Sunday, October 18, 2009

Women's Resources Development Policy of Korea

The working -age population in Korea has decreased due to the country's low birthrate and aging population. This situation now threatens to lower the nation's potential economic growth rate. Therefore, it is urgent to encourage women's participation in economic activities in order to increase the working-age population. Major advanced countries showed that the rate of women's participation in economic activities rapidly increased, at more than 9 percent on average, in the period when their respective per capita GDPs rose from $10,000 to $20,000. In Korea, however, the rate of women's participation in economic has been stalled at the 50 to the 54 percent range (54.8% in 2007) since 1995, which is 6.3 percent lower than the current average rate of female participation in all OECD countries (61.1 percent).

The Basic Education Act, revised in 2002, included the first provisions for the " Promotion of Gender Equality Education." It promotes the establishment and implementation of the policies on gender equality at the central and local government levels. As a result, gender equality is increasing in education. For example, women are now receiving more years of formal education on average than men.

The ministry expects that by 2012, the percentage of women between 25 and 34 years of age who graduate from universities or colleges will be 49.4%, compared to 43.9% for men (Education in Korea, 2009). These statistics suggest the growth of female human resources through higher education and the development of diverse skills.

Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST) has initiated a variety of projects to promote the development and employment of female human resources. To promote gender equality in faculty employment, every three years, national and public universities are required t establish and implement respective employment plans that specify the target ratio of women professors to male professors at each university.

Plans are being implemented to increase the ratio of women to men in school principal and vice-principal positions to 20 percent by 2010, and 30 percent by 2015. Local education authorities are also advised to take appropriate measures to increase the number of women among newly elected superintendents of education, professionals, and teachers in administrative positions.

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