Magazine article New Internationalist

Introducing. Park Geun-Hye

Magazine article New Internationalist

Introducing. Park Geun-Hye

Article excerpt

In February, South Korea saw the induction of its first woman president: Park Geun-hye. A lifelong politician, she is the daughter of the country's former dictator, the authoritarian Park Chunghee, who oversaw the 'economic miracle' years of the 1960s and 1970s. Park Geunhye has never married - a rarity in South Korean society - though she was forced to serve as her father's 'first lady' after her mother's death in an assassination attempt aimed at Chung-hee.

The conservative Park's ascension to the Blue House is certainly a victory for Korean women, breaking the patriarchal Confucian mould in a society long marred by some of the most serious gender inequality in the industrial world.

But the Park name remains a controversial one, invoking economic prosperity for some and, for others, the brutal suppression of human rights. …

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