Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon said Thursday that a country's future depends largely on how much it empowers women and takes advantage of their capabilities.
Lee made the remark during an opening ceremony of the annual Asia Women Leaders Forum, saying expanding women's roles in society is an irreversible flow of our times.
"The emergence of global women leaders is dazzling," Lee said. "German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Theresa May are dominating European politics. International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde is leading global finances," he added.
"Women's roles are rapidly expanding not only in business management but also in all other areas, including national defense, diplomacy and culture," he said.
Lee attributed this to the enhancement of women's capabilities and society's need for women to play greater roles, as the late futurist Alvin Toffler predicted.
"Now, nurturing women leaders and taking advantage of their capabilities have become key factors affecting a country's future," Lee said, adding that many advanced countries have been tearing down barriers that have prevented women from greater participation in society.
European nations, such as Norway, Sweden and France, have also introduced systems aimed at increasing the proportion of women executive in companies to as high as 40 percent, as they believe that it will help make decision-making healthier and more transparent.
The government of President Moon Jae-in also filled more than 30 percent of the Cabinet with women, he said. He added, "The government hopes this effort will spread to private sectors." (Yonhap)