SEOUL, August 5, 2008 (Impoverished Women’s News) — Six hundred overseas Korean adoptees marked the last day of their international Gathering Sunday morning by donning Chosun dynasty-era women’s veils and marching in front of Myeongdong Cathedral to protest the treatment of unmarried mothers in South Korea.
“We believe that the treatment of unmarried mothers in this country should be relegated to the past, just like the veil,” said an organizer. “We wear the veil as a symbol of oppression to call attention to international adoption as a symptom of the limited rights of Korean women,” she added.
While many adoptees had no interest in ever stepping foot inside a church again, many articulated the importance of the location of the protest.
“The adoption industry has in many ways been created and sustained by church programs and religious fanatics, so it’s important to let the church know that what they have done in the name of Jesus Christ is quite un-Christian — sort of like the Inquisition — and we want them to stop,” said one veiled protestor.
Organizers of this year’s gathering remarked on the improvement of this year’s event over a similar one in 2004, noting that a research symposium headed by Kim Park Nelson and Eleana Kim made a lot of people go, “Hm.” “I’m pleased to see that we have more political action and networking this year, and slightly less drunkeness and hooking up,” said the Alpine Jackrabbit, “although there is a time and a place for that, definitely.”
Critics of such meetings say it is way too fucking hot in Korea to hold such events at the beginning of August, and that the registration fee should be waived for all European adoptees living in Seoul because it’s hard for them to make money here, and they are also helping out by making sure the visitors don’t get lost and starve to death, or have to eat triangle kimbab out of the GS 25 for a week.
Overseas Korean adoptees attended “The Gathering” in Seoul from Tuesday until Sunday.