On Saturday, hundreds of men and women gathered in Tapgol Park, Seoul for Korea’s second “slutwalk”. While last year’s “slutwalk” specifically protested sexual violence agaisnt women, having been sparked by a series of sexual assaults, this year’s walk broadened the protest to include a variety of women’s rights issues such as the right to equal pay and the right to make decisions about one’s own body.
The Slutwalk movement began in Toronto on April 3, 2011 after policeman Michael Sanguinetti advised that “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order to not be victimized” at a crime prevention forum at York University. Since then, slutwalks have been organized in cities all around the world such as Chicago, Edinburgh, Amsterdam, London, Sydney, and Copenhagen. Slutwalk participants call for greater awareness of sexual violence and protest against explaining or excusing sexual violence due to the way a woman chooses to dress.
Korea’s first slutwalk was held last year on July 16 after a woman suggested a rally be held on twitter in light of an incident of sexual violence at Korea University in which a female medical student was sexually assautled by three male colleauges. The protest began in front of Korea University and made its way to the streets of Hongik Univeristy.
This year’s slutwalk was organized by Slutwalk Korea, who states that though changes in Korea have been made to address sexual violence, there is still a long way to go. Their protest of issues such as equal pay shows that interest in women’s rights in Korea is surely growing.
Photo by Lee Jae Won / REUTERS