As an enthusiastic but novice learner of feminism, my goal is to make the topic of feminism more approachable to those who are unfamiliar with it and to create a safe place where teens like me can engage in discussions. Frustrated by the lack of interest by my peers, I started subscribing to the Women’s news, a newspaper in Korea that views social issues from a women’s viewpoint. I thus far realized that many newsworthy articles are not published in male-centered newspapers and that the same issue can be interpreted differently depending on the author’s gender.
|[The author reading her monthly subscriptions from Women’s News.
Photo Credit: Gloria Park]
I decided to reach out to Women’s News for an interview in the hopes to spread knowledge and to spark interest in feminism among teens by publishing them on Herald Tomorrow. After waiting for a few days for a response, I was able to conduct an interview with Ms. HyoSun Kim, the chair of Women’s News.
The following is a translated and paraphrased excerpt from the interview:
Q: The topic of gender equality is unfamiliar or sometimes uncomfortable one for teenage boys and men in general. What do you think is the best way to deliver the message as naturally as possible?
Many people think that gender equality only benefits women. The most effective way to alter the perception of gender equality is to point out that inequality happens to men too. Even UNSDG (United Nations Sustainable Development Goals) states gender equality as a global goal for both genders.
Q: To aim for gender equality, what is the best way for teens to take action?
At a young age, knowledge about gender equality is very important. I recommend reading feminist books to understand how complicated this concept is.
Q: Where do you think Korea stands in terms of gender equality?
Many people have a misconception that developed countries like Korea are close to reaching gender parity. Korea is considered a highly developed country in its security and education for females as there are more females in universities than males. Also, Korea guarantees gender equality by law. But Korea has one of the biggest gender wage gaps, and the employment rate puts us in 108th place out of 146 countries in the UNDP (United Nations Development Programme)’s gender inequality index. As you can see, we have some ways to go.
Q: How important is it to have a newspaper that views issues from the viewpoint of women?
Viewing social issues from women’s perspective is important because newspapers have biased information in general. For example, there was a case of a 70-year-old woman who wanted to divorce her 80-year-old husband. Other newspapers jokingly referred to this situation. But Women’s News took this matter seriously. The woman who had endured domestic violence her whole life, told the reporters, “Even if I die tomorrow, I want to get divorced today.” Looking at issues from the perspective of women can bring about real change. It was our newspaper that first advocated the need for nursery schools, which we discovered while reporting on the concerns of working mothers about their children.
|[Photo of the author and Hyo Sun Kim after the interview / Photo Credit: Gloria Park]|
Q: In your opinion, what is a gender-equal society?
A gender-equal society is self-explanatory: a society where there is no prejudice or stereotypes based on gender. I think that a gender-equal society is a sign that humans are at their best, because humankind is most intelligent when free from stereotypes.
Gloria Park email@example.com
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