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  • 작성자 사진Lee Noo-ri

[President Election] The Importance of Political Speech: “Gender-divide” between Successful Candida

Apr 18, 2022 / No. 157

South Korea’s presidential election ended on March 9. After votes were counted, notable results came out from voters in their 20s. According to the exit poll of three terrestrial broadcasters, 58.7% of men aged 18 to 29 supported Yoon Seok-yeol, while 58.0% of women supported candidate Lee Jae-myung. Why did this happen?

What he said

Yoon pledged to abolish the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family on his SNS platform, and much discussion is expected regarding this at present and probably until the near future. However, Yoon spread fake news about the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family and the Gender-Sensitive Budget (GSB) during his campaign. Some of Yoon’s controversial statements included “It is known that our government has spent 30 trillion won on gender sensitivity budgets. We can prevent the North’s nuclear threat by taking a small portion of the money away.” However, the GSB is not a real “budget” where separate items exist, but a project and standard that is considered to promote gender equality. This means that part of the budget cannot just be taken away and used elsewhere. These false statements reinforced the misunderstanding that “the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family spends 35 trillion won on GSB.” Instead of explaining the ministry’s problems and which departments would take on each role after the abolition, his remarks targeting government ministries sparked a “gender division.” In addition, Yoon raised controversy by saying that there is no structural gender discrimination at a time when Korea had the lowest glass ceiling index among OECD countries for 10 years. Lee Jun-seok, the leader of the People’s Power Party to which Yoon belongs, also said something controversial: “Women are less willing to vote than men. Organizational movements may be seen online, but it is difficult to reveal them with actual voting tendencies,” he said, looking at female voters from a sexist perspective.

So, the result of the vote is...

From the beginning, there was low voter turnout from women for candidate No. 1 (Lee Jae-myung, the Minjoo Party) since authority-type sexual misconduct continued to occur in the Minjoo Party of Korea, to which he belongs. However, when the People Power Party leader Lee Jun-seok and candidate Yoon’s remarks regarding gender division became a hot topic, this completely changed the voting pattern. In response, Lee Jae-mook, a professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, said, “Women in their 20s showed their presence with overwhelming figures compared to existing polls, and it is right to see it as a reaction to the ‘gender division’ of the people.”

Professor Lee Soo-jung, chairman of the People’s Power Party Election Commission, argued that it is a misunderstanding that women’s policies have been pushed back, and that women’s policies have been strengthened and more benefits will be given to women. Referring to the pledge book, Professor Lee said “There are numerous women’s policies, and the problem is that this has not been delivered well, and it is necessary to explain more to the public.” In Korea, Political Speech has been continuing since previous elections, denigrating opponents or other groups of people. In this regard, there are papers on the polarization of political language from the United States (U.S.). Polarized political language has made communication difficult and deepened ideological separation. Political language flows directly into the media and has a great influence on people. Therefore, it is necessary to pay attention to political speech.


By Lee Noo-ri, AG Senior Editor

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