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Moon says gender ministry plays 'very important' roles

All News 14:36 March 08, 2022

SEOUL, March 8 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in said Tuesday the gender equality ministry plays "very important" roles, a remark that could be seen as veiled criticism of the main opposition presidential candidate Yoon Suk-yeol's pledge to abolish the ministry.

Moon made the remarks after he was briefed about the ministry's achievements from Gender Equality and Family Minister Chung Young-ai during a Cabinet meeting earlier in the day, spokesperson Park Kyung-mee said in a statement.

"The next government may have new ideas about the roles, title and form of the ministry of gender and family, but regardless of how the ministry's fate ends up, each of the tasks the ministry is in charge of is very important," Moon was quoted as saying.

It marks Moon's first comment on the issue since it emerged as a hot topic in the presidential race.

President Moon Jae-in speaks during a virtual Cabinet meeting at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul on March 8, 2022. (Yonhap)

President Moon Jae-in speaks during a virtual Cabinet meeting at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul on March 8, 2022. (Yonhap)

Yoon of the main opposition People Power Party has pledged to dissolve the ministry in an apparent attempt to woo male voters in their 20s fed up with feminism.

Moon's remarks on the ministry came a day before South Koreans vote for their next president in a tight race between Yoon and his ruling party rival Lee Jae-myung.

Moon said he hopes for a "constructive" discussion about the gender ministry, according to Park.

The gender ministry's budget for this year is set at 1.46 trillion won (US$1.18 billion), accounting for a mere 0.24 percent of the government's total budget, Moon said.

Moon said the ministry is not just for women but for the welfare of vulnerable families, including single-parent households and child care services.

kdh@yna.co.kr
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