Introduction to ‘Yeoullim’ – Supporters of Women’s Rights
North Korean refugee women banding together
Supporters of Women’s Rights: This is what we do
1) The operation of Choir and cultural festival hosted for fostering communication and solidarity between North Korean and South Korean women.
- North and South Korean Women Choir – “Yeoullim”
This organization promotes a mutual understanding and communication among North Korean refugee women and South Korean women. The women that establish peace and seek to break down political and ideological barriers are banded together in a North and South Korean’s women’s choir called “Yeoullim” which every year since 2011 to present have been performing nationwide.
- North and South Korean Women Cultural Festival
Every year the North and South Korean women’s activities have hosted cooperative planning, directing and filming meaningful cultural events since 2012. The North and South Korean Women’s Cultural Festival is a creative and beautiful festival that breaks away from the position of marginalization and objectification and where South Korean and North Korean women refugees actively seek to live an independent life. In 2012, the North and South Korean Women’s Cultural Festival’s themed “Aboard harmony of floating hope” and in 2013 “Beautiful Sympathy, the scent of autumn nights” were hosted.
2) The production of publication video and reading materials to support North Korean refugee women.
Good materials that offer useful information to North Korean refugee women and efforts for producing published pamphlets and videos are being made.
- A published guidebook for North Korean refugee women.
This is a published guidebook for North Korean refugees that gives women support in having to bear the double burdens, through the virtues of being a women and the difficulties this adds to the settling process.
- A published manual for education prevention for violence against North Korean refugee women.
In order to help cope with the many problems facing Korean society, one which is violence against North Korean women and raise understanding and awareness of the problems of the people who struggle to survive living as women in South Korea, representatively, woman’s violence (sexual and family violence, sexual harassment and prostitution) a guidebook for education prevention of women’s violence and a manual that deals directly with North Korean women’s information was published.
- 2014 video for violence prevention for North Korean refugee women
For North Korean refugee women who have difficulties due to the gap of awareness as far as the differences in the terminology of North and South Korea are concerned and the unfamiliarity of south Korean society culture, a women’s violence prevention education video was produced and distributed nationwide to “Hana” center, a support organization for North Korean refugees. In the field of education, through active engagement damage prevention for North Korean refugee women’s violence and protecting human rights is hoped to be achieved.
3) North Korean refugee support organizations and women’s organizational systematic network development
- Workshop for building a violence against women’s regional network for North Korean refugee women.
A part of the ministry of Gender Equality and Family’s 2 year contract joint cooperation business plan (2012-2013) in 2012 stated that a “Women’s violence prevention education manual was produced and in 2013 a business for building a network among the nationwide 7 regional hana centers, North Korean refugee support organizations as well as a violence against women’s institution was introduced. For workshops involving the seven regions (Seoul, Gyeongi, Incheon, Ganwon, Chungcheong, Jeolla, Gyeonsang) there was a precious opportunity to share in understanding the diversity of mutual cooperation of each different environment, according to region.
4) Through strengthening the abilities of North Korean refugee women, the framework for “North and South Korean Women’s Solidarity” was created.
- Peace, Healing and strengthening ability academy.
As North and South Korean women share their experiences with one another, in order to bring peace cultivating internal strength the program called “Women, healing, peace strengthening ability academy” was held. North and South Korean women overcome our society’s tension, hostility and discrimination which prepares for the opportunity to raise the capacity to defend peace.
- Showing my life story through pictures and photo essay classes
North and South Korean women participate together in photo essay classes. Through learning about the lives of women who live in a country divided society mutual understanding, communication and sympathy can be formed in these photo classes and the same humanity programs are developed and being managed. This is an attempt to take on the task of talking about and revealing our society’s North Korean refugee women’s lives.
The number of North Korean refugees living in South Korean Society has reached about 30,000 people now and 70 ~ 80 % are women.
Supporters of Women’s Rights
- The dream for setting up the base of a new life for North Korean women refugees in South Korea “through women’s eyes, strength” is supplemented, between South Korean women differences and similarities are mutually understood, a place to communicate is opened and an effort to make the genuine model of peace is set forth. In matters dealing with North Korean women refugees human rights and problems of sexual discrimination, women’s organizations are set up and places to actively support and band together are spreading.
- This is an organization where housewives, women’s studies and North Korean studies majors, women’s rights activists and counselors as well as people in other various domains gather together and have activities geared towards tackling the problems of women, peace and human rights in Korean Society.
- More than anything else, our main task is to strengthen North Korean refugee’s abilities as well as work to improve their human rights. This is a place where many North Korean refugee women, consultants, publisher planning committee members and members of the reverberating choir are participating in various ways.
Now, in 2016, WHRD have opened a new door, focusing on cultivating and promoting North Korean Women Defectors in the light of their human rights and solving them through, creating the “Exposing Discrimination” Project creating “Helpers of Discrimnation” and Consulation for North Korean Women Defectors.