[Press Conference] Gender Equality Books to Libraries, Discrimination and Hate to Hell: Let’s Make Libraries Rainbow

by | Jun 14, 2024 | Free Speech, Press Release | 0 comments

June 1, 2024

Restricting access to gender equality and sex education books is growing nationwide. Recently, 2,538 books were removed from school libraries as ‘sex education books inappropriate for adolescents’ at the direction of the Gyeonggido Office of Education, and a member of the Seoul Metropolitan Council demanded that the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education the status report on the 17 sex education and gender equality books.

All of this happening was done under pressure from conservative organizations that have been inciting hatred against LGBTQ+ groups and spreading sexism. They are also leading the repeal of student rights ordinances in Chungnam and Seoul. The human rights of children and adolescents are being threatened and the values of equality and human rights are being undermined by the hateful incitement of conservative organizations and local governments that look the other way.

June 1, 2024, marks the first day of LGBTQ+ Pride Month and the 25th Seoul Queer Culture Festival. However, following last year’s festival, the Seoul Metropolitan Government refused again to allow the festival to take place at Seoul Plaza. The Seoul Metropolitan Government cited the operation of the ‘Seoul Outdoor Library’ as the reason, but given the restrictions on access to gender equality and sex education books, this is nothing but deceitful administration.

On June 1, human rights civil society organizations host a press conference and performance in front of the Seoul Library to condemn the discriminatory policies of the Seoul Metropolitan Government and other local governments and to raise the voices of citizens in solidarity with gender equality and LGBTQ+ rights.

60 citizens participated on the day, introducing the gender equality books they brought and reading a passage from each book. After the participants’ remarks, citizens marched across Seoul Plaza.

The Seoul Plaza should belong to everyone. Gender equality in schools and libraries must be further realized.

We look forward to your coverage.

Thank you.

Rainbow Action Against LGBTQ Discrimination, Special Committee on Gender Equality of the National Education Association, Women’s Committee, National Council of Publishers and Publishing Unions, Anti-Discrimination Law Enforcement Alliance, Youth and Citizens’ National Action for Student Rights Act and Youth Human Rights, LGBT Rights in Action, and the Freedom of Expression Network Against Hate and Censorship.

Korean version text


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