The ALLATRA TV КOREA team attended the forum Empowering Unwed Mothers in Korea where they interviewed the participants and guests of the conference within the framework of the project NO TO VIOLENCE IN THE FAMILY AND SOCIETY.
People expressed their point of view on the women’s role in society, how prejudices are formed, which later become the root of violence. They shared the opinion that it is important to raise awareness about the existing problems, to never be silent, be caring, support each other, and bring love to society.
Anna, reporter: In our Movement we all the time ask people the main question, like, what do you think, what unites all people in the world internally?
Arrey Obenson: I think what unites people in the world is our common destiny. And our common destiny comes from where we all come from and where we all go to. Our common destiny is our humanity. That we are human beings, no matter how different we look like, no matter what country we come from, what flag represents us, we are all human beings. And even more importantly, there is none of us on Planet that is not of women birth, we are all born by women.
Anna, reporter: What do you think, what is the main role of women in the society?
Arrey Obenson: Women give life. Women make life. They nurture life, and they create opportunities for any life to grow. So women are the core of society. Without women we can’t have life and so, we cannot have society. Therefore, it means that the role of women is one to cherish, one to nurture, one to ensure that it grows and continues to play an important role in society, which is given each one of us, every human being – life.
Anna, reporter: Thank you. And also in the framework of this project “No violence in the family and in society”, what, do you think, should be the attitude of a person or your attitude to the violence in society and in the family?
Arrey Obenson: So, when we are born, every human being that is born, look at any child that is born, their first cry is for affection. All they want when they are born is to be loved. That is, the natural human instinct is to be loved.
But as we grow in society, we develop prejudice. And this prejudice comes from what our families tell us, that the others are dangerous. A prejudice comes from what our society tells us, that the other is dangerous. The prejudice comes from what our country tells us that the other country is the enemy. So we form these prejudices and go through life, and this is the root of violence against one another.
We fear that because we have limited resources, those resources will be taken away by the other. But that’s not true, the world is full of resources, and if we can begin to see and appreciate and respect one another that every human being is equal, then we can reduce violence.
Anna, reporter: Yes, that is true, and how not to be silent? And, you know, that if we are not silent so the violence will no longer exist, right?
Arrey Obenson: Yes, because, if you are silent in the face of violence, you are worse than the person that is being violent. So, it is important, we have a role to play, and it comes to a great responsibility of the citizens of the world to ensure that we accept and assume all our responsibility to build a better society. So, that responsibility begins with our voice against injustice, our voice against violence. The absence of that means that we have abandoned our responsibility, and we are worse than those who are committing the violence.
Monica Froehler: Horrendously, one out of three women worldwide is victim to domestic violence. It is often their men, their husbands, their partners, that are committing crimes towards them, physical crimes, but violence sometimes is not only physical, it can be mental, and it can be psychological as well. So, women are often victims. What should be the attitude of society or even the life partner? Violence is never never ever justified, and never a means to alter behavior or to change attitudes and mindsets, it always should be communication and collaboration and not violence.
UN Women, the United Nations, women engagement, basically, a big advocacy agency organization has launched something called “Orange the world” campaign. “Orange the world” is a campaign that is run from November to December every year, where big buildings in every country of this world are lit up in orange color to shine the light on women who are victims of violence. So it should raise awareness in communities that there is this problem prevalent and that we need to do something about it. We have, the Ban Ki-Moon centre partnered with the UN Women National committee in Austria to shine the light to these atrocities and to end them. Violence against women has to stop.
Anna, reporter: Great. And how important is it not to be silent on such topics?
Monica Froehler: Silence means that it’s almost like tacit agreement. It means that you are agreeing to a behavior that is outrightly wrong. Which means: don’t stay silent. Once you are a victim, it becomes difficult not to be silent because you are ashamed.
But nevertheless, even if you are a victim you will empower others if you manage to speak about it and you will heal yourself if you’re able to communicate about it. When you are a perpetrator, even then silence is not a good thing. When you’re a perpetrator and admit that you have done something wrong, maybe you inspire others to change their behavior. So, silence in no way should be the modus operandi. It should always be communication and collaboration about it to help oneself and to help others.
Simone Eun Mi: I think it’s not only the problem of a person, of society as a general, and I think it’s also the government’s role. So, I think partially it is the government’s role to educate society and to stand for individuals who experience violence like domestically, or even state violence. I think it’s something that we cannot accept and tolerate as a society. It’s also related to power structures. So, many times it relates to people in power or even sometimes males against females. And I think that this is something we cannot accept as a society and we should stand together against.
Minji Kwag: Well, we just hosted a session for empowering unwed mothers in Korea. And oftentimes they are the victims of violence and victims of sexual assaults. Yet, they become the victims for being blamed. So, not for being supported. So, in this case I think individuals should have this positive perspective, to find a way to support these people who are the victims, not to blame them and also to maybe improve policies so that we can create a society where they could be also legally supported, financially, economically, politically.
Anna, reporter: And how important is it not to be silent on such topics? You know, because if not silenced [then] violence will no longer exist in society, right?
Minji Kwag: Yeah, exactly. So, for our session actually we had section number one that was called “Human Library” and it was all about having the unwed mothers on the stage and reading their own stories by having them telling their stories how they got pregnant, how they decided to give a birth and so on. And of course, it’s a sensitive topic for them to even speak out freely in front of so many people. Yet, it was so important for them to come out and speak [about] their problems because otherwise they will never know what problems there are existing in our society. In this case, in our session we had a lot of nationalities which was good because unwed mothers in Korea is somehow viewed as more problematic than it is in other countries. So we needed that those voices heard so that the international community is also aware of such issues so that maybe they could send supports to those people in need in Korea, and also maybe Korea could learn from the best practices overseas.
Hye Eun Lee: Domestic violence doesn’t confine to family. It needs support for the family, especially for the kids. If you don’t raise your voice, the problem won’t be solved. Actually, it will repeat the problem. It is said Koreans have big hearts. I wish people cared for their neighbors in real and bring out love to society. It was an unexpected interview. I would like to say I am a single mom, but I don’t want to get discouraged about this. I try my best with confidence and support other single moms like myself.
Anna, reporter: How can you describe your vision of the creative society?
Arrey Obenson: Creative society?
Anna, reporter: Yes.
Arrey Obenson: I think every generation, the generations that came before us faced their own challenges. Every generation that has come before us has tried to make the world a better place for the next generation. This generation — our generation — at a time when the world is changing really fast has to rethink and redesign what the future would be for our children and our children’s children.
The past determines today. What we do today will determine what the future will be. So we have to think now of creative solutions. We can use the same old solutions to solve this problem. It’s all in our hands.
Anna, reporter: What is your vision of creative society? Could you [describe it]?
Monica Froehler: Society… society is benefiting from people that are creative. It is often those that need to connect the points and the dots. If you’re only focusing on maths or technology or things that are not necessarily… I know maths would need a certain degree of creativity, but those that are associated with creativity like arts, drama, painting, and dancing. If you have a society that is stripped of that, the society would be far worse off. If you have a society that enhances that and gives room and opportunity you have communities that live more peacefully with each other and that are more happy.
Ban Ki-Moon in his thinking enshrines these principles in the notion of global citizenship. A global citizen is someone who knows about not only the challenges of the world including climate change, poverty, sanitation, malnutrition and tries to act actively against, but also a person who is creative and who manages to tie all of these forms of creativity: be it song, be it drama, be it dance, be it painting to actually help the world to become a more prosperous and peaceful place.
Anna, reporter: And what is for you creative society? What is your vision of creating society? Can you describe it?
Minji Kwag: Creative society… I think that’s a very big question but for now, you know, we’re approaching the year 2030 and the year 2030 is very important for us all across the world because we have set, the United Nations have set the 17 goals the global goals that need to be matched by the year 2030 and those are all about sustainable development.
And for me, being creative for the betterment of the society is to take actions and to speak out and to try to reach for the goals for those SDG (sustainable development goals) the 17 goals by the year 2030. And even the year ends, even when the year comes if the goals have not [been] met we could still be creative and try to reach for more goals, other goals.
Simone Eun Mi: I think a creative society starts with education where children have space to bloom and to think outside of the box, where they have possibilities to play and to be themselves instead of being modeled into already existing patterns.
Anna, reporter: Also, I want to ask you: what unites all people in the world internally, regardless nationalities, religions, or social status, men or women, it doesn’t matter, [what], do you think, unites us all?
Simone Eun Mi: We are just all living beings on this planet called Earth. So I think while we many times look at the divisions between nations and the differences, we all want the same for our children. I think, we all want to have a good country, and a good society, and a good space for our children, to have a meaningful and happy life, to find fulfillment and joy in life. So I think there are universal values that everybody holds and that we should also uphold for people not living in our country. It is this earth belongs to all living things so we should consider it as such so the things we do should not impact people on the other side of the world in a negative way. We have a responsibility to take care of them together.
Monica Froehler: It’s actually a very simple answer. What unites all of us is the desire to love and to be loved. So, it is the most rudimentary feeling that human beings have and that they need to have fulfilled. When you look at studies of babies, for example, babies without touch, without love of their mom can’t survive even for a couple of months. They need that love of a caretaker for them to be nurtured and to be raised as a human being. So, all of us, independent of ethnicity, religion, gender, race, upbringing, even times that we are living in — we are dependent on love and what is love but collaboration. Love is nothing but the show of working with each other, being with each other, caring for each other and, of course, feeling in a similar way about each other.
Hye Eun Lee: Love.
Anna, reporter: What would you like to wish all the viewers of Allatra TV and actually all the people in the world?
Minji Kwag: Wow… well, I would love them to be encouraged to be a global citizen. So, have a global citizenship mindset and try to maybe solve just as little things as possible you can start from there. You don’t have to take a big step at the beginning, just do something that’s good for yourself, for your family, for your community, and later on for the entire international community. And I think that would be the thing that I would encourage everyone to do and everyone to keep in mind.
Simone Eun Mi: I wish for all people to be able to be themselves and to find fulfillment in life and to be part of creating a small tiny piece of a better future, a better world.
Arrey Obenson: My wish for every human being is that they get the opportunity to achieve their greatest potential. That you get the opportunity to do everything that you dream of and in your lifetime. That’s what I wish.
Monica Froehler: I would wish for the viewers of ALLATRA TV that you have programs that inspire them and that they get a new way of thinking thanks to listening to your interviews and the research that you do.
TV and media have a great role to play in society and ALLATRA has a great role to play to inspire people about not new concepts and about novel thoughts and about people who have lived the dream and who want to inspire others.