Practicing Feminism in South Korea
The women’s movement against sexual violence
By Kyungja Jung
Routledge – 2014 – 148 pages
Series: ASAA Women in Asia Series
The Korean women’s movement, which is seen in both Western and non-Western countries as being exemplary in terms of women’s activism, experienced a dramatic change in its direction and strategy in the early 1990s. At the heart of the new approach was an increasing focus on sexual violence, which has had a huge impact on bringing women’s issues onto the public agenda in Korea. This book examines feminist practice in Korea by analyzing the experiences of the country’s first sexual assault center, the Korea Sexual Violence Relief Center. Based on extensive original research, including interviews with activists and extensive participant observation, it explores why feminist activists in South Korea chose to organize around the issue of sexual violence, the strategies it used to do so, what impact the movement has made and what challenges it still faces to achieve its objectives.
Introduction 1. The Korean Anti-sexual Violence Movement: A newer women’s movement 2. Sexual Assault Centres as Feminist Practice: The establishment of Korea Sexual Violence Relief Center 3. From Silence to Speaking out: Cultural change through discursive politics 4. "Doing" the Movement: Advocacy and legal change 5. The Renaissance of the Women’s Movement: The institutionalization of feminist practice 6. The Impact of the Engagement with the State upon Feminist Organizational Practice Conclusion: Sustaining feminist practice
Kyungja Jung is a Senior Lecturer in Social Inquiry at the University of Technology Sydney, Australia.