Growing 'Pence rule' trend in Korea alarming: minister

By Yonhap
  • Published : Mar 15, 2018 - 11:34
  • Updated : Mar 15, 2018 - 11:34

Gender equality minister Chung Hyun-back on Thursday expressed concerns over the growing "Pence rule" phenomenon in South Korean workplaces, promising to fight the alarming trend through education campaigns.

The Pence rule refers to the practice of men shunning professional and personal engagements with women in the workplace out of concerns that they may be implicated in possible sexual misconduct allegations. The phrase originates from an interview US Vice President Mike Pence gave about not dining one-on-one with women besides his wife.

Gender equality minister Chung Hyun-back (left) (Yonhap)

"The Pence rule, which emerged in reaction to the recent 'Me Too' movement, is concerning. We will pursue various campaign and gender equality education programs to prevent the trend from spreading," Chung said at a Me Too round table discussion in Seoul with representatives from the labor community.

The minister added, "Sexual harassment and assault are matters often connected to power dynamics. Workplaces are where such dynamics are commonly manifested."

"Prevention of sexual harassment and violence is deeply interconnected with the vision of achieving workplace gender equality," Chung noted.

Chung also told attendees that the ministry will try to improve measures to fight workplace sexual harassment and violence through actively reflecting the first-hand experiences of victims. She plans to hold a similar meeting with the education community later this month. (Yonhap)