[2012] Mayor’s Speech

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  • It is time to take the next step in securing true happiness for women.

    SMG 621
  • Appointment of Members to the Gender Equality Commission and General Assembly

    Date: February, 28, 2012
    Venue: Main Conference Hall, Seosomun Building, Seoul City Hall

    It is a great honor for me to launch the 1st Gender Equality Commission in the presence of representatives of Korea’s women’s community and participants with such great interest and concern in women’s issues. I also extend my deep appreciation to all members who have joined us despite their busy schedules.

    Paradoxically, I wish Seoul was a city that did not need a gender equality commission, and that it was a city where universal gender equality had already been established as a common value. Of course, even if this were the case, we would still need to maintain our concern for gender equality to ensure the happiness of all citizens. The reality is, however, that Korean society desperately needs the Gender Equality Commission, and its members have a very important role to play. I apologize for placing such a burden on you from the beginning, but I hope you will all be committed to your work with pride, self-respect, and passion. Your dedication will shape Seoul’s policies on gender equality and establish the firm foundation upon which we will achieve remarkable progress.

    So far, the women’s policies of the Seoul Metropolitan Government have been focused on removing obstacles and providing greater stability in the lives of women, but now we are at a stage where we really must take the next major step to secure true happiness for women. We must do more. We must go beyond creating a society where women need not worry about giving birth and raising children, and where they are given the opportunity to balance their work and domestic life. The diverse community of women must strive to secure their rightful place as a full members of our society—a society where their hopes and dreams can come true. Achieving these goals will require promoting the values of gender equality and implementing effective policies.

    Policies on gender equality are no longer a choice but a necessity. If we procrastinate any longer, our society will become mired in its prejudiced conception of human rights, and we will fail to secure the diverse creativity needed to drive our future growth.

    In order to avoid this bleak scenario, last month, the Seoul Metropolitan Government adopted an authorization system that takes into account gender perspectives when making critical policy decisions. In addition, among the policy projects pursued by all departments and bureaus, we will select the ten major policies with the greatest potential impact on citizens and analyze the impact of each on both genders, making sure that women’s perspectives and experiences are reflected. In a few minutes, the deputy of the Women and Family Policy Affairs Department will elaborate on this in greater detail.

    We look to you to strongly criticize any inappropriate policies, and when you have any good ideas, please inform us so that we can use them to make policy. We respect and value your opinions and insights. Thank you.