[Newsmaker] Yoon’s feminist recruit attacked from all sides

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Shin ji-ye, a 31-year-old feminist with liberal political leanings, made headlines Monday as she crossed party lines and joined the campaign of Yoon Suk-yeol, the presidential candidate of the conservative People Power Party. .

The young politician ran as Seoul’s mayoral candidate for the Green Party of Korea in 2018, finishing fourth in the race with more than 80,000 votes. Her campaign garnered support from feminists and progressives as one of the first female candidates in the country’s political history to run on a feminist platform at the time.

Announcing his support for the conservative presidential candidate, Shin said, “(Yoon) is committed to resolving violence against women, tackling the climate crisis and creating a Republic of Korea that overcomes (the division) from left and right and move on, so I decided to Take sides. “

She also criticized Lee Jae-myung, the presidential candidate for the ruling Democratic Party of Korea, for representing her nephew, who had killed two women, while practicing law in court.

His move, however, fueled controversy across the political spectrum.

Kim Chang-in, spokesperson for the far-left Justice Party’s electoral committee, called Shin’s decision a “mysterious betrayal” by someone who championed feminist and green politics.

People Power Party MK Ha Tae-kyung voiced her opposition to Shin’s decision on social media, describing her as an “uncompromising divisive feminist.”

Political commentator Park Sang-byoung said Shin was seen as an “opportunist” following the new ruling.

“Shin and presidential candidate Yoon Seok-youl stand for opposing values. Therefore, her decision is a betrayal of third party supporters who fought for the environment and feminism. Within the People Power Party, she will be seen as an opportunist, ”Park said.

“(Yoon) might have been in a hurry to get more people on board, but he’ll do more harm than good.”

Yoon Tae-gon, senior policy analyst at Moa Agenda Strategy, said that although few people agree with the decision yet, it is a gesture by Yoon’s campaign to reach out to young female voters.

“It’s a gesture to show that (the People Power Party) is interested in reaching out to women in their twenties and thirties. While there are negative reactions, the Conservatives must also ask themselves whether they can afford not to make such efforts and whether it is the right thing to do or not.

Presidential rivals Yoon and Lee have so far focused on seducing young male voters by proposing to remove or make changes to the Department of Gender Equality and the Family. The name of the ministry in Korean translates directly to “Ministry of Women and Family”.

Both candidates have also been accused by critics of bowing to growing anti-feminist sentiment in the country.

But as the two leading candidates remain neck and neck in the latest polls, young female voters can no longer be ignored, political commentator Rhee Jong-hoon said.

“The approval ratings for the two main candidates are quite low among young female voters and both parties will continue to make efforts to attract this group,” Rhee said.

“A landslide victory doesn’t seem likely in this election which makes every point all the more important. Since neither can afford to lose even 50,000 to 100,000 votes, young voters for obvious reasons cannot be overlooked. “

By Yim Hyun-su ([email protected])


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