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Society & Global
Society & Global Section
확대축소프린트
 안혜란
Ministry of Gender Equality and Family Is Being Shaken from Branch to Root
제 136 호    발행일 : 2012.11.03 
Many citizens are criticizing the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family(MGEF). MGEF was founded to improve the rights for women at first. They made a policy that gives women equal opportunity to work. Since then, MGEF has steadily expanded business territories to children, teens and multicultural families.
MGEF’s primary responsibilities are to expand women’s social activities, protect teens from harmful environments, and support multicultural families. In addition, MGEF devises policies to prevent sexual violence and family violence and to shelter victims of violent crime.
However, many people think that MGEF’s recent policies are not effective. The ministry has created a law on the protection of children and adolescents from sexual abuse, a shutdown system that bans teens from playing online games after midnight, and a lyric review board. They also tightened regulations on concerts, films and music videos. However, innocent people are being harmed because these policies have imprecise criteria. Furthermore, excessive regulations are deterring the freedom of expression. 
MGEF made the Child Pornography Law to prevent children from sex abuse. However, they define pornography as any media in which children and adolescents, or performers who act like children, appear in. Because of the ambiguous definition, actresses who look younger than their own age or wear school uniforms are subject to the regulation. 63% of netizens said, “The shutdown system doesn't work.” In addition, MGEF censors music albums that have bad effects on teens, and MGEF bans them from being sold to those who are younger than 19 years old and from being aired on TV or radio before 10 p.m. However, this policy is controversial because MGEF reversed its ‘harmful’ judgement on music albums. The latest policy that the ministry announced prohibits music videos that expose a particular part of the body of young idol group members. Because of this, people are arguing over the freedom of expression and the need for restrictions.
Seo Seong-jun(School of Mechanical Engineering, ’09) said about MGEF, “Sexually violent crimes frequently occur. However, most victims drop the charges owing to the fear that the incident spreads. I think MGEF should find a way to improve this situation. They are headed the wrong way.” Most people who accepted an interview, including Seo Seong-jun, blamed MGEF’s policy. Ahn Su-yong(Hyunpong High School, 18) also criticized the ministry, “Although MGEF wants to prevent teens from playing online games by introducing the shutdown system, teens know ways to evade the shutdown system. This policy has no effect.”
In contrast, Kim Jeong-nae(A counselor of Gender Equality Counseling Center in Chungbuk Nationalu University) said, “I think MGEF’s efforts are desirable because the efforts show the government does have an interest in social issues such as sexual assaults and school violence.” She said about gender equality in Korea, “Korea is trying to realize gender equality through education of minors. Thanks to these efforts, Korea’s gender inequality index ranked 11th among 164 countries last year. However, women who do economic activities are limited, many people still think that considerable sexual inequality is happening in Korea. Korea took 107th among 135 countries in the gender gap index, which shows the economic activity rate of women and men, and Korea’s women’s economic activities rate is 50%, which is lower than the global average of 60%. In this respect, MGEF, which supports women’s economic activities, is necessary for gender economic equality.”
However, criticism about MGEF’s policy is expanding as to whether the ministry should be abolished or not. Lee Seok-yong(School of Mechanical Engineering, ’09) who is a male interviewee said, “I think men have been kept down by the MGEF these days.” He thought the MGEF should be closed. Seo Seong-jun also said, “People will not change their negative minds about MGEF even though the ministry is altering their policy right now.” In addition, more than 10,000 people have signed in to support the MGEF abolition movement. On the other hand, Lee Bo-ram(Dept. of Child Welfare, ’12) and Jeong Seon-yeong(A Cheonan citizen, 21) said, “MGEF needs to prevent the sexual assaults that are increasing. However, we wish they would work mostly for the neglected classes of people such as women and children.” 

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