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Activist group to provide ‘comfort women’ teaching manual

A Seoul civic group representing Korean women forced by Japan into sexual slavery during World War II said Wednesday it has developed guides for teachers to use for educating elementary school students on the subject of the wartime victims.

According to the Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery, copies of the teaching manuals along with DVDs will be distributed free of charge to those willing to use them to teach third to sixth graders about victims of the Japanese sexual enslavement, euphemistically called "comfort women."

"While working with the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family on teaching people about comfort women, we recognized a need to develop concrete teaching guides for educating elementary schoolers," an official at the activist group said. 

Despite growing interest in the comfort women issue, teachers have been having difficulty educating students about the sexual slavery due to a lack of relevant materials and methods for teaching the subject, according to the group. 

Some 50 schools had made requests for the teaching manuals as of Nov. 19, and the civic group said it is looking to send out 600 copies of the guides and DVDs to those schools, adding that the contents of the manual will later be updated with suggestions from the schools' teachers. 

Historians say up to 200,000 women, mostly Koreans, suffered sexual enslavement at front-line Japanese military brothels during Japan's 1910-1945 colonial rule of Korea. Survivors of the sexual abuse have testified about the hardships they were forced into, and have been calling for a formal apology and compensation from Tokyo in recent years.

(Yonhap News)

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