As part of the Generation Equality Forum, co-chaired by France and Mexico, and in response to international movements for the fight for gender equality, the Cultural Service of the French Embassy in Korea led a series of conferences on issues common to both countries. An essential highlight, to call for effective changes and to unite in a collective fight.

The silence that had weighed heavily on women victims of gender-based and sexual violence began to crack when, in the 2010s, a feminist awareness came to forcefully highlight this public issue. On the Internet with the #Metoo hashtag, through novels such as that of the writer Cho Nam-Joo, Kim Ji Young born in 1982, or within companies concerning equal pay, South Korea, like many other countries, has come to reexamine its mores and traditions, to upset the structures established for too many years.

On the occasion of the celebrations of the International Day for Women's Rights and in the framework of the d'Alembert Fund and the promotion of the Generation Equality Forum co-chaired by France and Mexico, the Cultural Service of the French Embassy in Korea organised two major conferences to address the major issues of gender equality.

The first debate(in French and Korean), on the evolution of women's rights in the world and on the challenges of the 21st century in the fight for gender equality, provided an opportunity to cross the French, Korean and Mexican perspectives on the issue.

The second debate(in French and Korean) reacted to wage inequalities with the presence of two French sociologists, Céline Bessière and Sibylle Gollac. Both have published the book Le genre du capital, and questioned the inequalities reproduced within the family.

As part of the Bucheon International Comics Festival, a fascinating dialogue between the French and Korean comic artists Emma and Song Aram was opened to discuss the evolution of the place of women in France and South Korea.

Through various portraits of women, the two authors have examined(in French and Korean) the status of women in their respective countries, and the way in which the burden of the family home radically transforms their daily lives.

Echoing the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign (25 November to 10 December 2021), and organised by the Cultural Service of the French Embassy in Korea and the Korean Women's Development Institute (KWDI), another discussion(in French and Korean) was opened on the new forms of violence resulting from the digital evolution of our societies, trying to bring major solutions to reverse this global phenomenon suffered mostly by women.

Finally, to close these debates and to set the tone for these testimonies, the Korean writer Kim Soon and the French writer Vanessa Springora decided to break the silence by revealing to us the importance of literature in order to distance oneself from traumas without erasing them.

Based on the success of this event and the enthusiasm generated around it, and in order to go further, the French Embassy in South Korea plans to support a cooperation between the High Council for Equality between Women and Men and the Korean Women's Development Institute.


- Editors: Amanda Mouëllic, Cultural Attaché and Kook-nyeo Han, Book and Ideas Officer.