For every hundred baby girls in India has 111 boys. In China, the ratio is 100 to 115. In 1990 South Korea was the same, but since then the country has brought these figures into balance. How she did it?
“One daughter is equal to ten sons” – twenty years ago, the South Korean government threw all its forces to the promotion of this thesis . Gender imbalance then reached its peak and was about 116 newborn boys to 100 girls. Tradition to prefer sons to daughters out in South Korea back centuries. The boys continue the family line, financial support and the support of parents in old age.
“Daughters are not perceived as part of the family after getting married,” explains the Executive Director of the United Korean women’s Association-Park-Cha Occur.
The government finds a solution
To reduce the number of selective abortions in 1988 in South Korea outlawed the identification of the sex of the child. At the same time women become more educated, take more jobs, and men gradually cease to be the sole breadwinners in the family.
Gradually, South Korea has been recognized as “the first Asian country to reverse the trend of the gap between the ratio of newborn girls and boys”.
In 2013 this figure reached 100 to 105 is comparable with the leading Western countries such as Canada.
In addition to the law banning the recognition of gender, a greater role in addressing the issue of abortion played and rapid urbanization of the country. While South Korea consisted mainly of rural settlements, the emphasis on the male line could not be avoided, said Professor of sociology Monica Das Gupta. The boys were to inherit the land of their fathers.
But just a few decades most of the population of South Korea moved to an apartment building. People began to live and work side by side with strangers, the society has become more impersonal.
Of course, the balance between the sexes does not mean the equal right of men and women. So, women’s wages in South Korea are on average 36% less than men (for comparison, in New Zealand, this difference is only about 5%).
Women rarely occupy senior positions, they find it difficult to compete in the workplace and they often quit their jobs. One of the few Koreans who managed to succeed in a career – Chairman of the Korean Foundation for women, Dr. Hyung Lee.
“I was lucky that I was raised in a very enlightened family. There were five of us: three girls and two boys. And all were equal quality education,” says 68-year-old Hyung Lee.
For thirty years she was the only female professors in its University.
To move forward
The position of women in South Korea is improving gradually. Society becomes more educated and exposed to global trends. The preference for boys often give only the representatives of the older generation.
26-year-old Korean woman, who wished to remain anonymous, says that he never thought about this issue until her brothers were born.
“Then I saw that the grandparents treat them differently. They were never forced to do chores, and I was even forbidden to celebrate his birthday because he had the day before the birthday of my father – and the girl can’t celebrate a holiday before the head of the family”.
According to the girls, South Korea is in a transitional period, when people have educated more than their parents, but still lags behind that of the inhabitants of the countries of the West. There is a significant difference between the populations of large cities and small towns: the inhabitants of a small traditional Busan often experience culture shock, getting into more progressive in Seoul.
Slowly but surely the country is changing. But not all are willing to wait for these changes: many young Koreans prefer to continue education in Europe and the West.
Source: bbc.com Anna Stachura