Ms. Jungwon Bang Global Peace Women Leadership Conference 2014

Global Peace Foundation
October 15, 2014

Values, Role of Women, and Leadership 


Professor Jang Whakyoung has previously said that the family has a close relationship with the social structure, especially the form of economic productivity and the economic structure, and that the concepts have changed.

After the industrial revolution in 19th century, the form of a family has changed from systematic family to affectionate family, and the women began to play more important role in the society as the family turned into a form of nuclear family. There were improvements followed by this, but problems also arose. Professor Jang also said that even though the women have come a long way in the society, their positions are still weak compared to the men. Therefore, we must lead the sense of gender equality and bring out the issue of the patriarchal structure of the family and must discuss about the ways to improve the situation. Lastly, she also mentioned that women must perform their talents and hope and lead the family and the society that can procreate a happy life.

I deeply feel sympathy to the explanations she gave on various social problems in Korea and the right of women to fix such problems. Professor Jang explained that the most important changing factor in the structural side of the family was the act and the sense towards marriage. I too, believe that the perspectives affect the decision on the role a man and a woman plays in marriage. With that, I would like to talk about the values, and women’s role and leader ship.

Professor Kim Heysook of Ewha Women’s University once asked a question of ‘who is the justice for?’ and answered that women are outside of the justice. She said so because the issue of justice in philosophy and society is based on the men. It is true that women has hard time finding their role outside of their family, because they are considered useless for not keeping it up with men. When women tires to enter into the society that is built upon men, it is considered as breaking the order of the society. The talents the women has that are not found in men also get derogated and is revealed as inequality in various job fields.

Although the social environment has changed, women are often considered for a means for sacrifice, motherhood, and the one that gives care. I am not saying that we should through this perspective away, but such philosophies and ideas should also be applied to the men as well. It is not fair to just ask women to follow such ideas. As a result, women are in a position of being against the men in the society where their needs and positions are not being considered. As the society is leaving out the basic role of women and following the opinion of feminism, the actual role of women is being denied.

Last year, the Korean Confederation of Trade unions lead a performance that contained the message that they will not give up to have an equal life at the Gwanghwamun Plaza. They proclaimed that they are not happy as the society is not equal. Watching this, I questioned myself as to whether such struggle was necessary for the women to truly be happy and get their rights. What do you think the society would look like if they did earn such things through struggles like this?

Although the desire for equality for women has still not filled, one can see that the power of women has increased than before on the streets, restaurants, and play areas. Men’s participation increased in family activities, and it is often seen that the women live in luxury. In addition, I believe that the society is turning more peaceful and happy than before as the women are guaranteed with more equality. However, the news in today’s society is filled with horrible things in which reveals the fall of the family. The social equality of women and the consciousness of authority may be the precondition of happiness, but it is hard to say that they are the direct reason for happiness.

So then what is the true definition of equality? Those that live in democratic society ask for equality. However, equality appears depending on one’s position and ability. In other words, the concept of equality is different for men and women, the regions, and the power. For example, we can’t all be men, live in Seoul, and eat Kimchi every day. We don’t want everyone to live the same. In this sense, the true equality does not mean that we all own the same thing, but rather something that can be acquired depending on the given environment, power, and ability.

In terms of the relationship, the factors for happiness and equality appears differently between men and women, adult and a child, boss and an employee, Koreans, Americans, and Japanese. They also appear differently between the cold and hot area, healthy and weak person, and the position of the person. To be happy and equal, we need to perform our tasks and to do this, we must know where we stand. Therefore, it is very important that we know the environment and the power of the women before we talk about their roles. Women can’t live without men, and men can’t live without women. We can’t live by ourselves. Women’s status includes being a daughter, wife, and mother. All of these should comply in order for everyone to be happy. In expansion, women are educators, students, CEOs, and employees in the society. They are also citizens. Although there may be a little difference among every human being, but they cannot exist away from this ability and status. In other words, one can find happiness and equality when he or she fulfills their duty as who they are. Same goes for the men, but when we look around women’s perspective, women are happiest people when they are the loved daughters, wives, mothers, and siblings. Nothing can replace this. They are also happy when they work at their full ability as teachers, students, employees, and citizens. When all of these things are fulfilled, that’s when we get the deep concept of equality.

The problem is however, that people feel unfair and unhappy in the spot where they can feel the most amount of happiness. As a result, divorce, juvenile delinquent, suicide, murder, child abandonment, and elderly issues arise in our society. Such social issues arose from making the women do things they didn’t have to before as well as the absence of the right values.


Overall, women should not be finding their happiness through struggles and denying their role, but by ending the world where the men rules and crimes take place all the time. Instead, they should organize a new value of the ideal wife and daughter to lead to make a family with freedom, love, and peace. In 21st century, women can form a strong base with men and become the leaders of the world. Unlike the world where the women had to deal with extreme activities to earn their rights, they become presidents and take important role in our society today. The environment has changed. Women also has the affection to love that is granted by God. They can give birth to children and educate them. They must perform such role in the society as well. When all of these things comply, a true women’s leadership will arise.

Finally, a peaceful world does not happen in certain countries first. Although many men argue to create a peaceful world and abandon their families and focus on their work in the society, a peace should be formed within the family first. In terms of this, the love, peace, and compassion women have in their family is very important. As they become the center of these things, the society and the schools should start from here as well. Women of 21st century should reorganize the value and keep their families as well as feel the desire to turn things around in the society. They must stand up for themselves and be the leaders to procreate the world with love and culture.

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