By Emiko Perea
Family is at the heart of bringing about a peaceful world said the attendees of a two-day forum hosted by Global Peace Foundation (GPF) Korea in Gangwon-do, South Korea. “Happy women make a healthy home,” said Mihwa Kim, Director of the Women’s division of GPF Korea, quoting the theme of the event on May 30, 2018.
Bringing awareness to the ongoing “Peace Begins in the Home Campaign,” a GPF initiative launched at the 2016 Global Peace Convention in the Philippines, the forum welcomed community, nonprofit, and government representatives to speak on the importance of supporting women and families as building blocks of healthy societies.
Director Mihwa Kim discussed issues of people having “preconceived notions about others,” especially women, as the origin of social conflict and division. She emphasized the importance of women's efforts and development that should bring about a butterfly effect that changes the family and society.
In her opening speech, Hon. Yeonsook Lee, a former member of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea, highlighted women's rights, women’s social participation, and restoring family values especially in Korea saying, "Today, the Korean peninsula is at the center of the world’s attention. The people have a very important role in taking responsibility for our future. Women must take responsibility to be happy, and to be active in solving social issues."
GPF Korea President Intaek Seo directed the forum’s attention to the role families have in leading peaceful reunification of the Korean peninsula. “Every great person who made Korean history was educated by their mother,” said President Seo, “Therefore, it is important for women to demonstrate their leadership by being mothers that nurture the next generation of leaders, especially ones who will lead the era of unification. Educating the next generation on Korean unification is critical for bringing about change.”
The event shed light on the importance of family values and getting involved in Korean unification for the participants. One participant expressed her inspiration to become involved in the One Korea campaign saying, “It was an opportunity to think about the vision and goals for our nation. I will not only continue to participate in future forums, but also actively take part in the Global Campaign for Unification of the Korean Peninsula.”
The forum lectures allowed participants to not only understood the current issues women face in today’s society, but also learn about the importance of the role of women in the family and greater society, and their significance in bringing about unification on the Korean peninsula.