Yoon leaves gender minister position unfilled in step to abolish ministry: official

President Yoon Suk Yeol's decision to leave the gender equality minister's position unfilled is a signal of his commitment to abolish the ministry as planned even without the legal revision necessary to make it official, a senior presidential official said Thursday. Yoon accepted the resignation of Gender Equality Minister Kim Hyun-sook on Tuesday, six months after she offered to resign over the mismanagement of the 25th World Scout Jamboree in August. He does not plan to name a replacement and will instead have the vice minister take over in an acting capacity, according to multiple presidential officials. Abolishing the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family was one of Yoon's most controversial campaign pledges as women's groups accused him of pandering to young male voters resentful of the rise of feminism. Yoon stood by his pledge, however, saying the ministry has completed its role and a more efficient government body is needed to handle human rights violations and unfairness in society. Nearly two y ears into his term, the ministry still stands as abolishing it requires a revision to the government organization law, which has been introduced by ruling party lawmakers but blocked by opposition lawmakers in the opposition-controlled National Assembly. "President Yoon believes it is necessary to express a firm will to fulfill the pledge at the level of the executive branch even if a legal revision has yet to be made," the senior presidential official told Yonhap News Agency. "We plan to make advance preparations for the transfer of duties under the leadership of Vice Gender Equality Minister Shin Young-sook, who is an expert on organizational reform." As part of the preparations, officials from other ministries could be appointed to senior positions at the gender equality ministry to facilitate the transition following the ministry's abolition, the official said. "We will abolish the gender equality ministry by fixing the government organization law through a revision under the next National Assembly, an d take steps to transfer its duties to each ministry," the official added, referring to the parliamentary elections slated for April 10. Source: Yonhap News Agency