South Koreans hold rally on International Women's Day

South Koreans hold rally on International Women's Day

South Korean civic group members held rallies in Seoul on Thursday, March 8, to mark the International Women's Day as the #MeToo campaign sweeps the country and sparks calls for meaningful action to tackle sexual abuse.

About 100 members of Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) marched in the tourist area of Myeongdong in central Seoul and held up placards such as #MeToo and #WithYou, while chanting "We are with you", "You are not alone". Meanwhile, hundreds of other civic group members including women's labour unions held a separate rally in the city's landmark, Gwanghuamun square.

Allegations of sexual assault against a rising star in the ruling Democratic Party, levelled by an aide in a dramatic television interview earlier this week marked a new moment for the #MeToo movement in South Korea.

In response to mounting public outrage, the government said it plans to extend the statute of limitations for power-based sexual abuse cases, and the labor ministry would set up a process for victims to anonymously report sexual harassment at their workplaces.