2018 GGHS Team 3

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This year since May 19th, demonstrations have continued at Hyehwa Station.
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The protest, according to the organizers there were around 12,000 people participated in the first demonstration, 22,000 people participated in the second demonstration, and around 60,000 people participated in the third demonstration, which was not a problem for the demonstrators. These protest were beyond simple demonstration and kind of shocking. In this protest people shouted the slogan for “The advancement of women's right” based on feminism, which is emerging in Korean Society. Various media as well as SNS are promoting the demonstration and also sharing their opinion about it. This proves that Korean society is dealing with the women’s right very seriously.

In the history of Korea, women suffered physical and mental oppression for a long period of time, until we accepted this as a human rights abuse. What do you think about the condition women during Goryeo Dynasty? This year , on 1100th anniversary of Goryeo Dynasty, we need to think about the women who lived during Goryeo dynasty. Now we can’t help them but at least think about their condition during Goryeo period.

This study will analyze and contrast the life of women in Goryeo Dynasty, Joseon Dynasty which means a complete decline of women’s status and Modern Society by showing the lives of them. Through this study, we would like to send a small message that could help to solve the problems of our society and urge us to solve them.


1) The Status of Women in the Goryeo Dynasty

During the Goryeo Dynasty, women's social advancement was not the same as men's. However, the status of women between social and family members was relatively equal compared to that of the Joseon Dynasty. We explored the social characteristics of women in the Goryeo Dynasty.

During the Goryeo Dynasty, Women’s remarriage and divorce were free. As Goryeo had no social antipathy to remarriage, it was possible to remarry if conditions were okay. According to some historical record the queen during Goryeo dynasty married again, which was common during that time. And there was no idea that Goryeo should have continue a family dynasty or exist a son preference. Therefore, if families of Goryeo had no children, they were able to go back to their home and make a new life after the divorce.

The sons and daughters were given equal portions of their wealth, and the ancestral memorial services were equally divided. As she inherited her property without distinction of sex, she was also given a duty. During the Goryeo Dynasty, daughters were able to inherit equally as their sons because they were the main masters of their duties. The right to inherit an equal property was accompanied by the obligation to perform ancestral rites equally. This is called " Yoon Haeng " the chinese character Yoon means " wheel " and " Yoon Haeng " means " Do thing by turns. " This means that the person who performed ancestral rites is not responsible for them, but that they are held in turn by their brothers and sisters.

The woman possessed her property independently. With the inheritance of children, women were able to own a large amount of property and remain their property after the marriage ended.

Women could have been head of family, and the family registry could have been listed in chronological order without discriminating between children. This means that women can exercise property rights or inheritance rights. According to this fact, the Goryeo Dynasty is referred to as a bilateral pro-communist society, which puts a similar weight on the blood line on the mother side, unlike the Joseon Dynasty, where only the blood line was emphasized.

During the Goryeo Dynasty, daughters and sons were given almost equal opportunities in the inheritance of status.
According to Lee Gyu-bo's <동국이상국집>, " In Goryeo, if man marry, he will live in his wife's home. "

If their ancestors did not pass on much property, they could increase their wealth by as much as possible while serving in the government, which would have made them more important to them. ' In pre-modern society women were not allowed to be officials, so naturally the inheritance of a daughter's status was given to a man through her. The target at this time was none other than her husband or son. In other words, in Goryeo, a system was in place to allow the sons and grandchildren to enter government service on the basis of their ancestors ' virtues, while those who could not only benefit from the books were in high order. Back then, the benefits of the school were not only for the male to male family but also for the daughter to daughter family. In other words, the inheritance of status shows that men and women were treated almost equally.

Monogamy was common. The time when Goryeo was subjugated in Yuan Dynasty to claim monogamy, and when Yuan Dynasty did not ask for a daughter from Goryeo, not only the daughter of the royal family, but also the godless.

The man lived in his in-laws for a long time after his marriage. When a woman enters her husband's residential area, women are subject to male authority because she is absorbed into the husband's family. On the other hand, a family system in which a husband is married is a phenomenon that occurs in a society with maternal relatives. Therefore, if you look at the rate of residence, you can estimate to some extent the status of women in the family and society.

An Example of a Woman's Status in the Goryeo Dynasty
- Buddhist monk Jin-hye : The ambassador she received is a higher level of succession
Yeom Kyung-ae's Epitaph
than the " Daeduk, " which male monks received after they passed the bar during the Goryeo Dynasty. Although there is a limit to what was given after death, it is almost the only case in which she received the position of ambassador as a female monk through 500 years of Goryeo. In this case, the ambassador believes that she demonstrated the status of women in Buddhism during the Goryeo Dynasty.

- Thorn of Goryeo Dynasty : Yeom Kyung-ae was buried next to her father after her death, and her daughter returned to her home when her husband passed away.

2) The status of women in the Joseon Dynasty

  A change in the status of women in the Joseon Dynasty

- Women's status, such as the Goryeo Dynasty, continued until the early Joseon period and gradually declined after the mid Joseon Dynasty.

- In the early Joseon Dynasty : Chinjeongsari( She lives with her family even after she got married)

- After mid Joseon: married life in the home of the husband's parents

Until the Goryeo and mid Joseon periods, the status of women had not changed significantly and discrimination was also small. Discrimination was not so much, and you can feel the atmosphere for freedom. Therefore, Goryeo was considered to have a good image for woman in the history of the Korean Peninsula. However, these women's positions were gradually changed by the change of the country and Neo-Confucianism.

  Reasons for Gender Discrimination in the Joseon Dynasty

The emphasis on gender discrimination due to Confucianism. By the late Joseon Dynasty, women's social status decreased even more.

Confucianism played a big part in the existence of gender discrimination in the Joseon Dynasty.

  A woman's life

Women in the Joseon Dynasty were discriminated against in many ways. First, there were difficulties in remarrying. Since the mid Joseon Period, when women lost their husbands, they never dreamed of getting married again. It was not impossible to remarry, but there was a law in which the children of a remarried woman could not see the past. During the Goryeo Dynasty, many people did not hesitate to remarry or even become queen through remarriage, but during the Joseon Dynasty, more and more people opposed remarrying.

Second, there was discrimination in the inheritance of wealth, limited social activities, and limited living, such as focusing only on household chores. Seven cardinal vices are the seven wrongs a husband can kick out his wife. The Confucian religion developed from ancient China. ⓵ not taking care of parents-in-lawnot having a sonA dishonest actJealousyhaving a genetic disorder of leprosy and epilepsyA talkative personstealing, 3 and 7 are becoming illegal in modern times, but the remaining numbers represent the necessity of a feudal family system. It seems that women's freedom of life was suppressed as such because they saw women as being forced to follow men.

  Discrimination against women of different social standing

After the 17th century, the status of women changed greatly as they emphasized Confucian ideas. Women were deprived of the right to enjoy outside and only basic knowledge was learned so that limited knowledge would not interfere with women's daily lives. When her husband died, she was banned from remarrying for three years and discriminated against her children by not being able to hold office. This was virtually the same as keeping a woman's chastity. There was discrimination in the family tree, but men were first recorded in the late Joseon period, and then women. Women were not allowed to attend the ancestral rites and were excluded from the inheritance. Also, their identities were strictly divided, so that different women from noble families, Sangmin women, and lower-class people were discriminated against.

1. The aristocracy

During the Joseon Dynasty, social status was clearly divided, and women in the upper class were especially discriminated against men in the upper classes. While men studied and went into the society, women had to keep staying in the house, thus they could have only basic education to keep their daily lives and they couldn’t study professionally. Most of their time at home has led to repressive living such as cooking, welcoming, and serving. It was difficult to remarry a husband if he lost his husband, and if he remarried, his children would not have any government positions, and in the circumstances very few remarriages.

2. General layer

During the Joseon Dynasty, the life of women in the general class was mainly about physical labor. During the Joseon Dynasty, women who were merchants had to do everything, including household chores, farming, and childcare, and were often responsible for making a living. Farming mainly worked in the fields of his household or went to the forest to pick up vegetables, while domestic chores such as laundry, cleaning, and rice were in charge. And like a yangban woman, she had no restrictions on her dress and made it all night after 15 days of hard work to complete a piece of burlap.

3. Slave Although it is not well documented, he has undertaken hard work in government and in the houses of the aristocrats.

Daily restrictions

With the latter part of the Joseon Dynasty, stricter regulations in women's lives grew every day. The women of the class should refrain from going out, but when they went out, they had to wear things like robes on their heads and cover their faces. When they had to ride the kiln, they had to use a kiln called a jade with a different roof and a clogged roof. It was a social structure of the Joseon Dynasty that women thought they had no ability to solve on their own. A woman is considered incapable of thinking for herself and acting on her own, and if she marries, she must become a member of her husband and dedicate her duties and sincerity as a " protector ".


It clearly describes the social status of women at that time. It shows how weak a woman's status is and discriminated against. " A woman must follow her father before she marries him, follow her husband in marriage and follow her child after her husband dies. " The phrase only emphasizes the fact that women follow their husbands without any details about their own lives.

Famous female in Joseon Dynasty
  Shin Saimdang : A great artist
Shin Saimdang

Shin Saimdang, who lived between 1504 and 1551 (the 10th year of King Yeonsan's reign), was raised by her mother while living on her mother's side and learned her literature. She married Lee Won-soo, 19. She didn’t live in her husband’s house but stayed in her house because he was also the son of her mother, who had no son.

Her paintings, letters, and poetry come down, and are the main topics of conversation, including fulbule, grape, flower, orchid and arithmetic. It is a delicate fact, as if it is a lively reality, so when he tried to put out a picture of a full ball in the yard and dry it in the summer, the chicken would come and peck at it.

Scholars ' respect for the Shin Saimdang even higher in the 18th century when the academic value of studying abroad reached its peak, eventually turning her into a symbol of female virtue and motherhood. In other words, the mythology of the Saimdang image was produced throughout the 17th century and formed in the 18th century. Saimdang was a woman who gave birth to Yi in the spirit of sacred heaven

In addition, it appears as a ' Women in the rear ground' and ' mother of a military country ' by intellectuals who have accepted the Japanization

Therefore, Shin Saimdang, a great artist during the Joseon Dynasty, should not be remembered as a good wife and wise mother.

  Heo Nanseolheon : More difficult success as a woman.

Heo Nanseolheon

Heo Nanseolheon was an outstanding literary artist. She grew up in a house with a relatively free atmosphere. Her second brother, Hur Bong-eun, recognized her talent early on, leaving her educated this month. Huh Nan-sul-hun, who showed off her genius as a child, surprised the adults around hers by writing a poem entitled " Baekcheol-sang-gang Gate " at the age of eight.

She married Kim at the age of 15. Hur Nan-sul-hun, who lived in a relatively free family tradition, was not well adapted to the life of a patriarchal family. This is manifest in her poetry. The poem depicting a husband in the beginning of a marriage or a state, he later felt skeptical about marriage and created a poem that created a stir in the male-oriented society.

She died at the age of 27. She made a will to burn all her poems. However, her brother Heo Gyun published a collection of poems she had left at her home and her poems she was reciting to. Nanseolheongbok became popular in China and Japan, and was reevaluated by high ranking intellectuals in the late Joseon period to recognize her as the only poet and outstanding genius in the royal family. But this is all after death. Instead of spreading her poetry widely or getting a proper assessment of her abilities, she lived in chains to manservatism and patriarchy because she was a woman.

3) The status of women in the Modern Society

The case of modern women discrimination

Seoul National University has only 15 percent of female teachers, making a serious problem, ‘the glass ceiling.’ In contrast, the rate of women who is contract worker, recorded 75% so it was concluded that the more insecure the employment, the higher the percentage of women. Also, in decision making, sexual inequality is serious. Just 13.3 percent of women in positions participated in decision-making, and only 14 percent of professors at major committees were women. The figure is far below the minimum participation rate of 40 percent for women, which is suggested by the The figure is far below the minimum participation rate of 40 percent for women, which is suggested by the basic law on gender equality. In addition, if a woman loses her career due to marriage or childbirth, it is difficult for her to re-enter the labor market, which makes the wage gap bigger as she gets older. Dr. Kim Nan-ju, a researcher at the Korea Women's Policy Institute, analyzed the factors that cause the gender gap in the Korea, and men get an additional 4 percent for unknown reasons, while women get 58 percent less.Since 2002, when the OECD started the convey, Korea has been occupied the first class gender gap for 14 years. This problem is continue in the entertainment world. Na-eun Son who posted the word ‘Girls can do anything’ on her SNS, delete the post because she got lots of malicious comments. And actor Ju-young Lee has to suffer from malicious comments like ‘She is under a delusion, She is Megalian.’ after she express her belief “‘Actress’ is a women-hater word.” Like this, Whenever female entertainers show an autonomous aspect, criticism is inevitable. This misogyny continued as a life threat in the real world. Last 2016, may 17th, Mr. Kim killed a first women who entered the public restroom in a karaoke booth near Gangnam Station in Seoul. The Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency said Kim has delusional thinking that “Women check and bother me” Based on the fact that Kim committed murder based on delusional thinking, the case is considered a form of schizophrenia. Even the analysis has been made that Kim sent six men to the public toilet in a karaoke room so it called ‘the crime of misogyny.’

Foreign country’s perception of women’s right

CEDAW(UN) pointed out Korea’s women right is lagged that Anti-discrimination laws enactment foundered, continued gender pay gap, Secondary Damage to Sexual Violence victims, Poor response to the Me-too movement and insufficient response to cyber sexual violence. In addition, the Korean law is a problem because it defines rape strictly, adding that CEDAW is based on the consent of the victims.

Feminism’s spread in Korea

With Gangnam station murder, Feminism sport spread into the general public. In the past, they discussed economic discrimination represented as the glass ceiling, but now Feminism became active because women in the public lead it. Especially, not only women but also men have become interested in women's rights with the introduction of the Me- too movement in Korea. Also, the book ‘Ji-young Kim from 1982’ rise to the best-seller, regardless of gender, age announced the Feminism.

Two face of Feminism

In the past, Feminism was popular in elite level, but modern Feminism which the major is female public, there are sexual conflict between public men and public women. The men who oppose to Feminism insist Feminism movements are claim women superiority and criticize men. Even today’s radical Feminism show men-hater appearance. Internet site ‘Warmard’ not only don’t have male members but also use ‘mirroring’ which benchmark women-hater site’s method. They make fun of all men without distinction of children, disabled people, or old people. Because of this, there are intellection that Feminism stimulate gender battle.

4) Comparison of Women’s Status among different time period

During the Goryeo Dynasty, women had the same status as men. He was guaranteed free time to ride horses when he went out. In the Goryeo Dynasty, it was common for men to be married and women to marry again freely. When a son was not present, a daughter held a memorial service and her property was inherited equally, regardless of whether she or she was a son. In addition, they did not discriminate against their sons or daughters by birth order when they were listed in their family tree. The Goryeo Dynasty believed in Buddhism, which focused on individuals, and thus developed a non-religious family structure This is certainly different from the Joseon women who married to succeed their family, after marriage, they were excluded from inheritance and ancestral rites, banned from remarrying and had to die with her husband.

Since the 17th century, women's status has changed greatly as they put more emphasis on Confucian social ethics. Now women could not go outside and be free to act, and there were limitations to acquiring knowledge. After her marriage, she had to go into her in-laws ' family and live with them. After her husband died, she was banned from remarrying for three years, and the son of a married woman forced her to remain faithful to her husband by not entering government service. The family tree has also changed to the style of Seongnam and Human in the latter phase of the Joseon Dynasty. The woman was not allowed to attend the ceremony and was excluded from the inheritance of property. Also, the lives of yangban and sangmin women were very different because of the strict distinction of social status. Hence, the word ' Samjonggido ' was coined. This means that women should follow their father before marriage, marry him after marriage, and follow their children after their husband dies.

In this sense, Confucianism played a very repressive role for women. Geology was accepted at the end of the Goryeo Dynasty and paternal idea has expanded. Then, during the Joseon Dynasty, monogamy was emphasized, including the patriarchal family system and the marriage system. Women's fidelity was strengthened and recognized as having to follow through the death of their husbands, giving birth to boys and living with the seven valid causes for divorce in mind. Thoughts are closely related to times. The historical role of neo-Confucianism accepted at the end of the Goryeo Dynasty was to stabilize women's status as wives. However, her status as the wife was only given to the time when she followed the death of a patriarchal family and social structure. Therefore, it is essentially the suppression of women who must be broken.

As you can see above, although a woman from Goryeo had an advantage over a woman from Joseon Dynasty, that does not mean that the status of Goryeo women was high. Pre-modern women had no operational scope but their homes. In this respect, we can see that the status of women in modern society has risen considerably compared to that of women in the past. Much of the restrictions on women's social activities have been disappeared, and all women are free to do what they want to do, and discrimination in terms of remarriage and wealth inheritance has been eliminated. However, gender equality is not completely established. Demonstration for gender equality are also being made and Womadeu, 남혐 the bad direction of the Feminism is appear and sexual conflicts are exist



We looked at the lives of women in our history through this study. Furthermore, by analyzing the differences and similarities between the two, we had a brief overview of the history of women's human rights. This activity provided an opportunity to think deeply about human rights, thus human rights, as well as women's rights.

Through this study, we will be more concerned about human rights, and by extension, the authors of the study have come to realize the link between human ethics and history, to integrate it with reality, and thus the violation of women’s human rights that occurs around us even the rights of living creatures in the world.


고려시대 여성의 규범과 삶(2000) - 권순형

고려시대 혼인제도 연구(1996)- 권순형

한국 전통사회 여성의 삶에 대한 연구(1987) - 강숙자

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창작 소재의 보고, 문화 콘텐츠 닷컴 - 고려시대 여성의 지위 : 고려시대 여인의 당당하고 의연한 삶

한국 역사 연구회 / [개경과 개경 사람] 고려시대 개경 여인 '엄경애' - 오영선(국립 중앙 박물관)

중도일보 / [오늘과 내일] 남녀가 평등했던 조선의 가족 - 박윤옥 전 국회의원

경북매일 오피니언(칼럼) / 여초시대(女超時代) - 우정구(객원 논설 의원)

[네이버 지식백과] 신사임당 [申師任堂] (한국민족문화대백과, 한국학중앙연구원)

[네이버 지식백과] 신사임당 [申師任堂] - 시와 그림에 능한 예술가이자 현모양처의 상징 (인물한국사)