Since it started airing, the K-Drama Extraordinary Attorney Woo has been gaining praise for several reasons. The story follows Woo Young Woo (Park Eun Bin), the first autistic attorney in Korea, and her journey through the hardships of life and her relationship with Lee Jun Ho (Kang Tae Oh).
Over the past few episodes, the show has raised a spotlight on some serious issues within Korea. They recently gained praise after highlighting some of the issues with the Korean education system and pressures on children.
The recent episode was no different as they tackled the issues of gender and inequality in the workplace.
Hanbada is given the task of defending a boss accused of breaking the gender equality laws in Korea after revealing he wants to remove all the female employees during “Restructuring.” His words made the women feel like it was their duty to leave and allow their husbands to continue working.
One of the women who brought the issue up then explained to her husband that when she was pregnant, the company expected her to drop her family duties to return to work. Yet, when they needed an “Escape goat,” the women were expected to return to the traditional roles of a wife and mother.
The women who filed the claim are supported by attorney Ryu Jae Sook, who defends those in cases about gender, human, and labor rights. Despite losing cases, Ryu Jae Sook always takes on cases if she believes in the cause and will do everything to help, even protesting before the initial case hearing.
Throughout the case, it seemed as if every time Hanbada “won,” they lost as support increased for the women through their means of finding evidence against the claims, including the topic of infertility.
In the end, although the judge acknowledged the wrongdoing of the boss, they didn’t win the case. Yet, the women seemed happier than those at Hanbada when the case ended.
For many, the women’s reactions showed the importance of the case on a larger scale and that it wasn’t just about money. It raised some positives about the idea of female empowerment and love for each other. Even when one of their colleagues spoke out against them for fear of her job after her husband’s illness, they still supported her.
Even when they lost the trial, they didn’t see it as unworthy as they raised attention to the ongoing issue within Korean society.
Although some Koreans raised issues about the episode being “Anti-male” by showcasing the men as the enemies, international viewers couldn’t stop praising the approach to a sensitive topic.
For many netizens, not only did it highlight the issues in society, but it reinforced a message of women supporting and uplifting one another instead of the typical catfight drama.
— 🐳 (@kdramatreats) August 4, 2022
I absolutely loved every moment of #ExtraordinaryAttorneyWooEp12 !!! I loved how they addressed the discriminatory nature of Korea's patriarchal society and i particularly loved the message of women supporting and uplifting one another, instead of the typical catfight drama.
— 우영우 protection squad 🐳 (@whaleyoungwoo) August 4, 2022
ryu jae sook definitely stole the show in today’s episode. i adore how she stands for what she believes in and the fact that she represents women >>> i love her mindset sm, such a kind and warm-hearted soul 🤍#ExtraordinaryAttorneyWooEp12 pic.twitter.com/VCVhNm8nt0
— rin 🐳 (@whyweewhy) August 4, 2022
Although there are laws in place to prevent discrimination against women in the workplace in Korea, through the Gender Equality Act, the traditional views on gender and sexuality in Korea are still prominent. Like in the show, many workplaces find loopholes to ensure they are not deemed as “breaking the law.” Yet, the show proved that Korea is far from the equal society so many citizens desire.
You can read more about Extraordinary Attorney Woo raising awareness of issues in Korea below.