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The present situation of Korean women's organizations.

  • Lee, Y S
Published Article
Women's studies forum
Publication Date
Jan 01, 1991
PMID: 12285930


This report was translated and excerpted from the original research report on Korean women's organizations by the Korean Women Development Institute (KWDI). There were 2200 women's groups in 1988. Their collective strength has not been felt even though strong opinions on women's issues are expressed. 303 groups from the KWDI directory were selected of which 14 city or provincial councils of women's groups are represented: the cities of Pusan, Taegu, Inchon, Kwangju, Taejon and provinces of Kyungki, Kangwon, North Chungchong, South Chungchong, North Cholla, South Cholla, North Kyongsang, and South Kyongsang. The survey provides a general overview and is not representative of all women's groups. Results are presented in general, by organizational structure and facilities, by purpose of establishment and types of activities, and financial conditions. The results of the survey of 93 national organizations and the 210 local organizations show that 85.5% are registered (260 out of 303) and 14.2% are nonregistered (25 national and 18 local). 192 out of 210 local groups are part of national groups of which 148 are registered. Few groups at the local level are independent. Registration data are provided by Ministry. Organizational growth occurred in the 1980s with the addition of 115 groups. Most nonregistered groups were formed after 1981. New membership is dependent on fulfilling specified qualifications. 32.3% require professional credentials. 11% did not have qualifications. 40% of groups have 500 members, 14.8% with 1-5000 members, and 10.3% with 10,000 members. 43 groups have their own branches, i.e., 43.2% have 10 branches and 34.1% have 10-20 branches or 79.3% have 20 branches. 72.6% employ full-time staff, of which 35.5% are paid. 54.8% have 3 staff and 6.9% have 10 staff. 35.8% rent, 28.5% own, and the others use free space in houses or offices. Social welfare concerns were the most frequent objectives. "Improving women's social status and rights" was a more prevalent aim in the 1980s. 72.6% engaged in "welfare work," and 72.3% in education. 45.2% issue publications. Budgets varied between 10 and 15 million won; membership fees were the largest source of income. Recommendations were to enhance the status of women's groups within the local community, eliminate the overlap in functions by developing specialties in addition to social issues, to expand fund-raising efforts, and to expand the role of local councils of women's groups.

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