SEOUL, May 10 (Korea Bizwire) — The National Human Rights Commission of Korea (NHRCK) recommended that the Cultural Heritage Administration (CHA) correct a situation under which men wearing men’s hanbok and women wearing women’s hanbok only are allowed to enter historical palaces free of charge.
The commission claimed that the current policy is a form of discrimination.
According to the NHRCK on Thursday, the CHA allows visitors to enter historical palaces for free if they wear a hanbok, Korean traditional clothes.
According to the CHA’s “Guidelines for the Free Entrance for those Wearing the Hanbok,” only men wearing a man’s hanbok and women wearing woman’s hanbok should be offered free entrance.
In response, human rights lawyers filed a petition with the NHRCK, claiming that charging entrance fees for the palace for wearing a hanbok that was designed for the opposite gender is a discriminatory act based on gender and expression of sex.
In response, the CHA explained that one of the purposes of setting guidelines is to publicize the right way to wear hanbok that conforms to tradition.
The administration argued that if palace visitors wear a hanbok that does not match their biological gender, it could confuse those who do not know how to wear hanbok, including foreigners, and would damage the image of hanbok.
However, the NHRCK thought otherwise.
The commission said, “The concern is only a vague possibility based on a lack of reasonable judgment by the public, and it is hard to say that wearing a hanbok for the opposite gender would naturally undermine the image of the hanbok.”
The commission further explained that the traditions that are worth protecting with the policies of state agencies should conform to the social situation of that era and the values sought by the Constitution, and that wearing clothes that conform to biological gender is no longer acceptable as a general norm today.
Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)