'Women, go out into the world' exhibition shows women who smashed old employment norms in Korea
수 많은 여성 1호들의 이야기를 담은 전시회
Many women across the globe today... can pursue successful careers.
But the level of gender equality in employment that we enjoy today might never have been possible... without the footsteps of the so-called "female firsts".
Our Kim Bo-kyoung met some of these female pioneers.
In traditional times, women would usually support their families and consider that the best way to contribute to society.
However, as modern culture swept Korea, women were encouraged to take part in economic activities and this led to the emergence of 'female firsts.'
To show how women have worked tirelessly to realize their dreams, the National Women's History Exhibition opened a special exhibition on Monday named 'Women, go out into the world.'
Special guests who attained the "Number 1" title in their respective fields attended the ceremony to share their stories.
Kim Mal-nyeo was the first woman in Korea to become a paperhanger in 1970s,… when paperhangers were exclusively males due them generally being taller.
Although she was a short woman who had trouble papering high ceilings, she never gave up and started climbing a wardrobe to paper the ceiling above it.
Lee Duck-hoon followed her father's footsteps to become a barber,... and out of 31 candidates who passed the first qualifying test she was the first woman to do so.
To this day, she's still working as a barber in her old shop.
"I was able to do my job all these years because I take pride in myself and I believe my work is the most important. No other work or technique is more important than mine."
Many of these so-called "Number 1"s in their respective fields paved the way for women in this generation to chase their own dreams whatever the odds.
However, there are still issues that have to be resolved in South Korea for greater gender equality in employment.
"Women's labor and its worth needs to be fully acknowledged. Only then can our society get better."
There's still enormous pressure on women to become a housewife after giving birth and working conditions for women still need to be brought up to speed, especially for temporary and part-time workers.
"By retracing the stories of women who broke down boundaries, we can get an insight into how to solve the remaining issues of gender inequality.
Kim Bo-kyoung, Arirang News."
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