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Lives of women migrant workers series 

Color print, 2004

Lives of Women Migrant Workers (2004)

On the crowded streets in downtown Seoul, people run across such placards as "Marry to Young Girls from Vietnam and Philippines."

Introduced to their Korean companions through marriage agencies, women from other countries face such obstacles as cultural exclusiveness and patriarchy in Korean society. They often have difficult marriage lives in Korea.

The unregistered women migrant workers, also, have different problems from those of male migrant workers, both at work places and during social activities.

The male-oriented ideology in Korea puts women migrant workers in a particularly difficult position. They often have to deal with such multiple discriminations as sexual harassment, sexual violence, the absence of protection of motherhoods and assistance of child-bearing, and longer work hours and lower wages compared to their male counterparts.

The total number of women migrant workers in Korea in 2001, was 207,829, which was 64.1% of the total migrant workers in Korea. It shows the current trend of feminization of migrant work.

Also more than 10% of the total marriages during the year of 2003 were international, anticipating that the diverse problems related with international marriages would soon become reality in Korea.

By closely covering the lives of women migrant workers, specially those of international marriages and in need of protected motherhoods, I intend to show in detail the pains of women migrant workers in Korea through the camera lens.

In order to inform public of the pains and discriminations which women migrants have experienced in a patriarch society of Korea, a photography book is scheduled to be published on December 2004. (Planned and published by 'Women Migrant Workers' Human Rights Center')

I also plans to video record and show the lives of 10 women migrant workers, those for the photography works, in a film.

- Kyongju Park

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