The Korean Women’s General Consumption Strike
The Korean Women’s General Consumption Strike
  • Reporter Lee Seung-Joo
  • 승인 2018.11.29 11:03
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A group of women have declared against Korean society to boycott any purchase of economic goods on the first Sunday of every month. Starting this year on July 1, The Korean Women’s General Consumption Strike (KWGCS) announced the start of a boycott movement against consumption to show Korean society the importance of women’s role in the economy and the magnitude of women economic capabilities. KWGCS suggested three means of participation: 1) strike on all economic activity every first Sunday of a month, 2) SNS blackout and 3) 38 savings plan. 
The movement was inspired by Iceland’s Women’s Day off which took place on Oct. 24, 1975. The Women’s Day Off was caused by gender discrimination and injustice that were manifest in Iceland. Wage gaps, unfair distribution of housework and parenting, and unjust employment practices were issues for many Icelandic women. To rectify such discrepancies between the sexes, 90 percent of all Icelandic women refused to provide labor, whether in the workplace or in households, and gathered together to protest against Icelandic society. The results were a huge success; economic activity in Iceland was brought to a halt entirely, as every occupation lacked their source of labor: newspapers, banks, theatres, airlines and more- and were forced to shut down. A year after the movement, Iceland passed a law that guaranteed gender equality.
The KWGCS goal through this movement is to retrieve the many rights that women deserved but have largely been ignored. KWGCS shared, on their many SNS accounts, their anticipation towards the movement to aid in demolishing gender discrimination, unconscious degradation of women in the media, the gender wage and employment rate discrepancy, and other social misogyny prevalent in Korean society. With the slogan, “When we halt, the World halts along.” the KWGCS asks for other women victims in Korean society to rise and join the movement.
To participate in the movement, KWGCS firstly asks women to boycott all forms of economic activity during the designated KWGCS dates. One organizer of the KWGCS explained on their SNS account, “Our most immediate goal through the boycott is to show society the value and impact of women as a consumer and as part of the labor force. If the profits of all firms in various fields decrease significantly every first Sunday, firms will investigate the cause of such phenomena and realize the power of women in society and the economy.” As more women cease to spend, consequentially profits will show steeper declines, and KWGCS aims to use these statistics to manifest women’s influence. Also for the first 10 minutes of the designated KWGCS dates, participants are to partake in an SNS blackout which refers to the act of turning off all lights and halting all SNS activities for 10 minutes. Participants in the SNS blackout should post an image of a turned-off lightbulb that signifies this movement before and after the 10 minutes of the SNS blackout to cultivate uniformity among participants. Lastly, KWGCS recommends members to start a savings plan with the money saved from each KWGCS day. To honor the Women’s Day (March 8), KWGCS suggests inserting money in forms that include the numbers 3 and 8. Examples include 3838, 3800, 38000 KRW. It is highly recommended for all participants to publicize participation in such events through SNS using the hashtag KWGCS to promote further attention.