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Jae-myung Lee, “Korea, the country with the largest wage gap between men and women…Improvement of structural pay discrimination”

Democratic Party presidential candidate Lee Jae-myung poses for a commemorative photo with party members connected via video at the Women’s Committee for National Election Committee meeting held at Nuurikum Square in Mapo-gu, Seoul on the afternoon of the 18th. National Assembly Photo Foundation
Democratic Party presidential candidate Lee Jae-myung announced on the 18th that as a women’s policy, “We will introduce the ‘Equal Employment Opportunity Wage Disclosure System’ in the public sector and expand it to the private sector in stages.”

The Equal Employment Opportunity Wage Disclosure System is a system that discloses the current status of the gender wage gap and mandates improvement plans to reduce the wage gap. It was promoted by the Moon Jae-in government, but it was not introduced due to differences of opinion over the elements of wage disclosure. Candidate Lee also said, “We will revise the Equal Employment Opportunity Act and the Recruitment Procedure Act to prevent gender discrimination in the hiring stage, and prepare legal and institutional measures and social sanctions for violations of the law.”

Candidate Lee was nominated for the ‘Hope Forward, Gender Equality Properly!’ At the Women’s Committee of the National Election Commission, the five major promises in the field of women and families were announced.

Candidate Lee said, “Expanding women’s economic activity is not only the basis of gender equality, but also a factor that determines the growth and sustainability of the country. he emphasized. He also pointed out the fact that “Korea has the largest gender wage gap among OECD member countries, and the women’s labor force participation rate and glass ceiling index are among the lowest.”

“In order to make a good country to work with, we need to improve the structural wage discrimination in the labor market first,” he said.

Democratic Party presidential candidate Lee Jae-myung announces policy pledges at the Women's Committee of the National Election Commission held at Nurikum Square in Mapo-gu, Seoul on the afternoon of the 18th.  National Assembly Photo FoundationDemocratic Party presidential candidate Lee Jae-myung announces policy pledges at the Women’s Committee of the National Election Commission held at Nurikum Square in Mapo-gu, Seoul on the afternoon of the 18th. National Assembly Photo Foundation
Candidate Lee also said, “We will promote gender-equal management to break the glass ceiling of companies.” To this end, he emphasized that he will increase the proportion of gender diversity in the corporate ESG evaluation index to induce gender-equal management, and expand the gender equality perspective in considerations for ESG investment by public pension funds.

In addition, he said, “We will prepare a mid- to long-term roadmap for resolving the gender wage gap, and lay the institutional foundation for improving the value of labor in occupations with a specific gender concentration, such as care services.” He promised to prepare a system to prevent sexual harassment and support victims for small businesses, which are blind spots for sexual harassment victims.

Candidate Lee also announced on the same day that as a family policy, △ compulsory parental leave system △ guarantee of inclusive sexual and reproductive health rights for men and women △ support for single-person households and △ support for single-parent families.

In order to create a society where children are cared for together, Candidate Lee also proposed the introduction of an ‘automatic parental leave registration system’ in which both parents automatically apply for parental leave when a child is born. He also announced that he would introduce a ‘parental quota system for parental leave,’ which would make the amount of parental leave a reality and require both parents to use a certain percentage of parental leave in order to induce parental leave. It also introduced a plan to promote national employment insurance subscription and guarantee the right to use parental leave and maternity leave before and after childbirth.

Democratic Party presidential candidate Lee Jae-myung announces policy pledges at the Women's Committee of the National Election Commission held at Nurikum Square in Mapo-gu, Seoul on the afternoon of the 18th.  National Assembly Photo FoundationDemocratic Party presidential candidate Lee Jae-myung announces policy pledges at the Women’s Committee of the National Election Commission held at Nurikum Square in Mapo-gu, Seoul on the afternoon of the 18th. National Assembly Photo Foundation
Candidate Lee also promised to enact a basic law to ensure reproductive health and rights for both men and women, given that sexual and reproductive issues were focused only on women’s pregnancy and childbirth. Support for the purchase of sanitary napkins for all female adolescents, support for free HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccine vaccination for all male adolescents, and including basic infertility-related male and female tests in the health check-up were suggested. The name of the obstetrics and gynecology department will be changed to the Department of Women’s Health Medicine, which will lower the psychological threshold of adolescents and unmarried women.

Candidate Lee also announced a plan to support single-person households. In line with the increasing trend of single-person households among the elderly and young, he promised to expand policies to prepare for safety and housing instability, social isolation, and loneliness. The housing supply policy also explained that it would expand the supply of public housing, such as shared-type basic housing, by covering a variety of needs following changes in household composition. In addition, they mentioned the activation of the voluntary guardianship system and the establishment of a designation system that is a solidarity relationship in the fields of medical care, funerals, and care.

The protection net for single-parent families will also be strengthened. First, it announced that it would remove the income standard for issuing single-parent household certificates and gradually expand the target of child support payments to 80% or less of the median income. The government also promised to introduce a ‘national payment system for child support’, in which the state pays part of the child support debt first.

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