Scholastic News Online

Scholastic News Online is a free resource with breaking news and highlights from the print magazine.

Available for grades 1-6, Scholastic News magazine brings high-interest current events and nonfiction to millions of classrooms each week.

Additionally, our subscribers have FREE access to Scholastic News Interactive, an exclusive online learning tool featuring digital editions, videos, interactive features, differentiated articles, and much more.

Park Geun-hye won the South Korean presidency in December with 52 percent of the vote. (Kim Hong-Ji / Reuters)

A Female First in South Korea

The country’s first female President takes office

By Michelle Bruner | March 7 , 2013
<p>PHOTO: Park formerly served as South Korea’s first lady following her mother’s death. (Lee Jin-man / AP Images)</p><p> MAP: North Korea and South Korea have been enemies for more than 60 years. (Jim McMahon)</p>

PHOTO: Park formerly served as South Korea’s first lady following her mother’s death. (Lee Jin-man / AP Images)

MAP: North Korea and South Korea have been enemies for more than 60 years. (Jim McMahon)

March 8 is International Women’s Day. On this day, for more than 100 years, people have celebrated the achievements and historic milestones of women around the world.

Just in time for International Women’s Day, the nation of South Korea is celebrating the election of its first female President, Park Geun-hye.

South Korea’s culture is primarily patriarchal. This means that men have traditionally been seen as the decision makers in the family, businesses, and government. Even so, 52 percent of the voters in the December election chose Park to lead their government.


Park Geun-hye took over as President of South Korea in February. But this is not the first time she has lived in the President’s home, known as the Blue House. She first lived there when her father, Park Chung-hee, was President of South Korea. He ruled the country for 18 years, from 1961 to 1979, beginning when she was 9 years old.

After her mother’s death, when Park Geun-hye was 22 years old, she took over the role of South Korea’s first lady. She gained valuable political experience while greeting foreign leaders and attending to the state’s business.

Park went on to build her own career in politics after her father’s death. She took an active role in South Korea’s Grand National Party (now called the Saenuri Party) and became its chairwoman in 2004. After several unsuccessful attempts to become President, she was finally elected this past December.


Park Geun-hye has many challenges ahead of her. South Korea’s closest neighbor, North Korea, has been hostile to the country for more than 60 years. Its leader, Kim Jong Un, has focused on building up the nation’s army and gathering new and powerful weapons. Park Geun-hye wants to work to build a better relationship with North Korea.

Park’s father is remembered for bringing economic growth to South Korea. But he mostly ignored human rights and used harsh treatment to silence anyone who disagreed with him. Now President Park Geun-hye wants to lead in her own way. She hopes to help bring more equality to the people in all areas of their lives.

Park promises to create a country “where all Koreans can lead more prosperous and freer lives and where their dreams can come true.”

  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  
    Playing to Win

    Playing to Win

    by Karen Deans

    As a child in Harlem in the 1930s, Althea Gibson discovered she was a natural at tennis. But it was a sport played mostly by wealthy white people in country clubs that excluded African Americans. Althea was not deterred and set about becoming a barrier-breaking, world-famous athlete. Full color.

    $5.21 You save: 25%
    Paperback Book | Grades 3-5
    Add To Cart
    Educators Only
    Playing to Win
    Grades 3-5 $5.21
    Add To Cart
  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  
    Easy Reader Biographies: Betsy Ross

    Easy Reader Biographies: Betsy Ross

    by Pamela Chanko

    Guided Reading Level I. Learn the story of Betsy Ross and the first American flag in this full-color storybook! Includes historical facts, a picture comparison of the first flag and today's American flag, and a glossary!

    $2.24 You save: 25%
    eBook | Grades K-2
    Add To Cart
    Educators Only
    Easy Reader Biographies: Betsy Ross
    Grades K-2 $2.24
    Add To Cart
Privacy Policy




Here's something interesting from