A joint statement issued by major women’s groups and the International Women’s Federation

“Korea still has a long way to go in terms of women’s rights

We, 116 global civil society organizations, call on Yoon Suk-yeol, the president-elect of the Republic of
Korea, to withdraw his pledge to abolish the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family
Yoon Suk-yeol, the candidate of the People Power Party (PPP), won the presidential election on March 9 in South Korea. During the campaign, Yoon and the PPP actively stirred up and capitalized on the anti-feminist backlash,
instead of proposing reasonable policy solutions to current critical issues, including deepening economic
inequalities after the Covid-19 outbreak and gender-based discrimination and violence entrenched in society. In
particular, Yoon made abolishing the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family a central pledge of his campaign,
saying that there is no systemic gender discrimination in South Korea. Now discussions are underway regarding the
governmental reorganization in the presidential transition committee, but he has not yet withdrawn his promise to
abolish the Ministry. We, the global civil society organizations, are strongly concerned about his position.
While women’s long struggles have brought achievements on gender equality and women’s rights, we are now
facing global crises, such as widening inequalities, climate injustice, the Covid-19 pandemic, and the growing
trends of regression in women’s rights. The South Korean government, as the chair of the Asia-Pacific Group of the
UN Commission on the Status of Women and a member of the UN Human Rights Council, is currently playing a
leading role in gender equality and women’s rights at a global level. The idea of abolishing the Ministry is a serious
regression on women’s rights, which will have a detrimental impact not only on South Korea, but also on the Asia-
Pacific region and the international community.
The importance of a gender equality national machinery with adequate resources and budget was already
recognized in the Beijing Platform for Action in 1995, a global norm on women’s rights unanimously adopted by
189 countries, including South Korea. In 2021, the UN Commission on the Status of Women recommended in the
65 th Agreed Conclusions that the national governments strengthen the capacity of national machineries for gender
equality by allocating sufficient financial, technical and human resources, to enable them to effectively carry out
their mandates.
South Korea is classified as a developed country on economic and social scales, but there is still a long way to go in
terms of women’s rights. We, global civil society organizations, strongly call on the president-elect Yoon and the
PPP to recognize its obligation to advance gender equality and come up with practical and substantive policy
measures to strengthen the mandate and the role of the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family. Lastly, we deeply
respect, support and will continue to stand in solidarity with courageous South Korean women and feminists who
are fighting for changes towards gender equality and women’s rights.
April 3, 2022
Signed by 116 global civil society organizations and 17 Gender Scholars/Independent Feminist Activists
(Global organizations)

  1. Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd (Global)
  2. Equality Now (Global)
  3. Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN)(Global)
  4. Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP)(Global)
  5. International Alliance of Women (Global)
  6. MenEngage Global Alliance (Global)
  7. Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights (Global)
  8. Women’s Major Group (Global)
  9. Human Rights Watch (Global)
    (Regional organizations)
  10. Arab Women Network for Parity & Solidarity (Arab region)
  11. Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD)(Asia-Pacific)
  12. Asian-Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women (ARROW) (Asia-Pacific)
  13. Beijing-SDG5 Facilitation Group (Asia-Pacific)
  14. Cross-Regional Center for Refugees and Migrants (MENA, Gulf, and Euro-Mediterranean Regions)
  15. ERA – LGBTI Equal Rights Association for Western Balkans and Turkey (Western Balkans and Turkey)
  16. FEMNET- African Women’s Development and Communication Network (Africa)
  17. International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific (IWRAW AP) (Asia-Pacific)
  18. Migrant Forum in Asia (Asia-Pacific)
  19. Sangat (South Asia)
    (National/local organizations)
  20. ACbit (Timor Leste)
  21. Acción Ciudadana por la Democracia y el Desarrollo (Ecuador)
  22. ACLCVBG (Cape Verde)
  23. Adéquations (France)
  24. All Women Action Society (AWAM)(Malaysia)
  25. Amihan National Federation of Peasant Women (Philippines)
  26. Arab Women Organization of Jordan (Jordan)
  27. Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development (Philippines)
  28. Association ESE (North Macedonia)
  29. Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM) (India)
  30. Beyond Borders Malaysia (Malaysia)
  31. Blind Women Association – Nepal (Nepal)
  32. Centro Alma Sabatini (Italy)
  33. Coordinadora de la Mujer (Bolivia)
  34. Diverse Voices and Action (DIVA) for Equality (Fiji)
  35. Education for Social Justice Foundation (United States)
  36. Ekologi Maritim Indonesia (EKOMARIN)(Indonesia)
  37. Equal opportunities office, LaUnited Statesnne University (Switzerland)
  38. Equality Rights Alliance (Australia)
  39. Equidad de Genero ciudadania trabajo y familia (Mexico)
  40. Eur (Germany)
  41. Fiji Women’s Rights Movement (Fiji)
  42. FOKUS – Forum for Women and Development (Norway)
  43. Fondation Eboko (France)
  44. Fondazione Pangea (Italy)
  45. Foundation for Women (Thailand)
  46. Fund for Congolese Women (Democratic Republic of Congo)
  47. Fundacion Arcoiris por el respeto a la diversidad sexual (México)
  48. Fundación Mexicana para la Planeación Familiar, A. C. MEXFAM(México)
  49. Gender Equity: Citizenship, Work and Family (Mexico)
  50. Gender Solution (Poland)
  51. Gender-Centru (Republic of Moldova)
  52. GenDev Centre for Research and Innovation (India)
  53. Good Shepherd Sisters (South Korea)
  54. Hackney Green Party (United Kingdom)
  55. Independent citizen (Malaysia)
  56. Japan Women’s Watch (Japan)
  57. Karapatan (Philippines)
  58. Korea Center for United Nations Human Rights Policy (KOCUN) (South Korea)
  59. Kyiv Institute for Gender Studies (Ukraine)
  60. MADPET-Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture (Malaysia)
  61. Manushya Foundation (Thailand)
  62. MARIJÀN (Haïti)
  63. MSI Reproductive Choices (United Kingdom)
  64. Nabi United States Washington DC (United States)
  65. Nashinoki Peace Academy (Japan)
  66. National Indigenous Women Forum (NIWF)(Nepal)
  67. National Council of Women of Ukraine, Centre for Social and Gender Research (Ukraine)
  68. Network of Women’s Rights of Ghana (NETRIGHT)(Ghana)
  69. New Women Foundation (Egypt)
  70. Nijera Kori (Bangladesh)
  71. PA Women’s organization Alga (Kyrgyzstan)
  72. Pacific Human Rights Initiative (Samoa)
  73. PacificwinPacific (Australia)
  74. Partners of Community Organisations (PACOS)(Malaysia)
  75. Penang Gandhi Peace Centre (Malaysia)
  76. People’s Empowerment Foundation (Thailand)
  77. Persatuan Sahabat Wanita Selangor (Malaysia)
  78. Pertubuhan Solidariti Hijau Kuantan (Malaysia)
  79. PO”Otifa”(Tajikistan)
  80. POURAKHI Nepal (Nepal)
  81. Punjab Women Collective (India)
  82. PUPA(Indonesia)
  83. ReFocus Consulting (Canada)
  84. Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary (United States)
  85. Roots for Equity (Pakistan)
  86. Rumpun (Yogyakarta Indonesia)
  87. S.P.Jain Institute of Management & Research (SPJIMR)(India)
  88. Shobujer Ovijan Foundation (SOF)(Bangladesh)
  89. Sisters in Islam (Malaysia)
  90. Social Health and Empowerment Youth Initiative (Uganda)
  91. Society for the Promotion of Human Rights (Malaysia)
  92. Solidaritas Perempuan(Indonesia)
  93. Soroptimist International (United Kingdom)
  94. Southern African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (SACCORD)(Zambia)
  95. Stephanie Ortoleva Consulting (United States)
  96. Sukaar Welfare Organization (Pakistan)
  97. Teoh Beng Hock Trust for Democracy (Malaysia)
  98. The Foundation for Elimination of Violence Against Women “Mitra Perempuan”(Indonesia)
  99. The Gender Lens (United Kingdom)
  100. The William Gomes Podcast (United Kingdom)
  101. The WomanStats Project (United States)
  102. Unchained At Laat (United States)
  103. United Reformed Church/ World Communion of Reformed Churches (United Kingdom)
  104. Viluthu (Sri Lanka)
  105. We Women Lanka (Sri Lanka)
  106. Women Engage for a Common Future – WECF (Netherlands)
  107. Women In The Loop Ltd. (United Kingdom)
  108. Women Studies and Resource Center (Philippines)
  109. Women’s Coalition-Turkey (Turkey)
  110. Women’s NGOs Cooperation Network of Latvia (Latvia)
  111. Women’s Support and Information Centre NPO (Estonia)
  112. WSCFAP (Hong Kong)
  113. WWHR – New Ways (Turkey)
  114. YAPESDI(Indonesia)
  115. Young Feminists Collective (Philippines)
  116. YUWA(Nepal)
    (Gender Scholars / Independent Feminist Activists)
  117. Sandra Fahy (Carleton University, Canada)
  118. Margaret Holland (Columbia University, United States)
  119. Nur Aini (Freelance Consultant, Indonesia)
  120. Leroy Romane (Graduate student, South Korea)
  121. Erlinda Binti Joseph (Lindu) (Independent Gender Consultant, Malaysia)
  122. Eunha Kim (South Korea)
  123. Suguna Papachan (Malaysia)
  124. Marina PervinJuthi (Initiative for Right View (IRV), Bangladesh)
  125. Matthew Girsangv (Indonesia)
  126. Miyeon Choi (South Korea)
  127. Talisha Schilder (Leiden University, the Netherlands)
  128. Mabel Bianco (Feminist Medical Doctor, Argentina)
  129. Ruth Mbone (Kenya)
  130. Daniela Jaukv(United States)
  131. Ho Yock Lin (Feminist Activist, Malaysia)
  132. Dale Snauwaert (University of Toledo, United States)

우리 116개 국제시민사회단체들은

윤석열 한국 대통령 당선인이 여성가족부 폐지 공약을 철회할 것을 요구한다

지난 3월 9일 치러진 한국의 대통령 선거에서 국민의힘 윤석열 후보가 당선되었다. 윤 후보와 국민의힘은 선거 과정에서 코로나19 팬데믹으로 인한 불평등의 심화, 만연한 성차별과 성폭력의 현실 등 시급하고 중대한 한국의 사회 문제를 해결하기 위한 합리적인 정책을 제안하는 대신, 안티 페미니즘 백래시 정서를 부추기고 이를 선거에 적극적으로 활용하였다. 특히, 윤 당선인은 ‘한국 사회에 구조적인 성차별은 없다’고 말하면서, 여성가족부를 폐지하겠다는 공약을 핵심으로 내놓았다. 그리고 대통령직 인수위원회에서 정부 조직 개편안에 관한 논의가 진행되는 현재도 이 공약을 전혀 철회하지 않고 있다. 우리 국제시민사회단체들은 이러한 그의 행보에 강한 우려를 표한다.

여성들의 오랜 투쟁으로 이루어 낸 성평등과 여성인권 성과들은 글로벌 경제위기, 기후위기, 코로나19 팬데믹, 반여성인권적인 저항 등에 부딪혀 전세계적으로 위기를 맞고 있다. 유엔 여성지위위원회 아시아태평양 그룹 의장이자 유엔인권이사국으로써 국제사회에서 성평등 규범과 관련하여 중요한 역할을 해오고 있는 한국 정부가 여성가족부 폐지를 현실화한다면, 이는 여성인권의 심각한 퇴행이며, 한국뿐 아니라, 아시아 지역, 그리고 국제사회에 큰 악영향을 미칠 것이다.

‘적절한 예산과 인력을 보장받는 성평등 정책 전담기구의 필요성’은 이미 1995년 한국을 포함한 189개국의 만장일치로 통과되었던 국제 규범인 ‘베이징행동강령’에 명시되어 있다. 또한 2021년 유엔여성지위위원회는 제65차 합의결론에서 북경행동강령의 효과적인 이행을 위해 각국의 성평등 전담 기구를 강화할 것을 권고하기도 하였다.

한국은 각종 경제사회 지표에서 선진국의 위치에 있지만, 여성인권의 측면에 있어서 아직 가야할 길이 멀다. 우리 국제시민사회단체들은 한국 정부가 성평등 증진의 책무자로써의 역할을 인지하고, 여성가족부의 권한과 역할을 강화하기 위한 구체적이고 현실적인 방안을 마련할 것을 요구한다. 또한 여성인권 증진에 관한 수많은 변화를 만들어온 용기 있는 한국 여성들을 깊이 존경하고 응원하며, 앞으로도 성평등 실현을 위한 이들의 활동에 계속 연대할 것이다.

2022 4 3 116개 국제 시민사회단체

(단체 명단은 하단 참조)