By: Johanna Higgs for M.O.B.™ Editorials
Increasingly enterprising women can be found throughout South Korea. A popular television series for example, depicts a chaebol heiress who cuts ties with her family to set up her own business which ends up in a romance with a North Korean pianist. There are more young women earning university degrees than men and women are increasingly becoming active in the workforce and challenging conservative social norms.
However, the field of plumbing and carpentry in South Korea, is still a male dominated industry. Though, an all-woman repair service in South Korea is challenging this norm, according to a report by BBC. The new, all women repair service is giving women the opportunity to break through the so-called ‘concrete ceiling’ and get women working in the repair industry.
Ahn Hyung-seon is the leader of this new initiative and was inspired by her own love of tools as a young girl. However, she was always discouraged by those who told her that tools were ‘not for girls.’ She explained to the BBC, ‘when I saw repairmen at work, I felt I could do it too,’ which led her to create the all-woman repair service.
For women who are uncomfortable letting unknown men into their houses when they need a repair, Ahn Hyung-seon service offers a sigh of relief. Violence and sexual assault are serious issues in South Korea, as they are globally. Korean women account for more than half of all homicide victims (Foreign policy) In the last 10 years alone, cases of sexual assault in South Korea have doubled and almost 90 percent of victims of violent crime in the country are women.
Hyung-seon's all-woman repair service is therefore a welcome alternative for single women. Her team completed over 500 repairs last year, and they are set to grow further demonstrating, that women can indeed enter and thrive in the field of repair work. Hyung-seon hopes to soon construct an entire building together with other women technicians.
‘Any woman can do this if they accept the challenge,’ she said in her interview with the BBC. ‘The sky's the limit.’