“Women are the most underutilized human resource,” Korean National Assembly member Hon. Jiyoung Ryu told some 250 women leaders at the opening of the Global Women’s Future Forum in Seoul on May 22, 2015. Ms. Ryu said that the National Assembly is committed to doing what is necessary to “unleash the warm leadership of women” to contribute to building healthy families and a prosperous society in Korea.
The forum was the first in a series organized by the Global Peace Women, a division of the Global Peace Foundation, which seeks to raise women leadership through networking, service and education, and to contribute to advancing the Global Peace Foundation’s vision of One Family under God.
The forum also seeks to cultivate and engage moral and innovative women leadership that can address social and regional issues through drawing out the unique value and contribution of women in strengthening the family and in positive social transformation.
Korea’s rapid economic rise has come with serious social costs. South Korea ranks second in suicide rate according to data from the World Health Organization. The gap between the more affluent and the poor continues to grow, and a low birth rate combined with a deteriorating extended family structure has contributed to a crisis in the care of Korea’s silvering population. A special session outlining how women can facilitate social change in South Korea was conducted by Ms. Myeongseon Lee, President of the Korea Women’s Development Institute.
Among other objectives, the Women’s Future Forum is seeking creative and effective ways of engaging women leadership in issues related to Korean reunification. “Reunification is not just our hope; it is a job we need to do,” said Ms. Yeonsuk Lee, CSCA Governor and Former Minister of Women, Korea. She pointed to the unique qualities of women leadership and suggested that women have an essential role to envision and bring to life the dream of reunification—starting with a cultural transformation in the South. “We need to create a culture that reflects the society we wish to live in and shape our nation into a first-class nation,” she said.
Global Peace Women Korea President Mihwa Kim also touched the importance of vibrant families and the central role of women in cultivating the creativity and character of youth, skills essential for building peaceful and prosperous communities and societies.
“There is an increase of interaction via social media, but there is a growing disconnect in conversation within the family,” she observed. “To raise good people we must cultivate values, and that starts in the family.”
Hon. Euldong Kim and Hon. Jonghun Kim, two members of the National Assembly, sent congratulatory messages to the forum, and Global Peace Foundation Korea President In Teak Seo delivered welcoming remarks.
The forum also hosted a donation drive for earthquake relief efforts in Nepal, raising 270,000 Won for the “Sharing our Love and Support for Nepal’s Women and Children” campaign.