Untitled Document

Envisioning the Human Rights of Women
in the Age of Biotechnology and Science
[International Forum]
20~21, September, 2006
Seoul, Korea
Untitled Document


International Forum
   °‹ Background
   °‹ Program
   °‹ Introduction
   °‹ Abstract
   °‹ Final Report

Activities for women's health
   °‹ Objectives
   °‹ Activities

Korean Womenlink

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1. Development of agendas on women's health
2. Countermeasure movement of adolescents' health rights
3. Movement to set the right childbirth culture
4. Biotechnology and countermovement for women
5. Activities for women's health

1. Development of agendas on women's health
It is necessary to develop agendas on women's health by constructing network to discuss assignments of women's health, adolescents' health, development of policies for health in a gender sensitive perspective through conferences on specialists for women's health. Korean Women Link makes progress in making a connection between women's lives and health problems by counseling women's menstrual cycle, biotechnology, and general problems in women's health.

1> Introduction of women's diseases and health problems
1) Women's health : Being healthy or sick in old age?
2) Women's diseases

2> Series project 'Let's regain women's health'

Aug., 2002 - Published by Hangyerye newspaper and Korean Women Link
Published materials :
1) Dear my body..I'm sorry. Are you okay? /
2) Women's health in danger
3) Negative effects of induced abortion /
4) Increase health security, reduce the price of sanitary napkins
5) Women with reproductive difficulties /
6) Serious aftereffects from the high rate of uterus extract
7) 'Hormone Therapy', good or bad?

2. Countermeasure movement of adolescents' health rights

1> Meetings on adolescents' health (Feb.-Mar., 2005)
Korean Women Link collected basic materials about education on adolescents' health through meetings and found insufficient aspects of education on adolescents' health as the education is only focused on entrance examination. Some people suggested that camps during the vacation and special activities could be helpful to proceed health education programs.

2> Campaign for No diet, No plastic surgery (2003 - 2005)
The campaign was designed to commemorate 'International day for No Diet' and inform the social problems in excessive diet and plastic surgery.

3> Health camp for adolescents
1) Camp for mothers and daughters (Aug. 1-2, 2003)
Beautiful women's bodies, break down the prejudice, practice to love my body, etc.
2) Strawberry Jam Camp (Jul.-Aug., 2005)
The camp was about menstruation and adolescents' health which got sound evaluation as it intended the adolescents to have respect of themselves. It needs to make a connection between education and games.

4> Education on consciousness improvement of lookism and development of online programs
- Education was going on to raise awareness of adolescents on social lookism and to improve pride of themselves.
- Students had positive effects in the respect of consciousness change of social lookism. (°„Top)

3. Movement to set the right childbirth culture
Korean Women Link has started discussion of childbirth culture under the awareness on need for establishing new culture of childbirth since 1999. Korean Women Link has made a process to hold debate on childbirth, to inform problems in a caesarean operation, and to change distorted culture of childbirth in our society.
Korean Women Link has participated in the campaigns to encourage people in medical field who tried to change childbirth culture by implementing education for women in a local community and publication of related materials. Also, Korean Women Link has participated in the activities to prepare systematic improvements such as the participation of Health Insurance Review Agency.

1> °łCulture of Childbirth in Korea, what is the problem?°Ļ
- Movement to set the right childbirth culture from the point of life and women
(May 31, 2000)
A forum was held to analyze the effects of medical treatment of childbirth on women's health.

2> To improve the quality of medical services of childbirth and to decrease the rate of induced abortion (July 6, 2001)
Korean Women Link conducted research on women's satisfaction with medical services during the period of pregnancy and childbirth to understand the background of childbirth and improve the quality of medical services. Korean Women Link introduced the needs for improving the quality of medical services and expanding educational program for pregnancy and childbirth.

3> Movement to decrease the rate of Caesarean operation
In Korea, the rate of Caesarean operation is the highest in the world, 43% in 1999, 38.6% in 2000, 39.6% in 2001, and 39.2% in 2002. The reasons of high rate of Caesarean operation are unreasonable medical insurance system, problems in medical treatment, low quality of medical services, and women's negative consciousness of childbirth. Korean Women Link has tried to find the ways to improve these problems through research on local women's understanding of childbirth and Caesarean operation.
1) [The highest rate of Caesarean operation (43%), how to decrease?] (July 14, 2000)
Korean Women Link developed activities to raise awareness on childbirth by the Caesarean operation in our society.
2) Local Women's network - Incheon, Ulsan, Daejeon, Chuncheon, Jeju (Nov. 14, 2003)
3) Research : [Research on consciousness of childbirth and Caesarean operation]
4) Debate [The rate of caesarean operation, 39.2%, how to decrease?] (Nov. 14, 2003)

Discussion about the result of the survey on childbirth by Caesarean operation, process of making women's networks, introduction of the organizations to decrease the rate of caesarean operation
5) Production and distribution of materials (Nov. 30) (°„Top)

4. Biotechnology and countermovement for women
Our society tries to raise awareness on women's health with biotechnology.
The precondition of cloning of human embryo is women's egg cell. Without women's ova, it is impossible to clone human embryos. Cloning of human embryo, rare diseases and incurable diseases are the tasks which the society has to deal with. In the process of doing these tasks, society is likely to make tools of women's bodies.
Korean Women Link introduced the problems that women became the suppliers of egg cells as biotechnology developed. Also, Korean Women Link focused on the moral and social problems in the cloning of human embryo. Although there were many conflicts between national interests and social controversy, Korean Women Link met the situation properly. There was lack of consciousness of criticizing social technology; however, Korean Women Link contributed to raise social awareness on women's health and human rights with provision of egg cells. Korean Women Link tried to give women's voice to the related social issues through participating in discussion sessions and interviews. The activities related to women's right in the respect of biotechnology development will be needed in the future. Also, the system to construct systematic management about egg cells and embryos in the infertility clinic should be prepared.

1> Movement to establish the law of bioethics
Feb., 2002 : Legislation Announcement of the law of bioethics and security
Contents of the bill : Prohibition of cloning of human embryos, security of gene information with exceptive clauses which 'National Bioethics Advisory Committee' can permit

2> Activities of Solidarity screening biotechnology
Workshop for meetings on solidarity screening biotechnology
Forum on research for human embryo / Public statements and comments
It was constructed to cope with syndrome of Dr. Woo Seok Hwang in 2005. It developed networks by holding forum, making public statements and discussing related agendas.

3> Meetings on Women's Network for Biotechnology
Women's organization against research on biotechnology which could harm women's rights and health

4> Forum on biotechnology and women's bodies (Nov., 2004)
- Focused on artificial insemination and surrogate mothers
People had opportunities to recognize the risks of women's health rights with development of biotechnology and raise awareness on supplying egg cells.

5> Activities for enacting law on artificial insemination
The enactment movement of law on bioethics has connected with the interest on artificial insemination. The clean management structure - process the egg call is extracted (at the clinic with a right to extract the embryo) and the production and management of embryo - is very important in monitoring the biotechnology, so we need to regulate this mechanism.
The law on artificial insemination are to deal with the systematic management of the egg cell, which were excluded by law on bioethics and safety, women's health, and human rights. We have come to realize the necessity of enacting the law on artificial insemination, which is a problem awaiting solution for women's health.

6> Science from women's point of view (Sep. 22 - Oct. 26, 2004)
We tried to understand genetic information as social power, considered ethnic problems in science technology and pro environmental approach, and discussed how women's view can be represented.(°„Top)

5. Activities for women's health

1> Revitalization of local medical services and improvement of women's health. (Oct. 31, 2001)
It's necessary to check the definition of women's health, health policy, survey of women's health, practical local programs for improving women's health, and life cycling system at the local level.

2> [What's the problem of value-additional tax on sanitary napkins?]
(Aug. 20, 2002)

Necessity and reality of sanitary napkins free from tax
- problems of value-additional tax on a sanitary napkin.
According to the definition of women's living necessary, which means things for reproduction of society as well as keeping women's lives, sanitary napkins are representative items. As women's necessities of life, sanitary napkins are essential items for most women in childbearing age (approximately 15 to 49 years old). (It means a sanitary napkin's elasticity is low, since demand is stable regardless of changing of the price) Therefore, it is needed to realize the necessity to exempt from tax charged on sanitary napkisn to solve the problem of value-added tax.
- We need to try to make others realize the importance of women's issues so that the policy toward this should be changed. It is essential to exempt from tax charged on a sanitary napkin.

3> Making a healthy society through campaign through preventing illegal diet food (June 23, 2003)
On a current situation in which many people have interests in buying some diet products, a lot of consumers have been suffering from illegal advertisements about diet products and plastic surgery. (According to Korea Consumer Protection Board, those who had been suffering from illegal advertisement were increased by 43.1%, compared with 2001.) In order to prohibit these advertisements from harming consumers, we had implemented the monitoring work which lasted until 2004.

4> Development of policy on health matter from the point of gender sensitive prospective - conference on gender and health equity
Particularity in different health problems (by sex), and gender sensitive prospective have been missed, given the statistical data on health matter. We discuss the meaning and characteristic of femininity and masculinity, social norm and institution, distorted culture, violation on women, and medical health policy as well as diseases and biological health problems to recognize the influence and find out the way we can have an important role in making a policy. (°„Top)

Untitled Document

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