Category: Minority Health

Korea should get real on HIV (JoongAng Daily)

“Put simply, the Korean government’s view and treatment of people living with HIV is outdated and contrary to internationally recognized best practices, and needs to change now.”

The Korean government considers people living with HIV morally unfit to teach English and medically unfit to receive government scholarships to study at Korean universities. But the UN and governments around the world have long recognized that such policies are unjustified on any sort of health or human rights grounds. In such an economically and scientifically advanced country, this is an astonishing reminder that in some respects Korea still needs to catch up with the rest of the world.

Today, foreign English teachers in Korea must pass periodic HIV tests to keep their positions, and foreign graduate students may be disqualified from exchange programs and have government scholarships revoked if they are found to be HIV-positive. International human rights condemnation has not altered these facts.

In 2015, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination decided that Korea’s HIV testing requirements for foreign English teachers could not be justified on public health grounds and qualified as racial discrimination as most ethnic Koreans were not subjected to the same requirement. In late 2016, the National Human Rights Commission of Korea issued two decisions recommending an end to HIV restrictions on foreign English teachers and government-invited foreign graduate school scholarship recipients.

Former President Park Geun-hye and her government ignored all three determinations. However, the May 9 election for a new President offers an opportunity for a new president and government to revisit this issue.

Sadly, shortcomings in public education on HIV/AIDS remain a problem. As a result, many Koreans believe HIV to be far more infectious and transmissible than it really is and see a health threat that in practice does not exist. Contrary to the views of far too many in Korea, HIV cannot be spread through casual contact and modern medications can reduce the likelihood of transmission nearly to zero. Indeed, local health activists report that there are no known cases in Korea of a foreign teacher infecting a student with HIV.

As the Human Rights Commission recognized in its decisions, imposing HIV travel restrictions does not yield any public health benefit to Koreans. Advances in HIV treatment have vastly improved both quality of life and survival for people living with the disease, to the point that it can now be successfully managed with a daily pill. A recent study found that some people living with HIV in the United States “now have life expectancies equal to or even higher than the U.S. general population.”

Work and study restrictions on foreigners living with HIV may, in fact, have negative public health repercussions. By explicitly linking HIV to foreigners, these restrictions play a role in frustrating domestic prevention measures by suggesting that HIV is simply a foreign problem that can be addressed through border control.

By strengthening the stigma against HIV, the government’s restrictions can also discourage HIV-positive Koreans from seeking treatment and contribute to fear of prejudice that causes many people to choose not to get tested for HIV — which increases the disease’s potential for harm. The stigma in Korea is so pervasive that people living with HIV are reportedly 10 times more likely to commit suicide than Koreans without HIV.

The World Health Organization announced that there was no justification for HIV-based travel restrictions in 1987, and in 2006 the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and UNAIDS stated that the practice is “discriminatory and cannot be justified by public health concerns.” In 2012, UNAIDS and the Global Business Coalition on Health presented a pledge by the CEOs of 24 multinational companies opposing HIV travel restrictions.

Fewer and fewer countries maintain travel restrictions on people living with HIV. The U.S. did away with its travel ban in 2010, the same year the Korean government itself recognized restrictions as a form of discrimination. Korea went on to claim at the 2012 International AIDS Conference that it had rescinded all HIV-related travel restrictions on foreigners — even as it continued to require foreigners seeking work visas to undergo health checks that included HIV testing.

Put simply, the Korean government’s view and treatment of people living with HIV is outdated and contrary to internationally recognized best practices, and needs to change now. Preventing people living with HIV from studying or teaching in Korea may fuel xenophobia, does not protect Koreans from HIV, isolates and marginalizes people living with HIV, and perpetuates dangerous popular misconceptions about the realities of the condition. Korean officials should instead recognize that HIV is a global health problem to be addressed through treatment, prevention and education.

Korea prides itself on its technological leadership, and the issues in this presidential election center on modernizing political and business relationships. Instead of banning and shaming people living with HIV, Korea should promote public education about HIV transmission and treatment, improve access to HIV treatment, and combat the damaging myth that a HIV diagnosis represents a moral failure. And it should stop requiring HIV testing for foreign students and teachers.

*The author is the John Gardner Fellow for Health and Human Rights at Human Rights Watch.

Courtney Tran

Article published on :

Children of undocumented migrants called ‘illegal’ and denied basic rights (hankyoreh)


“The children here are frequently sick and have a hard time recovering. Dat, 4, whose parents are from Vietnam, often got pneumonia because he lived in a mouldy basement. After 50 months, his physical development was only at the 24-month level. Since undocumented migrant children aren’t covered by National Health Insurance, Dat’s parents have to pay the whole doctor’s bill. Even a mild cold ends up costing nearly 20,000 won (US$17.50). “Parents can’t take their children to the doctor unless they’re really sick,” said Bae Sang-yun, director of the center.”




Children learn the process of a caterpillar becoming a butterfly at Asia Chang Daycare Center in Gunpo, Gyeonggi Province, Apr. 28. (by Park Su-ji, staff reporter)

Daycare centre in Gunpo sees number of children rise and fall according to government crackdowns

This daycare center was built by renovating a 182-square meter flat on the second floor of a building. In a small garden out front, there’s a healthy crop of cherry tomatoes that the children planted.

But this place is different from other daycare centers. The teachers watching the children romping around the padded floor are resigned to the possibility that one of them might not show up the next day, without any notice. When parents don’t show up at the appointed time to pick up their children, the teachers think less about the extra work this entails than about a a government crackdown.

Children play on the playground at Asia Chang Daycare Center in Gunpo, Gyeonggi Province, Apr. 28. (by Park Su-ji, staff reporter)

This past January, Asia Chang Daycare Center, which looks after the children of undocumented migrant workers, opened in Gunpo, Gyeonggi Province. The space was provided by the Beautiful Foundation, while the center is run by Asia Chang, a group advocating the human rights of migrants. Just like many other parents, undocumented migrant workers need someone’s help to raise their kids. Official daycare centers are out of their reach, which is why a handful of these alternatives have opened in Seoul and Gyeonggi Province. The children here that are running around in front of your eyes don’t exist, at least according to government records.

The children here are frequently sick and have a hard time recovering. Dat, 4, whose parents are from Vietnam, often got pneumonia because he lived in a mouldy basement. After 50 months, his physical development was only at the 24-month level. Since undocumented migrant children aren’t covered by National Health Insurance, Dat’s parents have to pay the whole doctor’s bill. Even a mild cold ends up costing nearly 20,000 won (US$17.50). “Parents can’t take their children to the doctor unless they’re really sick,” said Bae Sang-yun, director of the center.

Children watch a music video while eating lunch at Asia Chang Daycare Center in Gunpo, Gyeonggi Province, Apr. 28. (by Park Su-ji, staff reporter)

These children aren’t getting free daycare – it costs about 1 million won (US$880) a month per child. But thanks to donations, the parents only have to pay 100,000 won. They’re basically relying not on the government but on good will. As word about the daycare center spread, people have moved to Gunpo from other parts of Gyeonggi Province and from Seoul. The daycare center said there are usually about 10 children at the daycare center, but when there’s a crackdown, the number decreases. There are currently seven children at the center.

Children put name tags on cherry tomatoes they planted at Asia Chang Daycare Center in Gunpo, Gyeonggi Province, Apr. 28. (by Park Su-ji, staff reporter)

Undocumented newborn babies are sometimes sent back to their home countries alone, without their parents. Last week, the parents of a six-month-old baby ultimately gave up their efforts to enroll the child in the center and sent the child home. Even if they had sent the baby to the center, they both have to work until after 9 pm, and there was no one to look after the baby and no money to pay for it. The baby’s mother sobbed as she spoke with Bae on the phone. “If kids had the minimum right to be taken care of, which might include temporary visas for kids, you wouldn’t see babies being separated from their parents before they’ve even been weened,” he said. While South Korean families turn to emergency childcare services provided by the central government and local governments for gaps in their schedule, such services aren’t available for these undocumented migrants.

Groups trying to support undocumented migrant children have tried unsuccessfully to pass the Basic Law to Guarantee the Rights of Migrant Children. The form of assistance they’re currently exploring would entail revising the Child Welfare Act. “South Korean society is disregarding the universal human right of protecting children,” said So Rami, a lawyer with the Gonggam Human Rights Law Foundation. In 1991, South Korea ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which states that all children must be protected from all kinds of discrimination.


By Park Su-ji, staff reporter in Gunpo

Original Article from

Rights watchdog calls for equal disability benefits for refugees (Yonhap)

#social_benefit #health_right #National_Human_Rights_Commission_of_Korea #equal_right_for_disabled_refugee

Refugees with disabilities are entitled to the same social security benefits as Korean nationals, South Korea’s human rights watchdog said Wednesday.

The National Human Rights Commission of Korea said that it has asked the minister of health and welfare to revise the Welfare of Disabled Persons Act and related guidelines to ensure disabled refugees living in South Korea are treated equally with handicapped Korean citizens.

This photo, taken on Jan. 23, 2017, shows Lee Sung-ho, the chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission of Korea, presiding over a meeting in Seoul. (Yonhap)

The commission began its review of the nation’s refugee benefit policy last year after finding out that a refugee child with a brain disorder was unable to enroll in school after failing to register as disabled and receive the relevant state subsidies.

The commission noted that international human rights accords, such as the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, along with domestic refugee laws stipulate equal treatment of refugees and host country nationals in terms of social security benefits. (Yonhap)


Original Article from:

Moon Opposed Legalizing Homosexuality, But Is Against Discrimination of Sexual Minorities (kyunghyang)

South Korean presidential front runner Moon Jae-in has outraged persecuted sexual minority groups by saying during a television debate that he opposes homosexuality.

“Homosexuality is not an issue we can be in favor of or against. Sexual identity is literally an issue of sexual identity.”
-Sim Sang-jeung

But the only one candidate who stood up for equal rights for sexual minorities had to bear vulgar hate-speech on woman from other MAN-candidate.

#Homosexuality #Discrimination #Sexual_identity_not_preference #hatespeach #HomophobicKorea


Presidential candidates Moon Jae-in of the Minjoo Party of Korea, Hong Jun-pyo of the Liberty Korea Party, Ahn Cheol-soo of the People's Party, Yoo Seong-min of the Bareun Party and Sim Sang-jeung of the Justice Party sit at a round table taking part in a TV debate organized by JTBC, the JoongAng Daily, and the Korean Political Science Association at Bitmaru in Goyang-si, Gyeonggi-do on April 25. National Assembly press photographersPresidential candidates Moon Jae-in of the Minjoo Party of Korea, Hong Jun-pyo of the Liberty Korea Party, Ahn Cheol-soo of the People’s Party, Yoo Seong-min of the Bareun Party and Sim Sang-jeung of the Justice Party sit at a round table taking part in a TV debate organized by JTBC, the JoongAng Daily, and the Korean Political Science Association at Bitmaru in Goyang-si, Gyeonggi-do on April 25. National Assembly press photographers

Moon Jae-in (64), the presidential candidate of the Minjoo Party of Korea, announced his opposition to same-sex relationships.
In a debate of presidential candidates organized by JTBC, the JoongAng Daily, and the Korean Political Science Association on April 25, Hong Jun-pyo, the candidate of the Liberty Korea Party asked, “Are you against homosexuality?” to which Moon answered, “I am not fond of it.” When Hong further questioned, “I’m not asking if you like homosexuality, I am asking you if you are for it or against it,” Moon answered, “I am not in favor of legalizing it (homosexuality).”
Hong continued to press Moon mentioning how Park Won-soon, the mayor of Seoul was allowing sexual minorities the right to use Seoul Plaza, to which Moon asked, “How is not discriminating them and allowing them their right to use Seoul Plaza the same as recognizing it (homosexuality)?” repeatedly expressing his opposition to same-sex relationships. When Hong again asked, “Do you think that homosexuality within the military weakens our defense power?” Moon answered, “Yes, I think so.” Finally, when Hong again asked, “Are you against homosexuality?” Moon replied, “Yes.”
Moon’s comments about homosexuality revealed that Moon opposed any discrimination against sexual minorities, but still he did not approve of homosexuality. The comment triggered criticism, for it was made during a public debate by a strong presidential candidate, who was a former human rights lawyer.
Sim Sang-jeung, the presidential candidate of the Justice Party expressed strong regret during the debate. Sim said, “Homosexuality is not an issue we can be in favor of or against. Sexual identity is literally an issue of sexual identity.” “I am heterosexual, but I believe the rights and freedom of sexual minorities should be respected,” she added. She further said, “I am very disappointed at Moon, who has retreated from the Anti-Discrimination Act he had been promoted since the Roh Moo-hyun government.”
Hong Sung-soo, a professor at Sookmyung Women’s University, also wrote on Facebook, “If it were Europe, his statement would be regarded as a hateful comment and be subject to punishment.” He added, “I am really very disappointed and angry.”
Later in the debate, when Hong again asked Moon about homosexuality, Moon said, “I have no intention to legalize same-sex marriage. But I oppose discrimination.”




Original article from:

1 in 4 Koreans suffer mental illness: survey (Koreaherald)

Is policy assuring psychiatric treatment of mental disease enough for the current mental suffering of Koreans like the article says? What about absence of sickness allowance and societal stigma attached to the mental disease?


One in 4 South Koreans experience mental disorders more than once in their lifetimes, while just one-tenth of the mentally ill seek professional help, according to government data released Wednesday

The Ministry of Health and Welfare’s survey of 5,102 adults showed that about 25 percent of the respondents had suffered mental disorders, such as depression, schizophrenia and alcohol addiction, at least once in their lives. About 12 percent had experienced psychiatric illnesses in the past year.

The study noted that an increasing number of people are diagnosed with depression and the disease is more prevalent among women.


About 5 percent of those surveyed had suffered from depression at least once. The proportion is higher among women at 6.9 percent compared to 3 percent for men.

One in 10 female respondents had experienced postpartum depression, the study showed.

As for schizophrenia, about 1.8 percent had the disorder at least once in their life and 0.5 percent within the past year.

The survey also showed that 75 percent of those who had attempted suicide and 68 percent of those who had planned to do so had experienced a metal disorder.

The survey results come after a recent shocking case involving a schizophrenic teenager kidnapping and killing an 8-year-old girl in Incheon. The incident shed light on the country’s failure to cope with the growing prevalence of mental disorders.

Experts suggested the government should create an environment where patients of mental disorders can receive timely care and treatment, without fear of being sent to hospitals against their will.

Professor Hong Jin-pyo of Samsung Medical Center, who participated in the survey, said “the overall prevalence rate of mental illnesses among Koreans is decreasing compared to previous years,” adding that a growing number of psychiatric treatments at clinics may help reduce the rate.

“But compared to developed countries, South Korea still lacks governmental policies to raise awareness and provide treatment for mentally ill people,” Hong said.

The government has been conducting a nationwide in-depth survey into the mental health of Koreans since 2001. The most recent survey, the fourth of its kind, was conducted from July to November 2016.

By Kim Da-sol (


Original article from :

After “I, Daniel Blake” protest, disabled activists get a bill for building defacement(hankyoreh)

#Framework_Act_on_Social_Security #SADD #Solidarity_against_disability_Discriination #$2,300_for_the_demonstration


Park Gyeong-seok, co-representative of the group Solidarity against Disability Discrimination, spray paints his name on the wall of the Social Security Committee, while calling for passage of an amendment to the Framework Act on Social Security, Feb. 15. (by Kim Jeong-hyo, staff photographer)

Inspired by British movie, activists called for expansion of disability benefits and recognition of their humanity

“You defaced the exterior of our service’s building during the ‘I, Daniel Blake. Welfare in South Korea Today’ event on February 15. We requested [an estimate of] restoration expenses from a professional company and received a reply stating that they would cost 2,717,000 won (US$2,358).”

Park Gyeong-seok, co-representative of the group Solidarity against Disability Discrimination (SADD), received a notice on Feb. 28 from the National Pension Service demanding over US$2,300 in damages for the defacing of its office during a Feb. 15 demonstration.

Park had used red spray paint to write the message “I, Park Gyeong-seok, am a human being, not a dog” on the building, which houses the Social Security Committee. It was a South Korean version of the “I, Daniel Blake” declaration. British director Ken Loach’s film “I, Daniel Blake,” which opened in late 2016, tells of a protagonist who applies for health benefits when a heart ailment leaves him unable to work. Instead of receiving the benefits, he suffers various indignities. At one point, he uses spray paint to write a message on the employment center building reading, “I, Daniel Blake, demand my appeal date [for benefits] before I starve. And change that shite music on the phones.”

Park said he anticipated the request for damages, but added that he was “shocked at the ‘otherizing’ attitude, the way they acted as though welfare issues for disabled people – such as disability class rulings and decisions on recognized points for assistance services – were not their responsibility.”

“They don’t reply at all about the demands I made to the service, but they send a notice focusing only on the fact that the building was defaced. . . .”

With its Feb. 15 demonstration, SADD demanded that the National Pension Service expand its welfare services for disabled persons and called for passage of an amendment to the Framework Act on Social Security to revise the consultation and coordination system between the central and provincial governments. Assistance services for disabled persons were reduced or halted for some local governments after the government’s Social Security Committee (chaired by the Prime Minister) decided in 2015 to demand local governments throughout South Korea fully reexamine their social security systems as part of a plan for “improved social services finance efficiency.”

The National Pension Service has demanded payment of the damages by Mar. 15, warning that it would pursue legal action if they are not paid in full.

“We need to share how conditions really are for disabled people, even if it’s like this,” Park said.“Look at how much humiliation disabled people suffer as human beings under a system created by the state and the institutions enforcing it,” he added.


By Ko Han-sol, staff reporter

Article from :

South Korea takes down website that maps its most fertile female citizens

#gender, #fertile_female_map, #lowest_birth_rate, #sexist_government_of_South_Korea

Feminist campaigners are not happy about the pink-coloured map

South Korea has taken down a website showing where its most fertile female citizens live within hours of it going live.

The pink-coloured map showed users where there were the most women aged 15 to 49 as part of the government’s drive to reverse a flagging birth rate.

But a storm of criticism led it to deactivate the site while it undergoes corrections. People had complained that it treated the birth rate as a problem that only related to women, because there were no pictures of men on the site.

Feminist campaigner Lee Min-kyung, 24, said: “I felt so angered that it blatantly showed how the government saw women’s bodies as the country’s reproductive tools.”

South Korean ministers said the website “was established to encourage local governments to learn and compare other governments’ benefits and to promote free competition”.

Users could also check what benefits local authorities could give them if they had a child, the average marriage age and other information.

The country has tried a number of methods to boost the birth rate, including cracking down on illegal abortions and turning off lights in office buildings early to encourage workers to head home.

South Korea has one of the lowest birth rates in the world, significantly lower than it was 50 years ago. Officials fear a shrinking workforce will hit economic growth.


Original article from


Women in South Korea launch Polish-inspired pro-choice campaign to fully legalise abortion

#reproductive_right #mybodymychoice #prochoice_movement

South Korean pro-choice activists are demanding the full legalisation of abortion in the country.

Inspired by the Black Monday protests in Poland, a coalition of groups including Womad and Women’s online community union have started working together on a campaign calling for people to post pictures of themselves wearing black on social media and participating in Sunday gatherings in Seoul

All organisers and participants opt to remain anonymous, not showing their face in their social media posts, shared under the hashtags #blacksunday_korea, #mybodymychoice, covering their faces. A spokeswoman for the organising groups told IBTimes UK that they fear repercussions on their personal lives. In July, game company Nexon fired voice actress Jayeon Kim because she wore a t-shirt reading “girls do not need a prince”.

“I don’t need a hero. I need a friend.”
Star vs. the Forces of Evil EP08

“This shows that we are at risk of losing our jobs just for being feminist,” the spokeswoman said, adding that feminists have suffered sexual harassment, verbal abuse, and violation of privacy for demonstrating and postings pro-choice messages.

In South Korea, abortion is technically illegal. It is only allowed in case of serious illness, threats to the woman’s or the foetus’ life or rape, but only within the first 24 weeks. After that period, all abortions are banned. In 2012, the constitutional court voted to uphold the abortion ban that was put in place in 1953.

Yet, around 200,000 abortions are performed every year, only 5% of which are legal, highlighting the discrepancy between the widespread practice of abortion and its strict punishment under Korean law. A woman inducing an abortion through the use of drugs or other means is punishable with up to a year in jail or a KRW 2m (£1450, $1365) fine, but men are excluded from such punishment. Doctors found performing abortions face up to two years in prison.

South Korea pro-choice protestors
Pro-abortion demonstrators have organised Sunday gatherings in Seoul to demand the full legalisation of abortionSupplied to IBTimes UK

Following recent government attempts to strengthen punishment for doctors, South Korean activists decided it was time to take to the streets. “The Polish demonstration was so impressive it moved our hearts,” the spokeswoman said, explaining the motivation behind the protest. The South Korean activists adopted the Polish black protests’ symbol of the uterus giving the finger and the black dress code.

South Korea elected Park Geun-hye as its first female president in 2013. Asked whether having a woman in power will strengthen support for the pro-choice movement, she said: “We hope everyone will support and listen to our voice. Of course, we want Korean politicians to fight to complete abortion legalisation.”

Referring to the 2017 presidential election, she added: “Young women will consider candidates’ women’s policies as their first priority.”

South Korea pro-choice banner
A pro-choice demonstrator holds a rainproof banner in the black Sunday protest in Seoulsupplied to IBTimes UK

Everyday 13.6 Children Are Abandoned Due to Abusive Parents and Poverty

#abondoned_child #economic_hardship  #unemployment #poverty #Korea
Bak (7) was entrusted to a welfare facility in Uijeongbu, Gyeonggi-do early this year. His father abandoned him after losing his job, divorcing his wife, and suffering from economic burdens. Currently, Bak has lost contact with his father. His father left saying, “I’ll return when I make a lot of money,” but so far he has not once visited him.

The number of children abandoned due to their parents’ unemployment, abuse and poverty is increasing.

On September 6, the Ministry of Health and Welfare announced that the number of children protected by the state or social groups, because they could not receive care at home was 4,975 last year. This means that 13.63 children are being abandoned by their parents every day. A closer look according to regions shows that the most number of children were abandoned in Seoul (1,480), followed by Gyeonggi-do (682), Gangwon-do (335), Incheon (280), and Jeollanam-do (268). The biggest reason children were abandoned was because of abuse (1,094 cases). Other reasons included parental divorce (1,070), single mothers (930), and the parents’ poverty and unemployment.

In the case of Gyeonggi-do, the number of abandoned children aged six or younger increased nearly six-fold in the past three years from eleven in 2013 to 37 in 2014, and 64 in 2015. The majority of these children were secretly abandoned by their parents. The number of children secretly abandoned by their parents was ten in 2013, 33 in 2014, and 61 in 2015. The number of children who were lost (lost but never reunited with their parents) was one in 2013, four in 2014 and three in 2015.

The number of children requiring protection from the provincial districts and not the home due to their parents’ abuse, divorce, or because they were born to a single mother increased by 24 during the same period: 658 in 2013, 689 in 2014, and 682 in 2015. The children who were secretly abandoned by their parents accounted for 1.7% of the children requiring care in 2013, but their percentage increased every year to 4.7% in 2014 and 10.4% in 2015. More than half of the children requiring protection go to a childcare and protection facility and the number of children in the care of foster homes is relatively small. Among the 682 children requiring protection last year, 57 returned to their parents, but 390 out of the remaining 625 children went to a facility and 235 were put in the care of foster homes.

Experts point out that this phenomenon is the result of moral corruption and the collapse of social values. One representative of a child protection facility said, “Most of the parents are still alive, and the children are being abandoned because of their divorce. Such behavior is seen because of the moral corruption of the overall society as well as their parents and because of the collapse of social values.” She added, “It is important to prevent children from being abandoned, but we also need drastic measures to protect those that are.”

Korea low in gender-related indexes

#Gender_gap #Glass_ceiling_index #Korea

South Korea recorded low in two significant gender-related indexes, including the latest Gender Gap Report released annually by the World Economic Forum, a local study showed on Sunday.

According to the report, compiled by the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs, the World Economic Forum placed South Korea at 115 out of 145 countries in its annual index on gender equality last year.

The index has a total of four categories, including economic participation and opportunity, education and health and survival. South Korea’s rank in women’s economic participation and opportunity dropped significantly since 2006, the year the index was first published, according to the report.

In 2006, South Korea ranked in the 96th place in the specific category, belonging to the lowest 17 percent. Last year, the country ranked at an even lower place, 125th, belonging to the lowest 14 percent.


South Korea was also placed at the bottom — along with Japan and Turkey – among the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries in this year’s “glass-ceiling index” compiled and published by the British weekly the Economist. The index was created after combining data on women’s higher education, labor force population, maternity rights and representation in leadership roles, among others.

“In South Korea the favorable parental-leave system is mainly a response to its aging populations and shrinking labor force; but in other aspects it is far behind the Nordic countries, whose commitment to sexual equality goes back a long way,” the paper wrote.

A 2014 report from the International Monetary Fund found that the wide gender wage gap in South Korea is linked to the country’s employment market that often offers little job security.

“These indexes show that little is being done to tackle gender disparity in South Korea,” wrote researcher Park Geum-ryeong in the report. “Among many other things, Korea should come up with its own gender index that is conscious of the country’s unique social and cultural climate that affects the lives of women, such as social pressure on child care and domestic chores.”

By Claire Lee (


Article from :