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South Korea to erase sex abuse accused from textbooks

AFP  |  Seoul 

Three prominent South Korean writers and artists who have been accused of sex will have their works and almost all mentions of their names removed from school textbooks, the government said today, as the country's nascent #MeToo campaign spreads.

A growing number of women have spoken out about abuses they suffered at the hands of powerful figures in multiple fields, making headlines in a country that remains socially patriarchal despite economic and technological advances.

Those accused of include Ko Un, a top regularly tipped for the Nobel prize for literature, and playwright Oh Tae-seok.

Choi Young-Mi accused Ko of sexually abusing many women in literary circles, after publishing a thinly veiled poem "Monster" in which she detailed her experiences at his hands.

Lee is under investigation for raping or sexually harassing more than 10 actresses at his theatre group, and Oh is also accused of harassing actresses and students.

The trio's works and almost all 40-odd references to them will be erased from school textbooks, Seoul's education ministry said, describing them as "figures who created social controversy."

Only a few passing mentions of their names will remain, the education ministry said without elaborating further.

Ko also stepped down as of Wednesday as the to create a Korean-language dictionary aimed at bridging the widening linguistic divide between the two Koreas.

Ko has denied the allegations against him in a statement to the Guardian, saying he did "nothing which might bring shame on my wife or myself".

Lee apologised for causing "harm" to actresses, saying he was willing to "take any punishment", but denied accusations of rape. Oh has refused to comment.

Women in have long been reluctant to come forward about sex due to fears of relentless public shaming and bullying.

But a prosecutor in January made a rare move to speak out about sex by a superior on live television, triggering a wave of accusations against figures ranging from artists to politicians.

The most high-profile target is Ahn Hee-jung, a former presidential contender and a star who announced his resignation as a and retirement from on Tuesday after an accused him of multiple rapes.

Ahn, 52, today cancelled a planned press conference after another woman came forward to claim that she also had been raped by him repeatedly, as prosecutors opened an inquiry.

Amid the barrage of allegations, scores of women's rights activists staged protests to mark International Women's Day, urging stern punishment for offenders and expressing support for victims.

"Can't trust empty apologies! They need to take legal responsibility!" shouted activists wearing black outfit and waving roses at a rally in

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, March 08 2018. 15:06 IST