108th Observance of the International Women's Day

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Writer Jogye Date15 Mar 2016 Read5,503 Comment0

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In Commemoration of the 108th Observance of the International Women's Day

 

 

March 8, 2016 marks the 108th observance of International Women's Day, a day to celebrate the women's efforts and contributions to the equal rights across the world. The day started in March 8, 1908 when a group of women garment workers living in destitute marched and picketed, demanding for bread and voting rights, in New York City. They came to deep realization that they, including later generation, would never be able to enjoy the equal rights with men, to put an end to the labor exploitation, dangerous and inhumane working conditions if women not participating in the politics.

 

On this day of importance, the social affairs and labor relations committee of the Jogye Order celebrates the 108th women's day honoring women's achievements and contributions across the globe, but expresses concern about the discrimination and oppression still on-going against women worldwide including Korea. It’s obvious how vunerable women are to abuses and cruel treatments when you see brutal violence practiced to women and their miserable deaths in countries at war in particular.

 

Then what about the today’s life conditions of working women in Korea?

Most of them are stuck in the dead zone of labor rights and gender discrimination. As of November, 2015, the total number of female wage earners is 8,620,000, which is 60% of that of male and marks the lowest figure among the OECD countries. 70% of the female wage earners is comprised of temporary, part-time and casual workers. It is also higher than that of male wage earners. Women in short suffer from low pay and employment instability. In case of part-time workers, the number jumped from 870,000 in 2001 to 2,236,000 in 2015. 70% out of them are women.

 

Those female workers in service sectors such as call centers, supermarkets, department stores, airlines are mostly women, and they are severely afflicted with depression and chronic diseases from the psychological stress at work.  

 

Actions to improve the rights to work and rights to happiness for women such as improvement of working conditions, forming labor unions, guaranteeing maternity leave and childcare leave have been limited to be practiced in reality, and anyone who challenges them faced being fired. The discrimination and disadvantage that women endure in the today's society should be as gravely dealt with as the issue of temporary casual workers.

 

Only when women can enjoy the balanced status with men socially and politically, our home and society can be further civilized and developed in a human way. The government should be aware of the importance of execution of the laws that protect women from being discriminated and abused at home and at workplace, not to mention the legislation of such laws. Without rendering happy home and safe workplace to working women through the efforts of government and corporations, the society will end up being darkened not brighter future.

 

It is a call to corporations not to plunge Korea in the level of underdeveloped country by regarding women as a laborer easy to fire and easy to exploit with low wage. The social affairs and labour relations committee hereby declares that we should work together with workers for a world that give happiness, safety and equal rights to all women working in this society.

 

 

3 March 2016

Social Affair and Labor Relations Committees


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The Buddhist monks in the Social Affairs and Labor Relations Committee
Participated in the Korean Women Workers' Rally on 5 March, 2016

 

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