Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Expectations for Korean Women

From the New York Times:

Before giving birth, check that your family has sufficient toilet paper. Prepare ready-made meals for your husband, who surely “is not good at cooking.” Tie up your hair, “so that you don’t look disheveled” even as you go without a bath. And after the baby arrives, keep a “small-size” dress in sight — you’ll need motivation not to take that extra bite.

These words of advice, offered to pregnant women by the authorities in Seoul, have created a backlash in South Korea, where the government can ill afford to fumble as it desperately tries to compel women to have more babies and reverse the world’s lowest birthrate.

The pregnancy guidelines were first published on a government website in 2019. But they caught the attention of the public only in recent days, causing an outcry on social media, where people said they reflected outmoded views that persist in segments of the deeply patriarchal society and petitioned for their removal.

Yong Hye-in, an activist and politician, said that under the guidelines, a woman’s child-rearing responsibilities were doubled by having to care for her husband too. A better tactic for those married to men incapable of doing things like throwing away rotting food, Ms. Yong wrote on Twitter, would be divorce.

Read more here.

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/family_law/2021/01/expectations-for-korean-women.html

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