The Korea Herald


S. Korea to lower gender gap in public sector

By Moon Ki Hoon

Published : July 18, 2023 - 17:13

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Ministry of Gender Equality and Family (Yonhap) Ministry of Gender Equality and Family (Yonhap)

The South Korean government announced a comprehensive five-year plan to address the gender gap in the public sector by increasing the proportion of leadership positions held by women.

In South Korea, women occupy only 8.5 percent of senior government positions, significantly below the 37.1 percent average for countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The plan proposes to equal the OECD average within the next five years.

The plan, announced Tuesday by a joint task force headed by the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family, lays out the goal of increasing female leadership representation across twelve public entities, including government-owned corporations, the military, the police, national universities and research institutions.

The military, in particular, is slated for a noteworthy change, with a projected rise of female senior officers from 9 percent to 15 percent.

Further measures outlined in the plan include the enlistment of more women in military combat roles and consistent fitness standards for police applicants.

South Korea trails other developed countries in female economic involvement, particularly in senior leadership positions. Ranked 99th out of 146 countries in last year’s World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Report, it fares even worse in parliamentary and managerial positions, standing at 125th with just 16.27% representation.