|Noh Hee-kyung / Korea Times file photo|
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism announced on Wednesday the 52-year-old writer, renowned for her realistic and in-depth portrayals of the lives of ordinary people, as the laureate of this year's Gender Equality Award.
"Noh has successfully shown various aspects of society through media by realistically portraying stories of the disadvantaged, the minority and the socially weak," said the judging committee. "She has greatly contributed to raising awareness of such social issues."
The popular writer, who debuted with "Mom's Gardenias" (1996), telling a realistic story about a terminally ill mother and her daughter, has been writing socially conscious stories in her career as a drama series writer spanning over two decades.
With her four-part drama "The Most Beautiful Goodbye in the World" (1996), Noh told the story of a dying mother and her family; in her 30-episode drama "More Beautiful Than a Flower" (2004) she depicted many facets of family love after a mother is diagnosed with dementia; and through her drama "It's Okay, That's Love" (2014) the writer challenged social prejudice against the mentally ill by telling the love story of a schizophrenic mystery novelist and a sexually phobic psychiatrist. Her latest drama "Live" (2018) told the stories of patrol officers on the police force who struggle everyday to keep order and help people in need.
Documentary film "Myeoneuri: My Son's Crazy Wife," directed by Sun Ho-bin, was chosen for the Gender Equality Cultural Content Award.
The film was edited by the director who filmed the conflict between his wife and his mother for four years after they got married. It received the honor by looking at the mother-in-law and daughter-in-law relationship from the eyes of a man and effectively changed the perception that it is a personal matter between two women.
The film carries the message that the conflict in the patriarchal Korean society is rather a social one that all other family members should work together to solve.
The awards ceremony will be held at the Korea Press Center in Seoul, Friday.