30% Quota for Female Seats in Government
Regarding the local government elections taking place next year on June 4th (2014), there is an ongoing debate on whether the current nomination system should be demolished or stay put. This issue puts to question the future of women’s participation in Korean politics.
According to the Korean National Council of Women, Korea ranks at 105th place (out of 190 countries evaluated) for the percentage of female representatives in the national assembly, with 15.7%. Heads of small local councils amount to 2.6% while there are none for larger district governments. Also, there are only 21.7% and 14.8% of females in the local and provincial governments respectively.
In response to such discouraging statistics and the current debate over the nomination system, the female community of Korea is demanding that regardless of whether the nomination system is removed or not in the elections next year, the quota of female representatives in the national assembly should increase to 30%.
With the expansion of reserved seats for women, Korea could emulate countries such as Sweden, Germany and Rwanda which have seen progressive growth of female participation in politics, following a similar quota policy. The need for a quota system is especially dire in Korea where societal and political life is male-dominated as ever which makes it crystal clear that this policy proposal must be taken into serious consideration.