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Current Status and future tasks of Seoul Metropolitan Government’s policy to deal with gender based violence
  • Date : 2021-08-10
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Current Status and future tasks of Seoul Metropolitan Government’s policy to deal with gender based violence



Kang, Hee Young
Research Fellow, Seoul Foundation of Women & Family

Kim, Do-Hyun
Researcher, Seoul Foundation of Women & Family

Abstract

Seoul Metropolitan Government has implemented various policies to eradicate violence against women. Cases in point are Safe City for Women initiatives aimed at women's safety, measures to build a gender-equal city without sexual harassment or sexual assault and measures against digital sex crime. Seoul also has continuously driven implementation of policies to support women suffering from violence along with the Central Government.

This study intends to set up a comprehensive policy that supports both 1) measures of Seoul Government on violence against women implemented by Seoul to address issues and 2) policy projects of Seoul to assist victims of violence, which Seoul carried out as an organization to execute policies of Central Government.

What is behind this study is that Central Government enacted and enforced Framework Act on Prevention of Violence against Women in 2019 and has started working on from 2020 basic plan to prevent violence against women, which will counteract all kinds of violence against women. Policies driven so far were fragmented based on type of the violence, including gender violence, domestic violence, sexual harassment and sex trafficking, etc. Therefore, it was hard to address another type of violence against women such as dating violence or digital sex crime. Additionally, violence against women with different name has been defined as a new type of violence and regarded as one which cannot be dealt with by existing policy. Thus, necessity has arisen to develop policies considering common grounds of these violence, which is violence is committed based on the gender power relations.

This study also takes note of the fact that "violence against women" is the term commonly used in Korea as a short term for "gender-based violence against women,", the definition adopted by the UN in the first place. Therefore, with an intention of highlighting gender power relations as a cause behind violence, "gender violence", not "violence against women" commonly used in Korea, has been selected as a policy terminology and Seoul's policy has been named the policy dealing with gender violence.

In this study, additional analysis on the survey conducted in the past and expert research were carried out. Survey data is included in the 1) study conducted to establish mid-long term policy direction on Seoul's safety measures for women, which was driven by Seoul Foundation of Women and Family from 2017 to 2019, and 2) study conducted to evaluate policies of women and family and future tasks of the 7th Seoul Metropolitan Government elected based on popular vote and 3) study on how to handle social conflicts through the analysis of discourse around misogyny. The additional analysis was carried out on evaluation of citizens about Seoul's policy. Based on this, opinions from 24 experts in the area of women's human rights, safety and gender violence were collected to implement comprehensive policy.

Result of the study clearly indicated that for policy of gender violence to be comprehensive, social perception should change to understand that the issue of gender equality and gender violence are not independent. It was also highlighted that measures against gender violence should not focus only on victims and perpetrators. This means comprehensive preventive measures are needed to settle gender violence policy as a policy for all people. Another severe issue was that victims have had different support based on a different policy without considering the fact different types of violence had something in common, which is they are gender-based violence. Therefore, the "comprehensive" policy on gender violence can truly be working when higher-level of support as a standard is provided to all victims. Since eradication of gender violence is far-off in a society with gender-inequality, universal implementation of gender equality policies is even more required.

*Key words: gender based violence, violence against women, safety for women, Women's Safety Metropolitan City

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