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Yumhee Park, Program Assistant

Yumhee Park is the Program Assistant for the Health and Reproductive Rights Department at NWLC. Prior to joining NWLC, Yumhee worked in several diverse areas such as the Seoul Broadcasting System, the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Korea to the UN, the National Council for Research on Women, and Bio-Tissue. Yumhee holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Women's Studies from the George Washington University. She completed her thesis on Korean American feminism in May of 2011.

My Take

Women's History Month 2014: Celebrating the Nameless, the Faceless, the Invisible

Posted by Yumhee Park, Program Assistant | Posted on: March 27, 2014 at 11:55 am

Cross-posted from YWCA.

Which of these is not like the other?

Amelia Earhart, aviator. Virginia Woolf, novelist. Frida Kahlo, artist. Kim Gun-ja, comfort woman.

While the first three women have been recognized for their achievements, often times, women like Kim Gun-ja are left to fade as sad stories of women who have been subject to patriarchal violence. But why should their story and voice be any less important and recognized while we celebrate Women’s History Month? March marks Women’s History Month and the theme is a celebration of women of character, courage, and commitment. Many times, we are eager to recognize those who have achieved major milestones for women, but leave reports or stories of survivors of indescribable violence to find their place in posts dedicated to sympathies. Women survivors of violence deserve recognition and their heartbreaking stories should serve as a reminder that these are crimes against humanity. Unfortunately, instead of being recognized, some such victims are being systematically forgotten.

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3 Reasons Why Roe v. Wade Should Matter to You as an Asian American

Posted by Yumhee Park, Program Assistant | Posted on: January 22, 2014 at 04:31 pm

Growing up in a traditional Korean American household, my mother didn’t really know how to talk about reproductive health issues with me and my sister. I never got the sex talk until my junior year of college and the conversation went a little like this:

Mom: You know, you should always use a condom.
Me: ...
Mom: Your sister talks to you about those things right? Always use a condom, okay?
Me: … OH MY GOD MOM OKAY!
Mom: I mean you don’t have sex anyway, right? Don’t have sex, okay? But if you do, use a condom.
Me: ………. *slinks down into chair*

My mom is certainly not very graceful when talking about sex. Reproductive health issues are not regularly discussed in young people’s curriculum in South Korea and were even more hush hush during my mother’s generation. But I have learned that to be informed is to have control of your own body and I’m thankful that being educated in America has provided me accurate information to take control of my reproductive health and life. I have learned the importance of having affordable access to contraception and there is a peace of mind that in the United States, because of Roe v. Wade, abortion, should I ever need one, will be left to the decision of me and my doctor. However as of late, there are increasingly more restrictions being set into place that makes it more difficult for women to have access to abortion. Some states have even enacted sex selective abortion bans that specifically subject Asian Americans to more scrutiny. Here are 3 reasons why access to a safe and legal abortion should matter to you as an Asian American:

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Attention Metro Riders: Single Tracking, Delays, and Sexism are on Your Morning Commute

Posted by | Posted on: December 04, 2013 at 05:28 pm

Commuting in Washington, D.C. can be hectic and frustrating. With constant single tracking and delays, our patience as D.C. residents often runs very thin. So, is it so much to ask that these delays not be sprinkled in with sexism?

Yumhee: This one hit me like a metrobus during my morning commute (pardon the pun) and has been making its rounds on DC local news:

Then I saw the male version of this ad during my evening commute (which DCist then reposted) and proceeded to fume even more:

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The American Dream: Absolutely No Tolerance for Domestic Violence

Posted by Yumhee Park, Program Assistant | Posted on: October 15, 2013 at 05:02 pm

For the past month, during my morning and evening commute, I have been welcomed with a sign that says 1 in 4 women experience domestic violence in their lifetime. 1 in 4. That means out of my 3 college girlfriends and me, one of us will or have experienced violence from an intimate partner or spouse. Sadly, whenever I look at this sign, it rings true to my life. Domestic violence and everything it encompasses is one of the issues that drive my passion in women’s rights. From a young age, I have seen how lightly it can be taken and how cultural pressures can muffle the voices that domestic violence affects the most.

My ethnicity is South Korean. I come from a culture that is rather patriarchal. Though my country has made great strides, my parent’s generation still influences my generation both in the States and in South Korea. During my parent’s generation, moving to America symbolized a new start. Folks truly believed in the American dream – a chance to recreate one’s life in a land with limitless possibilities and resources and in a country that encouraged individualism. Because of instability in South Korea from the 1960s to 80s, my parents like many other families sought to immigrate to the United States. Women followed their husbands with a hope for a wildly different and better life.

Unfortunately, moving to America did not immediately translate to stability for many Korean families. Finding a place to belong proved difficult and many Korean men would become easily stressed, dealing with both providing for their family and continuous language barriers.

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Freedom To Make Educated Decisions is a Freedom To Life

Posted by Yumhee Park, Program Assistant | Posted on: July 12, 2013 at 02:33 pm

At 11 years old, I had the privilege to dream up endless possibilities for my future. At 11 years old, I was nose deep in the Harry Potter series, dreamt of being a teacher one day, a news reporter the next, and an author in my spare time. My dreams were not limited but as expansive as my imagination would allow.

This past week, coverage of an 11 year old girl in Chile being forced to carry a pregnancy to term caused by a rape (by her stepfather) has been inducing criticism globally. Abortion in Chile is absolutely illegal even in cases of rape, incest, and danger to the mother’s life. What has been even more heart-breaking is the fact that she has been praised for her “depth and maturity” in deciding to go through the pregnancy (not that she was allowed any other option or provided any other choice) by Chilean president Sebastian Pinera.

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