Open letter to President-elect Park Geun-hyeDear President Park,
Hello! My name is Karen Chee, and I am a high school senior from nearby San Francisco, California. I am a Korean-American student with an interest in politics and a love of people.
I would first and foremost like to congratulate you on your presidential win! My family was beyond thrilled to hear of your success; my mother is an especially big fan of yours. I was thrilled as well, but for another reason. You see, although I follow the politics here in the United States, I am not nearly as well-versed in South Korean politics.
I was ecstatic to hear of your win not because of your platform or your political party, indeed I know very little about either of them, but because it was a huge step forward in the world’s path to gender equality. The unfortunate reality in both developing and developed countries is that women are not treated as equals, and they are not proportionally prominent in the leadership roles. My heart swells with joy to know that South Korea, a patriarchal society, elected a female president.
As a young woman to a more accomplished and powerful woman, I would like to make a request: I ask that you work to help further empower women in South Korea. I firmly believe that an investment in the country’s women will yield incomparable results for the nation as a whole. I truly believe that gender inequality, legally and socially, are detrimental not only to the oppressed group, but to everyone; in other words, I believe that it is not only unfair to women, but also unfair to the rest of the world to miss the incredible contributions that women are capable of making.
I want to thank you as sincerely as possible for inspiring other women like me and taking on a role of leading a country through very difficult times. I hope you know that women around the world are watching you - not with skepticism or irritation, but with pride and support. I wish you the very best of luck.
San Mateo High School Class of 2013
and Harvard University Class of 2017