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Toward Everyday Practices of Gender: Implications of Feminist Political Ecology for Gender Mainstreaming in Korean ODA

Citation:

Nam, Souyeon. 2018. “Toward Everyday Practices of Gender: Implications of Feminist Political Ecology for Gender Mainstreaming in Korean ODA.” Asian Journal of Women’s Studies 24 (4): 463-88.

Author: Souyeon Nam

Abstract:

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: 

This paper suggests feminist political ecology (FPE) as a knowledge resource for policy makers, practitioners, and researchers involved in Korean gender equality-focused ODA (Official Development Assistance) programs. Since Korea joined the OECD in 2010, its government has endeavored to incorporate gender mainstreaming into Korean ODA programs. This has generally taken the "topdown approach," (i.e., shifting the practice of official institutions in ODA agencies of the donor country to recipient countries). However, social and cultural contexts of recipient countries have received little attention in assessing what the outcomes would be in these. This paper reviews feminist political ecology, which has examined multi-scalar gender politics and considers the importance of social and cultural contexts of developing countries, in order for Korean ODA programs to embrace things in a nuanced way regarding gender politics. This paper argues for the potential of FPE as an effective tool for these programs that relate to gender. It proceeds as follows: first, it critically examines characteristics of Korean gender equality focused ODA. Then it reviews what FPE is about, including four themes of feminist political ecology: property rights, gender division of labor, women knowledge resource for policy makers, practition on its review, the paper discusses ways in which feminist political ecology can generate insights for researchers and practitioners involved in the ODA programs of Korea.

KOREAN ABSTRACT: 

연구는 한국 젠더 관련 ODA 정책실무자 연구자들에게 페미니스트 정치생태학을 유용한 연구분야로 제안한다. 2010 한국이 OECD 가입한 이래, 한국 정부는 ODA 프로그램의 젠더 주류화를 향상시키기 위해 노력해왔다. 이에 있어 공여국과 수여국의 ODA 관련기관 제도적 환경을 변화시키는 상향식 접근이 주를 이루었다. 그러나 수여국의 사회문화적 맥락을 고려한 평가에 대한 관심은 상대적으로 제한적이었다. 이에 따라 연구는 개발도상국 특정 지역들의 사회문화적 맥락을 고려한 다중스케일적 젠더 정치를 다루는 페미니스트 정치생태학을 고찰한다. 이를 통해 맥락성이 상대적으로 결여된 젠더 관련 한국 ODA 프로그램을 보완함에 있어 페미니스트 정치생태학이 통찰력을 제공할 있음을 제안하고 있다. 이를 위해 먼저 페미니스트 정치생태학을 재산권, 성역할분담, 여성 권한강화, 여성의 주관성 가지 주제를 중심으로 살펴본다. 다음으로 페미니스트 정치생태학이 폭넓은 민족지학적 현장연구를 기반으로 개발도상국 사례연구를 중심으로 구축된 분야인 만큼, 이러한 기반이 부족한 한국 젠더 ODA 정책수립 연구에 기여할 있음을 보인다. 또한, 국제사회에서 한국이 지니는 특수한 위치로 인해 한국의 젠더 ODA 관련 연구 역시 페미니스트 정치생태학에 기여할 있는 잠재력을 지님을 연구는 지적하고 있다.

Keywords: feminist political ecology, Korean ODA, gender mainstreaming, gender politics, social and cultural contexts

Topics: Development, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Livelihoods, Rights, Property Rights Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: South Korea

Year: 2018

Ten Years after the Oil Spill in Taean: The Recovery of the Ecosystem, the Life of Women, and the Community

Citation:

Won, You Joon, Sujung Jang, Nuri Jung, Yejoong Kwon, Sae Yan Moon, Hyejin Nho, and Seung Jick Yoo. 2019. "Ten Years after the Oil Spill in Taean: The Recovery of the Ecosystem, the Life of Women, and the Community." Asian Women 35 (4): 1-22.

Authors: You Joon Won, Sujung Jang, Nuri Jung, Yejoong Kwon, Sae Yan Moon, Hyejin Nho, Seung Jick Yoo

Abstract:

Ten years have passed since the impact of the 2007 oil spill on the ecosystem and life of Taean Peninsula. We have investigated the status of the recovery of the marine environment, local economy, families and community by interviewing the people who have lived in Taean. We especially focused on differentiated impacts of the disaster by gender, and in the local communities. Women showed more severe vulnerability because of the limited job opportunities caused by the implicitly ongoing patriarchy in the society, the job characteristics of haenyeo, and underpayment for their labor during the clean-up operations. We also found that there have been social unrests in the local communities originating from conflicts over compensation and allocation of clean-up works, government emergency grants, and local development funds, in addition to high stress levels. The environmental disaster, the Hebei Spirit oil spill, was found to be responsible for the increased number of family break-ups through occurrences such as divorce, intensifying the negative impacts on women. Through this study on the short- and long-term effects of the Hebei Spirit oil spill, we conclude that environmental disasters have more significant and prolonged impacts for women and the community from physical, mental, and socio-economic perspectives.

Keywords: oil spill, environmental disaster, gender, community, family

Topics: Economies, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: South Korea

Year: 2019

International Women’s Organizations, Peace and Peacebuilding

Citation:

Goodman, Joyce. 2019. “International Women’s Organizations, Peace and Peacebuilding.” In The Palgrave Handbook of Global Approaches to Peace, edited by Aigul Kulnazarova and Vesselin Popovski, 441–60. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.

Author: Joyce Goodman

Abstract:

This chapter uses the published records of the International Federation of University Women (IFUW) and of the Women’s International Democratic Federation (WIDF) to analyze how the positioning of international women’s organizations around neutrality played out in organizational configurations of peace and peacebuilding. The chapter argues that the IFUW’s “disinterested” neutrality and the WIDF’s “active” neutrality connected to differing political views on equality, expertise, democracy, sovereignty and imperialism with consequences for the framing of the organizations’ peacebuilding activities and for their organizational links with Korea. The chapter uses the interactions of Kim Hawal-lan and Germaine Hannevart with Korea to conclude that women’s engagement with the peacebuilding initiatives of international women’s organizations should be seen as the outcome of a series of encounters.

Topics: Conflict, Democracy / Democratization, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Organizations, Peacebuilding Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: North Korea, South Korea

Year: 2019

Beyond Identity Lines: Women Building Peace in Northern Ireland and the Korean Peninsula

Citation:

Kim, Dong Jin. 2019. "Beyond Identity Lines: Women Building Peace in Northern Ireland and the Korean Peninsula." Asia Europe Journal. doi: 10.1007/s10308-019-00551-5.

Author: Dong Jin Kim

Abstract:

This article explores the challenges and contributions of women in building and sustaining peace in protracted conflicts by conducting a comparative case study on Northern Ireland and Korea. Similarities in the histories of the conflicts and the concurrences in the peace processes have been attracting policy makers and researchers to share lessons between the Northern Ireland and Korean peace processes. However, the peacebuilding role of women and their transversal perspective have not yet received significant attention compared to the high-level agreements, signed predominantly by male politicians. This article identifies the similarities in the peacebuilding activities of women in Northern Ireland and Korea, in terms of their recognition of the interconnection between identity politics and patriarchy, building relationships across the divide through transversal dialogue, and initiating nonviolent peace movements against the militarism of their societies. The comparative case study also shows dissimilarities between the two cases, with regard to the freedom of women to move beyond boundaries, and being part of the official peace process. This article concludes the role of women in both contexts is a key element in sustainable peacebuilding; however, it appears that women’s peacebuilding would not be able to reach its full potential to break down violent structures in conflict-affected societies, as long as their transversal perspective remains at the level of social movement, not part of peacebuilding at all levels of societies, including high-level negotiations.

Keywords: women, gender, peacebuilding, peace process, Northern Ireland, Korea

Topics: Conflict, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes, Post-Conflict, Violence Regions: Asia, East Asia, Europe, Western Europe Countries: North Korea, South Korea, United Kingdom

Year: 2019

Gender and Conflict in East Asia

Citation:

Bjarnegård, Elin, and Erik Melander. 2017. “Gender and Conflict in East Asia.” In Routledge Handbook of Asia in World Politics, edited by Teh-Kuang Chang and Angelin Chang. New York: Routledge.

Authors: Elin Bjarnegård , Erik Melander

Abstract:

In East Asia, as in the rest of the world, peace and conflict display clear gendered patterns. These patterns contribute both to a better understanding of peace and conflict per se, but gender is also of importance for grasping the causes and consequences of armed conflict. This chapter illustrates numerous ways in which a gender perspective contributes to the knowledge of issues of peace and conflict in East Asia. The constructivist argument points to some interesting possible ways in which changing gender relations may be working for peace in parts of East Asia. The view of China as an enemy is clearly the most widespread in South Korea, but the gender gap is very small with 36" of men and 34" of women thinking of China as an enemy. The gender gap is more evident in Japan where almost a quarter of the male population think of China as an enemy, while only 16" of women do.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Conflict, Gender, Peace Processes Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: China, Japan, South Korea

Year: 2017

Reparations for "Comfort Women": Feminist Geopolitics and Changing Gender Ideologies in South Korea

Citation:

Kim, Min Ji. 2019. "Reparations for "Comfort Women": Feminist Geopolitics and Changing Gender Ideologies in South Korea." Cornell International Affairs Review 12 (2): 5-43.

Author: Min Ji Kim

Abstract:

This paper studies feminist geopolitical practices in South Korea in the context of “comfort women” forced into sexual slavery by the Imperial Japanese military around the Second World War. Although there has been a considerable amount of literature penned on the comfort women issue, existing discussions focus largely on the conflict between nationalist and feminist paradigms, while largely minimizing feminist activism and changing gender narratives within Korean society. Therefore, this research aims to expand the field by considering the struggles that comfort women have endured through the lens of feminist geopolitical scholarship. I argue that comfort women activism constitutes a form of feminist geopolitical practice in a way that challenges masculine gender narratives. It has opened up new spaces where comfort women survivors can produce a sense of “survivorhood” and move beyond passivity throughout their lives. The rise of their active voices signals the overturning of traditional patriarchal structures; consequently, along with other forms of activism, these narratives have eventually led to a shift in public attitudes. Unlike how nationalist accounts were dominant in the early 1990s, the increased public attention towards the feminist accounts in the mid-2010s has subsequently increased media coverage of survivors and feminist practices.

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Nationalism, Sexual Violence, Sexual Slavery Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: South Korea

Year: 2019

Are Women More Averse to Corruption than Men? The Case of South Korea

Citation:

Lee, Aie‐Rie, and Kerry Chávez. 2020. “Are Women More Averse to Corruption than Men? The Case of South Korea.” Social Science Quarterly 101 (2): 473–89.

Authors: Aie-Rie Lee, Kerry Chavez

Abstract:

Objectives: Previous research asserts that women are less prone to corruption than men. It is not without contestation, leading to a complex corpus with mixed findings suggesting that perceptions might be context‐specific. This study investigates whether, how, and under or through what conditions gender impacts individual perceptions of corruption in South Korea, a case exemplifying "Asian exceptionalism."

Methods: Employing the World Values Survey and statistical regression techniques, we leverage a quasi‐experiment analyzing individual attitudes across all regime types in South Korea's recent history.

Results: Examining three types of corruption—state benefit fraud, tax evasion, and bribe‐taking—we find no significant differences until Korea democratizes, when we observe a surprising increase in the gap between perspectives.

Conclusions: Women's differential tolerance is mixed across types of corruption, implying that corruption is not a homogenous concept and that perceptions are conditioned by individual opportunities and constraints.

Topics: Corruption, Democracy / Democratization, Gender, Women, Governance Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: South Korea

Year: 2020

Authoritarianism in the Hypermasculinized State: Hybridity, Patriarchy, and Capitalism in Korea

Citation:

Han, Jongwoo, and L. H. M Ling. 1998. “Authoritarianism in the Hypermasculinized State: Hybridity, Patriarchy, and Capitalism in Korea.” International Studies Quarterly 42 (1): 53–78.

Authors: Jongwoo Han, L. H. M Ling

Abstract:

Authoritarianism in East Asia's capitalist developmental state (CDS) is highly gendered. A hybrid product of Western masculinist capitalism and Confucian parental governance, CDS authoritarianism takes on a hypermasculinized developmentalism that assumes all the rights and privileges of classical Confucian patriarchy for the state while assigning to society the characteristics of classical Confucian womanhood: diligence, discipline, and deference. Society subsequently bears the burden of economic development without equal access to political representation or voice. Women in the CDS now face three tiers of patriarchal authority and exploitation: family, state, and economy. Nevertheless, new opportunities for democratization may arise even in the hypermasculinized state. We suggest: (1) em- phasizing substantive, notjust procedural, democratization, (2) exercising a maternalized discourse of dissent, and (3) applying hybrid strategies of social mobilization across states, societies, cultures, and movements. South Korea during the 1960s-1970s serves as our case study.

Topics: Economies, Feminisms, Gender, Gender Analysis, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Governance, Political Economies Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: South Korea

Year: 1998

Gender Mainstreaming and the Institutionalization of the Women’s Movement in South Korea

Citation:

Kim, Seung-kyung, and Kyounghee Kim. 2011. “Gender Mainstreaming and the Institutionalization of the Women’s Movement in South Korea.” Women’s Studies International Forum 34 (5): 390–400. doi:10.1016/j.wsif.2011.05.004.

Authors: Seung-kyung Kim, Kyounghee Kim

Abstract:

This article examines the relationship between the women's movement and the government over the two women-friendly administrations in South Korea (1997–2007), a period marked by flourishing civil society activism and participatory democracy. As the Korean government transformed from a military dictatorship to a participatory democracy, the women's movement became increasingly involved in policy making and formulating legal changes. By the end of 2007, the Korean government had established or rewritten numerous far-reaching laws in order to rectify gender inequality. However, many feminist activists and scholars are asking whether the very success of Korean gender policy resulted in the institutionalization and demobilization of the women's movement. This study will focus on the dynamics of cooperation, tension, and conflict between feminist organizations and formal politics in order to analyze the trajectory of institutionalization during the ten-year period of women-friendly administrations.

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Discourses, Governance, Post-Conflict Governance, Political Participation, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: South Korea

Year: 2011

Can Transnational Feminist Solidarity Accommodate Nationalism? Reflections from the Case Study of Korean “Comfort Women”

Citation:

Herr, Ranjoo Seodu. 2015. “Can Transnational Feminist Solidarity Accommodate Nationalism? Reflections from the Case Study of Korean ‘Comfort Women.’” Hypatia 31 (1): 41–57.

Author: Ranjoo Seodu Herr

Abstract:

This article aims to refute the “incompatibility thesis” that nationalism is incompatible with transnational feminist solidarity, as it fosters exclusionary practices, xenophobia, and racism among feminists with conflicting nationalist aspirations. I examine the plausibility of the incompatibility thesis by focusing on the controversy regarding just reparation for SecondWorld War “comfort women,” which is still unresolved. The Korean Council at the center ofthis controversy, which advocates for the rights of Korean former comfort women, has been criticized for its strident nationalism and held responsible for the stalemate. Consequently, the case of comfort women has been thought to exemplify the incompatibility thesis. I argue against this common feminist perception in three ways: first, those who subscribe to the incom-patibility thesis have misinterpreted facts surrounding the issue; second, the Korean Council’s nationalism is a version of “polycentric nationalism,” which avoids the problems of essentialist nationalism at the center of feminist concerns; and, third, transnational feminist solidarity is predicated on the idea of oppressed/marginalized women’s epistemic privilege and enjoins that feminists respect oppressed/marginalized women’s epistemic privilege. To the extent that oppressed/marginalized women’s voices are expressed in nationalist terms, I argue that feminists committed to transnational feminist solidarity must accommodate their nationalism.

Topics: Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Nationalism, Sexual Violence, Rape, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Sexual Slavery, SV against Women Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: North Korea, South Korea

Year: 2015

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