Director’s Message

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Research Center of Asian Women of Sookmyung Women’s University, the first research institute for women, and by women in Korea. Our institute is probably the only university research institute that has studied only one topic, women, for a long time. Back in 1960, when this institute was first established, not even 1.5% of the population of women in Korea graduated from college, and proper studies on women were not being done. However, Sookmyung University conducted basic research related to the issue of women under the belief that women’s leadership will change society. As a result of such continuous work, policy proposals are being made and female talents are educated and cultivated not only in Korea but also abroad.

In 2017, the Research Center for Asian Women was integrated with the Institute for Multicultural Studies, an institute that has shown outstanding achievements in the field of multicultural studies and was promoted to the Research Institute of Asian Women. This leap will make convergence research between the fields of women and multicultural issues possible based on the capacity built over the past 60 years. The Research Institute of Asian Women finds and fosters global female talents as Korea’s first and best women’s research organization and will establish itself as the best research institute on women in Asia.

The cumulative research of our institute has contributed to the academic development of women-related studies through publishing The Journal of Asian Women (since 1962), a Korean academic journal, and Asian Women (since 1995), an English journal. These two journals have been indexed in Korean as well as international academic journal databases, which shows that the work by the institute has been objectively acknowledged, and has been recognized in journals that greatly contribute to the academic development of this field. In addition, the institute also publishes another set of Korean and English journals: The Journal of Multicultural Society (since 2008) and OMNES: The Journal of Multicultural Society (since 2010), that are related to multicultural studies. OMNES has established itself as the only English journal in Korea that has a multi-disciplinary perspective on the changing social image of multiculturalism. The four journals listed above are the pride of our institute and have been a channel to promote the studies of women throughout the world by Sookmyung University.

Since 2002, the Research Institute of Asian Women has regularly hosted academic symposiums on various issues centered on women such as women and human rights, feminism and political ideas, social and cultural assimilation of migrant women and immigration policies, status change in the modern Asian women and their challenges in the 21st century, women and media, the environment and human rights, and gender in line with the changing times. By making preemptive choices of key issues associated with women in a rapidly changing social and cultural context, and by hosting occasional lectures in which experts in the related field are invited, the institute has always been a pioneer, paving the way for studies of women and cultivating future scholars.

As clichéd as it may sound, half of the world’s population are women. In the 21st century, women are not merely statistically half of the population, but are now the principal agents in family, society, economy, and cultural phenomena. We are now at a juncture at which studies must have an integrated perspective on various fields related to women. The Research Institute of Asian Women has already been proactively accommodating and responding to the demands of the times, and its efforts will continue, thanks to your support. We promise to realize our vision of becoming a global institute that contributes to realizing gender equality and social integration in Asia. We also promise to become an institute that realizes Sookmyung Women’s University’s educational ideology of fostering competent women who meet the demands of the times.

RIAW aims to fulfil the new challenges by garnering insightful knowledge befitting the times and returning it to society. Through these efforts, the institute will strive to realise the founding values of Sookmyung Women’s University of co-existence and public interest.

Thank you.

Sookmyung Women’s University
Research Institute of Asian Women
Minsun CHANG Director