Gender Politics in the Korean Transition to Democracy
Abstract

This article investigates how a variety of Korea women's groups contributed to the processes of breaking down military rule in the late 1980s. Excluded from formal politics, Korean women partook in the struggles for democracy through alternative channels such as grassroots women's groups, labor uprisings, and political mobilization as mothers and wives. Their vigorous activism significantly shaped the direction, outcome, and strategies of the Korean democratic struggles. Women's involvement in the prodemocracy movement, on the other hand, affected the goals and the strategies of progressive women's-movement groups formed in the 1980s. This study expands the class-centered perspective of Korean democratization by incorporating women's participation and contributions in the process.