Grand opening for women’s rights museum
Published : May 2, 2012 - 19:19
Updated : May 2, 2012 - 19:19
The new War and Women’s Human Rights Museum is to hold its grand opening from 3-6 p.m. on May 5.

The Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan is opening the museum to alert the world to former Korean “comfort women’s ongoing fight for a proper apology from Japan for the sexual slavery imposed upon them during World War II.”

Some estimates say that up to 200,000 women from Japan’s occupied territories, including Korea, were forced by the Japanese government to provide sexual services for its soldiers during the war.

Korean survivors of the euphemistically-named “comfort women” system have campaigned for years for an apology and compensation.

As well as educating on The Korean Council’s work and victims’ stories, it will also include a section dedicated to work to help survivors of rape in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The council and the “halmeoni,” or grandmothers, aim to raise a total of 500 million won ($440,000) for a fund to help women suffering from sexual violence in the war-torn African nation.

Two halmeoni, Kim Bok-dong and Gil Won-ok, both now in their 80s, have pledged to donate any reparations eventually paid by the Japanese government to the fund, to be named The Nabi (Butterfly) Fund.

No admission fee will be charged on the opening day at the museum situated near Gyeongsung High School, Seoul.

The first English-language tour of the museum will be held on May 19. The Women’s Global Solidarity Action Network will meet those interested in the tour at Hongdae Subway Station exit two at 12:30 p.m. and lead visitors to the museum from there.

In order to get to the museum alone, leave the subway station and take bus number 15 to Gyeongsung High School stop. The museum is opposite the bus stop.

For more information, go to the “Women’s Global Solidarity Action Network” Facebook page.

By Kirsty Taylor (