Monday, September 10, 2007

Korea: Still Discriminates Agaist Women

KOREA -- The United Nations found that Korea still has plenty of room for improvement with regard to discrimination against women despite recent progress promoting gender equality.

The U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women concluded its two-week 39th session, issuing dozens of recommendations for Korea to better protect women from societal mistreatment.

Lauding the Korean government's effort in abolishing the patriarchal family registry, known as "hoju," its report said it remains concerned that "no clear timeline has been established" for the elimination of what it called a "prime example" of gender discrimination in Korea.

It also recommended that the government criminalize marital rape and punish offenders even without complaints from their victims. The report expressed concern over the low rates of reporting, prosecutions and convictions of cases of violence against women. In addition, it urged the government to ensure all women, including those who live in rural areas, have access to immediate means of redress and protection from domestic violence.

In regards to the persistence of trafficking, exploitation and prostitution, the committee said it was particularly concerned about adolescent girls' sexual relationships with older men for money.

Regarding interracial marriage the report urged the prompt adoption of the draft law on regulating marriage brokers. The committee was troubled by an increase in international marriages, which "may lead to foreign women being trafficked" into Korea for purposes of marriage and exploitation...


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