Group calls for stronger action against gender discrimination in employment

By Kim So-hyun

Published : May 16, 2018 - 16:17
Updated : May 16, 2018 - 16:17

A collection of women’s groups and labor groups Wednesday called on the government to take stronger action against gender discrimination in employment.

The Joint Action to Eliminate Gender Discrimination in Employment urged the Ministry of Employment and Labor to come up with short-term and long-term measures to enforce the law on equal employment opportunities, and correct unfair recruitment practices.

“It is hard to overlook the ministry’s dereliction of duty on gender discrimination in employment,” the group said in an open letter to the labor minister.

Members of the Joint Action to Eliminate Gender Discrimination in Employment protest against alleged gender discrimination in the employment process of KEB Hana Bank and KB Kookmin Bank, in front of a KEB Hana Bank building in central Seoul on April 24. (Yonhap)


In the short term, the government must look into how companies discriminate against women in their recruitment process, and take firm actions to correct them, the group said.

The government should penalize employers that violate the law on equal employment opportunities, and toughen rules to make them serve prison terms, the group said, demanding the ministry reopen a department for equality in employment.

Current rules impose a fine of 5 million won ($4,641) for violating the law.

The group picketed in front of the Korea Press Center in central Seoul where the presidential committee on job creation held a meeting Wednesday afternoon.

Last month, the group protested against hiring irregularities in the financial sector as KEB Hana Bank and KB Kookmin Bank came under fire for favoring male job applicants.

Separately, the Korean Women Workers Association and the Korean Women’s Trade Union designated May 18 as the “day to end wage discrimination,” and plan to conduct campaigns and press conferences nationwide until the end of this month.

As of August last year, female non-regular workers’ average monthly wages amounted to only 37.7 percent of those of male regular workers.

“This means, on a yearly basis, female non-regular workers are working without pay from May 18,” the groups said.

“The huge wage gap is a result of discrimination against women and non-regular workers. We demand strong government measures and policies to change the structure of our society.”

By Kim So-hyun (sophie@heraldcorp.com)

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