Gender Equality at POSTECH
Gender Equality at POSTECH
  • reporter Kim Min-gyu
  • 승인 2019.06.13 13:17
  • 댓글 0
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As societies’ focus on gender equality increases, education on sexual harassment/violence prevention is being emphasized. Currently, by law, all universities must conduct sexual harassment/violence prevention education, using the educational material made and distributed by the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family during their freshman orientations. From 2019, the deputy prime minister and the Minister of Education Yoo Eun-hae stated that there will be a reinforced safety inspection during freshman orientations to check whether healthy university culture education including sexual harassment and sexual violence prevention education is properly conducted. Also, gender sensitivity education was added among the previous sexual harassment and violence prevention education campaign from 2019. It is seen as a result of last year’s #MeToo movement in universities and the accompanying increased social interest in gender equality. 
As such, sexual harassment and violence prevention education is becoming constitutionalized and strengthened. Then, how is POSTECH’s current gender equality education? 
In Article 5 of the Act on the Prevention of Sexual Violence and the Protection of Victims, the government requires the head of each school to provide the education necessary for sexual violence prevention as provided by the Presidential Decree and to submit the results to the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family. Based on this, POSTECH started an online sexual harassment and violence prevention education for all its members in 2013. All Postechians must complete an online sexual harassment, sexual violence, prostitution, and domestic violence prevention course provided by POSTECH’s Sexual Harassment Counseling Office. New appointments or admission is only regarded as completed if the education program is finished. Faculty members, professors, and researchers are educated by a licensed lecturer registered from the Korea Institute for Gender Equality Promotion and Education twice a year. New graduates, foreign students, and short-term study abroad students are educated twice a year by the counseling professor in POSTECH’s Sexual Harassment Counseling Office. 
Though POSTECH has a foundation for educating its members in gender equality and sexual harassment/violence prevention, the actual rate of Postechians taking the online sexual harassment and violence prevention education course is very low. According to the data aggregated by POSTECH’s Sexual Harassment Counseling Office in 2018, only 34% of the undergraduate students, 54% of the graduate students, 59% of the teaching faculty, and 72% of the office personnel and researchers completed the online course. The rate is significantly low considering that the law requires all members of the school to participate in the course. Observing the years between 2015 and 2018, the rate remains about the same for each category. 
As gender equality education is becoming more important, POSTECH’s low sexual harassment and violence prevention education rate raises some concerns. 
To take sexual harassment/violence prevention education provided by POSTECH’s Sexual Harassment Counseling Office, log in to POSTECHx with an integrated username and password, select ‘2019 Human Rights Gender Equality Education’ in the compulsory education section. For more information, visit the POSTECH counseling center on the second floor of Mueunjae Memorial Hall.