Yoon Suk-yeol Takes Steps Toward Eliminating Gender Equality Ministry

Minister Kim Hyeon-suk will leave her post with no replacement.

Yoon Suk-yeol Takes Steps Toward Eliminating Gender Equality Ministry

Photo: Outgoing Gender Equality Minister Kim Hyeon-suk. Credit: Jang Jeong-pil.

President Yoon Suk-yeol 윤석열 vowed to begin taking steps for abolishing the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family 여성가족부. On February 20, Gender Equality Minister Kim Hyeon-suk 김현숙 stepped down, having tendered her resignation in September 2023 in the wake of her ministry’s inept handling of the World Scout Jamboree. (See previous coverage, “Jamboree from Hell.”)

Yoon had previously nominated Kim Haeng 김행 as her successor, but withdrew the nomination after controversial statements by Kim Haeng surfaced, such as the argument that pregnant women should be forced to carry babies to term.

Abolishing a cabinet ministry would require a bill to be passed by the National Assembly 국회, where the opposition Democratic Party 민주당 currently holds the majority. On February 22, the Office of the President 대통령실 said Yoon would not appoint a replacement for Kim Hyeon-suk’, saying: “The executive branch needs to demonstrate the president's commitment to keeping his promises, even before the formality of passing the bill.”

The conservative People Power Party 국민의힘 proposed the bill currently pending in the legislature, which may pass if the PPP wins a majority in the April 10 General Election 총선.

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