International Women's Day & South Korea's Presidential Impeachment

International Women’s Day was on Wednesday and millions of women across the globe stood in solidarity for women’s rights. Sitting president Donald Trump tweeted about “the critical role of women in America". Former First Lady Michelle Obama made the visit to twelve inspiring young females in a D.C. high school, and rallies and celebrations in cities bloomed with the color of red in solidarity. The day was semi-controversial among women: the original organizers of the Women’s March on Washington declared March 8th as the day women strike. They encouraged women to stay home from work, either paid or unpaid and to make no purchases. The idea behind it was that if women decided to refrain from mainstream society for a day, the world would stop and the real impact of a woman would be known.

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The backlash from this: huge.
There were two sides to this issue; one said that this strike was only beneficial to privileged women who were not at risk of losing their jobs by missing one day of work, and one said that women simply didn’t have to due to the numerous other possibilities of showing solidarity with the movement. But regardless of which side was right, multiple organizations (such as Lithium) changed their logos to the color red.

President of South Korea Impeached
On Friday morning in Seoul, President Park Geun-hye was officially thrown out of office by the South Korean Constitutional Court. Why? In late October 2016, it was revealed that an aide to Geun-hye, Choi Soon-sil, had used her position to receive funds from several businesses including Samsung and Hyundai. The problem here is that she did not have an official position in the government. It was also revealed the Choi Soon-sil had directly affected the president’s personal and professional life.

Choi was arrested and President Geun-hye officially apologized, but her approval rating fell to an embarrassing 4% and by December 9th, 2016, 78% of the South Korean population supported the president’s impeachment. On that same December 9th, Park Geun-hye was impeached by the country’s National Assembly in a 234 to 56 vote. Today was the day it truly became official by ways of the Constitutional Court, who held public hearings on both sides to decide whether or not the verdict was constitutional. South Korea’s Constitutional Court upheld the National Assembly decision in a unanimous 8-0 decision and Park Geun-hye has left office.

It is sad to see women in power fall, but it is not sad to see corrupt politicians go. As the eleventh president of South Korea (and the first female president), Park Geun-hye has accomplished things in her life that she should be proud of. She was elected into the nation's highest office. She is educated and qualified to lead, but let other things get in the way of running the country with a level head. Since her election in 2013, her approval ratings steadily declined among citizens. Two protesters of the verdict and Geun-hye supporters died today in a skirmish with police outside of the National Assembly building.

By Ndemazea Fonkem

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