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State-run body says 'cannot hire women' applicants

Nov. 29, 2023 - 17:54 By Yoon Min-sik

A waste disposal center in Yesan-gun, South Chungcheong Province has come under fire for refusing to hire a woman, local media reported Wednesday.

During a meeting of Yesan-gun's Resident Support Council, a 69-year-old female member and resident of the district asked what the qualifications for the post of resident monitor were.

But a high-ranking member of the group answered that they cannot hire women.

Resident support councils are groups formed by regional governments to aid functions related to waste disposal facilities, comprised of resident representatives, experts and members of the district council. Some residents of the area are hired as monitors to ensure that waste disposal processes are properly conducted.

"It felt as though they (Yesan-gun) had already decided whom to hire, and that the meeting was a mere formality. The comment that they 'cannot hire women' in particular felt sexist, and was insulting," she was quoted as saying.

Despite having lived in Yesan-gun for the past 10 years, she was not even given a chance to interview for the position because she was a woman, she said.

The council's regulations state that anyone who has been a resident of the area for two or more years is eligible to be a monitor.

Discriminating against job applicants based on gender is against the law and can be punished by a fine of up to 5 million won ($3,800), according to the Equal Employment Opportunity and Work-Family Balance Assistance Act.

The council claimed in response that the incident had been a simple misunderstanding, and the comment had actually meant that a man and woman working together at 4 a.m. at the same place could lead to "unnecessary complications."

Yesan-gun stressed that no one should be discriminated against during the hiring process, and vowed to investigate the matter.