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8. #MeToo Campaign Gains Traction in S. Korea


The global #MeToo campaign, which has seen women worldwide speak out against sexual harassment, rattled South Korean society in 2018.

The campaign first gained traction in the nation in January when Seo Ji-hyeon, a female prosecutor, posted on the prosecution's internal bulletin board that she was sexually harassed by a then senior Justice Ministry official in 2010.

Soon after, a number of victims of sexual violence began to come forward across Korean society.

In the cultural sector, female poet Choi Young-mi accused renowned poet Ko Un of sexual harassment. Ko, who was the first South Korean to have been nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature, had his work erased from school textbooks following the sexual misconduct allegations made against him.

In addition, renowned theater director Lee Youn-taek was sentenced to six years in prison on multiple sexual assault charges in September.

Sexual assault allegations were also raised against high-profile figures in the movie industry. Among them were filmmaker Kim Ki-duk and actors Oh Dal-soo and Cho Jae-hyun. One other actor who faced such accusations, Cho Min-ki, took his own life ahead of facing a police investigation.

In the political sector, former South Chungcheong Province Governor An Hee-jung, who was often touted as a future president, was indicted in April on charges that he sexually assaulted and harassed his then-secretary Kim Ji-eun multiple times from July 2017 to February this year. Currently, an appeal trial has begun for An after the Seoul Central District Court found him not guilty in August.

The #MeToo movement is regarded to be significant in that it raised awareness about the prevalence of sexual harassment and sexual assault.

Photo : Yonhap News, KBS News

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