정현백 ( Hyunback Chung )
Since the year 1945, the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonization, the korean women`s movement has developed splendidly. Especially after the second half of 1980`s, under the influence of the second wave of feminist movement in western world, korean women`s movement has experienced great success which has improved the status of korean women and also protected the human rights more actively. Until now most academic work in korea has concentrated on the women`s movement after the late 1980`s. But this article tries to overview the streams of women`s movement since the new beginning of < Republic of Korea >. And in relation to the historiography of the women`s movement from 1945 to the first half of 1980`s this article tries to overcome the former insistence that the women`s movement was only the object of political mobilization by men`s politics. In this period the women`s movement, most of which were conservative, did not raise any criticisms against military dictatorship and mobilized their members for anti-communist propaganda. But also they made efforts to improve the women`s status, especially political empowerment of women, which braught not so much success. They also dedicated to pull women into the modernization process of Korea through the family planning campaign, conciousness-raising works and job training etc. Since the second half of 1980`s with the appearance of progressive women`s organizations, the agents of which mostly came from the korean democratic movement after establishing democracy 1987, korean women`s movement have had big success. Last 20 years it made laws against sexual violence, domestic violence, job discrimination and prostitution, and contributed to women`s political empowerment. Besides this group and the above mentioned conservate, by state supported women`s organizations, we can add the third group which consists of the feminist artists, young students and feminist scholars. This group has been interested much more in identity politics and contributed to spread the feminist discourse in the public opinion. < Beijing World Women`s Conference > has also stimulated the korean women`s movement to carry gender-mainstreaming politics and take part in international solidarity works more actively. During last 60 years two umbrella organizations, KWAU and KNCW, worked sometimes together, and some times in competition, and with this united strategies the korean women`s movement developed more successfully. Also women`s movement profited from the strategy of `together and seperately` which contained sometimes cooperative work with the civil and labour movements. In this way last 20 years the korean women`s movement experienced great success, showing the strategical flexibilities and the appropriate balance between using state power and raising criticism.