[Korea] Seoul mayor’s death prompts push to improve sexual harassment laws [Korea] Seoul mayor’s death prompts push to improve sexual harassment laws

[Korea] Seoul mayor’s death prompts push to improve sexual harassment laws
31 Jul 2020

In July 2019, Korea made huge progress by enacting the Workplace Anti-Bullying Law, after a six-month trial period. An amendment to the Labor Standards Act soon followed. These laws criminalised workplace bullying that also included acts of sexual harassment. The pushback against sexual harassment was at its high in 2018 when the #MeToo movement in Korea inspired thousands of women to come forward with their experiences of harassment. 

As many as 193 women, including popular athletes and media figures, narrated their #MeToo stories nonstop for 2018 minutes at a marathon protest in 2018 to draw attention to the issue and symbolically demonstrate its extent. More recently the country has been shaken by the suicide of Park Won-soon - the mayor of Seoul - hours after the mayor’s former secretary lodged a formal complaint of harassment with police. The Korea Times reports on this and other significant cases in the public eye and examines the wider patriarchal culture which may have contributed to such incidents.

In July 2019, Korea made huge progress by enacting the Workplace Anti-Bullying Law, after a six-month trial period. An amendment to the Labor Standards Act soon followed. These laws criminalised workplace bullying that also included acts of sexual harassment. The pushback against sexual harassment was at its high in 2018 when the #MeToo movement in Korea inspired thousands of women to come forward with their experiences of harassment. 

As many as 193 women, including popular athletes and media figures, narrated their #MeToo stories nonstop for 2018 minutes at a marathon protest in 2018 to draw attention to the issue and symbolically demonstrate its extent. More recently the country has been shaken by the suicide of Park Won-soon - the mayor of Seoul - hours after the mayor’s former secretary lodged a formal complaint of harassment with police. The Korea Times reports on this and other significant cases in the public eye and examines the wider patriarchal culture which may have contributed to such incidents.

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