The Republic of Korea (South Korea) is situated in southern part of the Korean Peninsula. Korea refers to South Korea and North Korea (Communist state) together. South Korea is a developed country with a very high standard of living and is technologically advanced. The country has continued to struggle for democracy, and the easing of tensions of the North - South Korea détente.
South Korea’s enthusiasm for education has been praised for various reasons, including its comparatively high results and its major role in enabling Korea's economic development. However, its rigid hierarchical structure, intensive competition and high private education expenses have been criticized for lowering innovation.
A growing number of women in South Korea receive college education leading to substantial improvement in the social status of women, but there are still a lot of gender gaps in the patriarchical society. Despite women being economically active, a scarcity of women in professional fields may be seen, and their careers are often disrupted to give birth and focus on raising their children.
The Sisters of the Good Shepherd were established in South Korea in 1966, when four American sisters arrived at the invitation of Bishop Peter Han of Jeonju Diocese. The Bishop was concerned at the exploitation of girls and young women by US servicemen located in his diocese.
In 1968 the sisters set up a residential service and vocational school, located near US Gunsan Air Base, which operated until 1976.
In the 70s, 80s and 90s, a range of residential and non-residential programmes for girls and young women were conducted.
During the past few years there has been a great development in the area of women’s affairs in South Korea. This has brought a substantial change in the Social Welfare Services sponsored by the Government. The NGOs who are directly working in social service institutes are consulted by the government before policy making. Appropriate professional qualifications are required. The networking and collaboration among the groups working in different social welfare services is very beneficial to all. These groups hold regular meetings to share about their services and how to improve them.
Current ministries include:
Mary’s Home - 1979. A shelter for single mothers, for those in need of protection during pregnancy or who are in challenging family situations.
Joseph’s Home – 2003. Residential service for single mothers who need support to care for their babies.
1366 Gang won Center - 1995. Women’s Emergency Hotline. A 24 hour counselling/referral service available to women in crisis.
1366 Jeju Center - 2013. Women’s Emergency Hotline. A 24 hour counselling/referral service available to women in crisis.
Teen STAR – 1992. Education programme re Sexuality.
Friendship House – 2001. Shelter for trafficked women and girls from other countries.
Euphrasia Home – 1999. Residential service for teenaged girls with family challenges.
Holy Family Home – 2004. Shelter for women in crisis.
Fountain of Life – 2004. Shelter for women and children in crisis.
Good Shepherd Center. In 2005 the Good Shepherd Home (1996) and Euphrasia Home (1999) merged. Services include The Morning Star - halfway house and Welcome House – shelter.