Stand-alone mothers in South Korea are often isolated from society, and lack equal economic opportunities. Misconceptions about their family status in South Korean society lead them to being viewed and treated as sex workers. South Korean stand-alone mothers are more exposed to violence, sexual assault, and unfair treatment not only at their schools and places of work, but also within their own families and communities. The Ban Ki-Moon Centre together with Intree, a stand-alone mothers’ club in South Korea, and the Seoul Young Leaders Club (SYLC) of Rotary, engage in supporting processes regarding curbing the stigma associated with stand-alone mothers in South Korea. This program enables mothers to spend quality time with their children enjoying educational programs, special activities, performances and exhibits, while learning from one another, interacting with policymakers and being introduced to best practices from overseas.
What has happened?
Supporting innovative ideas and initiatives
The Ban Ki-moon Centre is actively supporting stand-alone mothers together with Intree and Seoul Young Leaders Club by providing a platform where they can share, implement and develop existing initiatives.
We are currently focusing on raising awareness and engagement for stand-alone mothers in Korea. We must continue to encourage individuals and relevant entities to take action, curate interactive lectures at universities and provide platforms for discussion.
Empowering stand-alone mothers in Korea conference session
On June 19th, 2019, The partners co-organized an interactive workshop on the topic, “Empowering Stand-Alone Mothers in South Korea: Combating Social Stigma and Improving Policies” at the JCI Asia-Pacific Conference in Jeju, South Korea. Experts and the stand alone mothers were able to share their stories and learn from other Asian countries about employment and living solutions that could be replicated in the Republic of Korea. Read more about the event here.
Cultural trip to Jeju Island
During the JCI ASPAC the Ban Ki-moon Centre enabled the mothers to spend quality time with their children enjoying educational programs, special activities, performances and exhibits, while learning from one another, interacting with policymakers and being introduced to best case practices from overseas.
Interview session with stand-alone mothers
As a part of the JCI ASPAC event the Ban Ki-moon Centre was able to have interview sessions with the mothers and get to hear their personal experience.
“I was happy to learn today that many people are making efforts for us unwed
mothers and that they are also planning to make a number of policies. I sincerely hope that what I heard and saw today could be carried out as policies.” – Ah Young Choi
Intree is a community of Korean unwed mothers, which aims to change the social and cultural stigma and unfair treatment towards unwed mothers in Korea. Since its founding, it has grown to have nearly 1,000 members.
JCI is a nonprofit organization of young active citizens age 18 to 40 who are engaged and committed to creating impact in their communities. Active citizens are individuals invested in the future of our world. JCI gathers active citizens from all sectors of society. We develop the skills, knowledge and understanding to make informed decisions and take action.
Seoul Young Leaders Club founded by young Rotarians as a branch of the Rotary Club of Seoul District 3650, empowers young leaders to serve on both local and global scale. SYLC has supported the members of Intree and their children through various programmes since 2016.