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Republic of Korea

In the case of the Republic of Korea , establishing Women's Studies was the result of a modernization project – placing emphasis on the roles of Korean women in modernizing societies in the 1950s. It was only in the late 1970s that the first undergraduate programme of Yosunghak (Woman's Studies) was introduced with a patently feminist orientation at the Ewha Women's University as an outcome of the Women's Conference in Nairobi in 1975. Today Ewha Women's Studies curriculum is regarded as the chief model for undergraduate Women's Studies in South Korea . Since 1996, more than 100 universities and colleges nationwide have begun to include WS/GS courses in their general curriculum, and in the same year, the Korean Association of Women's Studies (KAWS) was created. In 2003, seven universities began to award undergraduate degrees in Women's Studies as an interdisciplinary major. However, despite the proliferation of WS/GS courses, many campuses do not have designated WS/GS departments and, therefore, WS/GS courses are conducted by faculty members of the sociology or philosophy departments, women's research institutes and committees on general education. It is the general belief among members of KAWS that unless a permanent structure is in place in universities, such as autonomous WS/GS departments, WS/GS will remain fragile, as it will continue to depend on the traditional disciplines for its existence.

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