Study Finds Korean Husbands Do Least Housework in OECD

Article from Yonhap News:

OECD Study: Korean Husbands Ranks Lowest in Sharing Housework

Korean married men spend a daily average of 45 minutes in doing housework, with 10 minutes for childcare and 21 minutes for housekeeping.

A report, published by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), revealed that Korea ranks lowest in a survey of hours husbands spend doing housework in 29 countries.

Conducted to mark Women’s Day on March 8th, the OECD analysis, based on statistics compiled from countries on how husbands spend their time, found that Korean husbands spend an average of 45 minutes doing house chores and childcare, disgracefully placing last following India, Japan and China.

For Korean husbands, looking after children takes up 10 minutes, followed by Japan with seven minutes and India with six minutes. When it comes to house cleaning and doing laundry, Korean husbands takes the penultimate spot with 21 minutes spent, only followed by Indian counterparts with 19 minutes.

Infographic based on  a report released by the Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation, shows houseworking time by men in coutries.

Titled, “Please Help Your wife with Housework,” Infographic, based on a report released by the Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation, shows Korean husbands spend the least time doing housework in the OECD countries.

In stark contrast, Danish husbands top the list with 186 minutes spent in housework, followed by Norwegian and Australian husbands with 184 and 172 minutes respectively.

The report shows that Danish men’s house working time is comprised of taking care of families (20 minutes), housework (107 minutes), and shopping (22 minutes).

Husbands in three Northeastern countries - South Korea, Japan and China – and Turkey, Mexico, India, etc. spend remarkably little time sharing housework with their wife.

[...]

The OECD said in its analysis that women’s presence in social activity has increased over the past 50 years, which has diminished their unpaid work time. However, the decrease has not been offset by a rise in the time men spend in doing household work.

Comments from Daum:

항우:

Then, what place does Korea take in the amount of working hours? How many hours do Danish men work outside the home? When you cherry-pick data, you end up talking nonsense…

가글하세요: [responding to above]

Simple statistical figures don’t tell you the whole story. Does South Korea have as good labor systems and childcare support as Northern European countries? Ke ke ke, talk about equality in the right context, ke ke ke. 

웃기지마: [responding to 항우]

Even if men or women want to have babies and raise them, it is extremely hard to get home from work early because of insanely long overtime. Even if they are willing to share housework, men are tied to their workplace by their superiors. Is there any time to spend with lovely wives and babies? How can we do house chores when we go home just to sleep?

진아: [responding to 항우]

Some married women also work and do overtime. Why are women expected to take care of all house chores and children even when they are working?

고길동:

I’d be really happy to help with housework. I respect my wife, and love my son.. As a self-employed breadwinner, however, I work more than 12 hours a day, and we are still struggling. If I have to help with house chores on top of that, I might as well be a slave. If my wife can go out to make money, then I’d rather choose to be a stay-at-home dad.

낚시하까: [responding to above]

Just try to help with housework whenever possible. Also, cut down on drinking.

ㅇㅇ: [responding to 고길동]

In this comment section, there are many women who seem to think their husbands bring money home after just killing time at work. Housewives can regularly take breaks after sending four or five-year-old kids to daycare. Do you think husbands can do something like that at work?

어슴프레한하늘: [responding to 고길동]

Don’t make such a comparison. Do you think housewives’ work is less hard? No. Try doing housework as much as your wife does. I would welcome you even if you don’t make money.

정의:

The problem is that even if a couple has a dual income, the wife does more housework.

스커틀:

Isn’t it too hard on Korean men who top the list of deaths from overworking?

진아: [responding to above]

Then, do you think the women who have a job, work overtime and even do housekeeping are immortal?

morrissey:

Korea would also rank lowest in how equally men and women take on workloads. I don’t mean to divide between genders, but just want to say that rights and duties should be equally shared between men and women. I bet women in few other countries in the world are more dependent on men than women in Korea except those in underdeveloped countries.

baskia502: [responding to above]

That’s because Korean society provides poor working conditions for women. Even if married women want to continue working, employers hope they quit after marriage. On top of it, after a working woman gives birth to her child, one member of the couple has to quit working in order to provide childcare and most times it is the woman who quits. Please comment after realizing that Korean society is hard on working women.

aesyks:

Men’s lack of contribution to housework explains why women are unwilling to have babies. All problems lie in men. They just want to take wives to bed for sex, but are hardly cooperative in housework.

예의범절 악플러:

This journalist wench has something against men. Denmark and Norway ranked first and second in a survey of happiness released by the United Nations, and are welfare states having the shortest working hours for men in the world. The men there don’t break their neck working. They can leave work at 3 or 4 p.m. to enjoy free time. For a legitimate comparison, the journalist bitch should have also compared working hours among the countries mentioned, including Korea. Please name me a country where men equally share housework with their wives while they work outside much longer than women.

별명없음:

The majority of Korean men suffer long working hours with low wages. To feed families, 24 hours a day is not enough. So Korean men spend little time at home. This article with its absurd data presentation attempts to stomp on Korean men who are already down.

Share This Article
Help us maintain a vibrant and dynamic discussion section that is accessible and enjoyable to the majority of our readers. Please review our Comment Policy »
  • Bryan Cheron

    I wonder how the stats differ between generations? I wouldn’t be surprised if younger husbands fare better in the housework department than their older counterparts.

    • chucky3176

      A part of it is generational attitude towards gender roles, but the other major part is that many South Korean men are just too tired. Too tired of being overworked, and drunk from all the drinking to further their careers. They are never home for most the day, how can they help out? The days they are home, they’re probably sleeping off the alcohol binge drinking session of the previous nights, that are required if they need to further their careers.

      • linette lee

        That is the most sexist statement I have ever heard. Men working full time outside are tired and no time for kids and house work. What about women working full time?

        • chucky3176

          Sorry kiddo, but Korean women’s labor participation rate in the OECD is only about 55%, well below the 85% average. They also have the lowest rate of giving birth at 1.18 per kids, an all time low in 2013. I think Korean women also spend too much time fretting over their kid’s extra curricular after school education. They spend way too much time driving their kids to death, by driving them around private tutoring classes and fretting over which schools to go to, being evil hard case moms. Sometimes they’re like slave masters. If they put that much energy and effort into their careers, they would be much more productive.

          • bigmamat

            I’m sorry Chuck but you know that the culture has to change for that to change. I think economics will drive the cultural change. It appears with record low birth rates in order for Korea to remain competitive it will need to put more of it’s women to work. In order to do that a cultural change will need to also take place that makes the workplace more woman friendly. As for the hyper competition from parents I think that’s just their form of social security. After all the culture also dictates that children will provide for their parents in old age as well.

          • linette lee

            55%? I find that very hard to believe. I am pretty sure you are way way exaggerating. Most big cities in the world like Shanghai, Hong Kong, New York, Tokyo…etc etc.99% of women are working even after marriages. Even the upper class they have jobs because it’s almost like a life style they are used to. No one stay home and just drive kids to tutoring. Unless they are super rich and lazy. But if they are super rich they have babysitters that do all that right.

            You said I know nothing about China and Hk. I say you don’t know much about the real lives in South Korea. Everyone is busy bees. I doubt you ever live there or work there.

          • bigmamat

            He’s right I believe, there was a report a couple of months ago that ranked Korea pretty low for women’s rights. One of the things the report looks at is workforce participation.

          • Sillian

            The employment rates for Korean, American and Japanese women (ages 15-64) were 53.5%, 62.2% and 60.7%, respectively in 2012. The total employment rates in those countries were 64.2%, 67.1% and 70.6%

            http://www.oecd.org/els/emp/keyemploymentstatistics.htm

          • bigmamat

            Yeah I remember when that report came out. I think the U.S. ranked lower this year as well somewhere in the 60s range for women’s rights while Korea was somewhere around 120 or something. I don’t remember a lot about the rankings but i do remember it included things like economic opportunity and wage parity in their ranking scheme.

          • Sillian

            As we already discussed much, the report wasn’t directly about ‘women’s rights’. They measured disparities between men and women in each country. For example, even a female-to-male ratio like 15/14 can rank so much higher than 99/100 where each numerator and denominator represents a percentage of something for each gender.

          • bigmamat

            I see. Math. Not my thing unless it’s 30% off…I’m good at that…

          • chucky3176

            I stand corrected by Sillian. I am partly wrong. The women in their 20′s now out employ men in their same age group. And the gap has been widening for the last four years.

            http://www.arirang.co.kr/News/News_View.asp?nseq=159427

            The thing is though, this is not the age group that are in the marriage age group. Sillian fails to point out that when they hit their 30′s, and start getting married and have babies, the women typically quit their jobs, thus their employment rate starts to slide down as they age. The big homework is to let the women keep their job after marriage and children.

          • bigmamat

            I agree but I’m told the working atmosphere for women with children is not good. Believe me even in countries like the U.S. where women have been working outside the home for several decades it’s still difficult. The cost of child care in the U.S. is astronomical. Gone are the days when you can hire some stay at home mom to take care of your kid for a few bucks a week. It’s actually gotten harder in recent years because nobody is paying anyone a decent wage anymore. In the U.S. if your job is designated “salaried” then you can be worked longer hours without overtime pay. There was a time when companies were attempting to make work conditions easier for working families but those days are gone. Very few companies now are inclined to do much more than treat people like they are disposable.

          • linette lee

            You know what is so funny about these reports. Or in general any type of survey. They don’t tell you the whole picture. How many people participated in these surveys? You mean women working those low pay jobs like cashiers for small stores etc etc…actually come fill out those survey right? Also 62% for USA seems awfully low. You have many people in USA their employers pay their employees cash so they look like they don’t have paychecks. They won’t admit they are working making incomes.

            I grew up in a big city and now living in another big city. I have two eyes and I can see 8 out of 10 women are currently working in all those first world countries. The only time they are not working is when they got layoff or they are one of those women like Nadya Suleman getting benefits. Then you have a small percentage of disability and the very very wealthy who can’t or don’t need to work or study. But yeah, most women work in the first world countries.

          • Sam Chung

            You speak only by drawing from the experiences of middle/upper middle class Korean women, the stereotype of which is the so-called “Gangnam moms”.

            Most South Korean women don’t have that luxury. Most will engage in child rearing activities, household chores, and are most likely to be employed part-time in the informal sector (recycling, cleaning, house cleaning, food carts, and etc). One reason why the ROK female employment OVERALL is so dismal is b/c older women usually engage work in these informal sectors not easily unaccounted for official surveys and accounting practices.That women “don’t work” is a myth. From the beginning of time til now, women have ALWAYS worked. They just never worked in “meaningful” sectors, the sectors that society and government say are important.

            For younger college educated women, employment prospects are much better, with female employment rate outstripping male employment rate in the 20-30 age bracket.

          • bigmamat

            That sounds about right. So Korea doesn’t count food service and these kinds of jobs. Good for them because America does and it makes it look like people are actually employed. Our figures include a lot of shit jobs that don’t pay enough to even count as a job. We have millions of people who are “under employed” meaning they work but the pay is so low you can’t live on it.

      • bigmamat

        I haven’t looked it up yet but would I be surprised to find out that liver disease and the other types of problems associated with excessive alcohol consumption plagues Korea’s population? The only way to change a culture is to stop accepting it. For years cigarette companies had a grip on the American public but through a political and cultural change brought about by the evidence of it’s detrimental health affects that changed. Now it is no longer fashionable or legal to light up in public. Why do Koreans insist on falling into lock step with outdated traditions that are detrimental to their health and well being?

        • chucky3176

          Because that’s the only way for them to further their careers in a society which awards personal relations with important people.

          The only way to break the cycle of institutionized culture, are either through social rebellion (and that’s not going to happen in Korea), or government enacted laws.

          • Sam Chung

            Your underestimation of the South Korean society is galling. South Koreans have always resorted to mass movements and revolutionary activities, even under the most repressive rules of dictators.

          • bigmamat

            I do come into contact with Korean young people here on the internet and I’m often puzzled. So many of them seem to have so many entrenched ideas and they can be just brutal about enforcing them. I often wonder to myself where are the rebellious youth in SK? Do they actually have any? Don’t Korean kids ever rebel against their parents? Don’t they ever question authority? Many of them will vehemently defend archaic gender roles and the rules about social status as though changing these things would bring about some kind of apocalypse. Korean young people on the internet are some of the best thought police I have encountered.

  • zeus

    IMO wife’s need to stay invthe kitchen and do housework.

    • linette lee

      Then she is a gold digger because she is spending her husband’s income and not outside working. No? Most societies today believe women who stay home after marriage are lazy and married for money.

      The best way to do it is put the baby in daycare and hire a babysitter to watch during night time. I am sure there are people who will stay overnight to babysit kid Monday to Friday. Both parents are working outside. No time for childcare. Weekend the father can clean the whole house while the mother babysit. That’s the only way to survive living in the city working full time.

      • Thor

        Good housekeeping doesn’t equate gold digging, I’m sorry. Doing things yourself leads to save a lot of money. It’s a matter of lifestyle and choices.

        • linette lee

          Don’t you hear that very often? The women who want to become stay home moms when looking for husbands, they will look for men who will allow them to. But then these women are labeled lazy and use marriage as meal tickets. They are looking for a easy way out of working = gold diggers.

          • lol

            Congradulations! you just emascalted all the stay at home mothers and wives because in your world they are gold diggers… Your generalization is simply inaccurate and incorrect.

            An example. My friend’s wife and my wife as well, stays home to take care of the kids (we have 2 each), keeps the house and manages the kid’s schedules day to day. That is more work than FT employed person would ever put in. Farthest thing from being a gold digger.

            You are obviously unmarried and childless and entitled to your opinion no matter how wrong they are… So I will leave it at that…

          • pk@fire

            They’re saying that society labels such people as gold diggers. Not that they themselves hold that opinion.

          • Boris_Da_Bengal_Tiger

            Do they? which Society? I know women are now expected to work these days but I haven’t come across this label of housewives. Maybe it is a HK thing as Linette is from HK, or maybe a US thing because apparently that is where she is living now.

          • bigmamat

            I don’t know what she’s talking about…I think a lot of American women are envious of stay at home moms. So many women actually have to work in order to maintain a comfortable lifestyle or even make ends meet the idea of staying at home with the kids seems like a luxury. The problem with working women is that even with a full time job most of us were responsible for the housework and the kids. Our men help but still the work at home is rarely divided equally. Housework and child care is subject that a lot of couples find difficult to balance with work outside the home. Stay at home moms are great but a working mom is a fucking saint.

          • linette lee

            “a lot of American women are envious of stay at home moms”

            Not the professional women. Women who completed professional university degrees usually do not give up their goals and careers for anything, not even marriage. They studied too hard for it and now they are professionals. You won’t see doctors, accountants, engineering all these professional women giving up years of university studies just to become housewife. Housewife means you have to be a maid and a babysitter. They rather hire people to do house work for them so they can pursue their careers. And in major cities around the world is where you will find most of these women.

            And yes, in major cities most women have to work just to maintain the level of comfortable lifestyle they are used too. That is why I find it impossible for wives in big cities don’t work. How is that even possible?

          • Boris_Da_Bengal_Tiger

            “Housewife means you have to be a maid and a babysitter.” – It is more than that. Yes, the tasks a housewife does would fall under what a maid and babysister does, but they also have to cook, so it is also a cooks job, they also have to take care of household finances, so accountant, they also have to help with school work, so teacher, etc. Not everyone can hire people to take care of their kids and housework. Many have to work and do the tasks of a housewife. Then there are those who cannot get work, so one half becomes the hosuewife/husband (the latter rare, I know) while the other half works.

          • bigmamat

            You are right that professionals don’t give up their careers to be mothers. Who would. However I think every woman that decides to have children and a career probably has moments of wishing she could stay at home and give up the grind. The good thing about being an American woman is that one way or the other society will not look down on you for making that choice. There may be a select few and there may be some who have religious objections to a working woman but the broader society allows women to work or stay at home without judgement.

          • linette lee

            Exactly. women from most cities usually are expected to work even after marriage. Even the upper class. Upper class people they have “upper” bills to pay. lol. But of course if you are super rich like the wife of Bill Gate or Paris Hilton or etc etc Ms Sheraton. Of course you don’t have to study or work.

          • milo

            I’ve read your comments for awhile in different forums and there has been a question that has bugged me:
            Are you functionally retarded?

          • linette lee

            you are such a dumba55.

          • linette lee

            I didn’t say that. As the matter of fact, I think women who want to stay home and be stay home moms should do just that. The men they married to should let them. The husbands will just have to work 2 jobs. It’s better for the kids anyway. But unfortunately if single women demand that from their future husbands the men don’t like that. They feel like they are being used as meal ticket. Some will even accuse the girl marrying for financial support.

            I never said stay home moms have easy jobs. Hxll no. It’s tough and they work like a maid 24 hours. They are not being appreciated and have to depend on their husbands for financial support. Their husbands don’t pay them for cleaning, cooking, and babysitting. If I have to do that I expect my husband to pay my salary. lol. Full with pension please. And sick leave, and pay holidays, and pay vacation leaves, and I don’t work weekend. lol.

            no no no..just kidding.

          • Yaminah Jamison

            canSo you try to disprove a statistic above (about Chinese men cooking) which I feel you know more about obviously being surrounded by them but you take a generalization to the max and really equate it to everyone. It’s kinda contradicting… My sis in law is a stay at home mom but not a gold digger…the family is still broke even though my brother brings home a decent check. It’s about balance and how that family manage stuff. Like if a mom worked just to put them in daycare why do so if she ccan care for them for free….?

            Anywho there’s many two working family parents because it’s to maintain whatever lifestyle they have or want or because they have to make ends meet… not because a woman wanna prove they’re not lazy. Just what a way to really go out with that stereotype.

          • linette lee

            I didn’t say stay home moms are gold diggers. I am saying in general most societies in the world today see women without jobs spending their husband’s money married for financial reasons. Or young women only want to marry men that will allow them to not work and be stay home mom, are labeled as marrying for financial support or AKA gold digger. I Didn’t say that. The men did. THE MEN DID.

            Ok..I myself think stay home moms are not given enough credit. I think that’s a very tough job. Lots of responsibilities like cooking, cleaning, school tutor, delivery person(groceries), nurse(kid sick) long hours work 24/7, no paycheck at all like working for free, no pension, and the worst thing is that they are not being appreciated by anyone. Some husbands think their wives are lower than them because they give money to the wives. People outside think the stay home moms are very lucky have easy job.

            And this is me. Just me okay. With so much negative reputation of stay home moms. for those women who make a decent salary is not worth it to stay home. Go work outside and split all the bills with your husband from daycare, to overnight babysitter, to hire a tutor to do hw with kids, to cleaning/cooking maid. And it’s true after all the bills get paid you really have no money left but you have your dignity. You are a working woman financially independent from your husband and your kids Ace all classes because of money you spend on tutoring. You still have weekend available with your kids and husband. I think that’s a good life.

  • prin12

    “Conducted to mark Women’s Day on March 8th, the OECD analysis… Korean husbands spend an average of 45 minutes doing house chores and childcare, disgracefully placing last following India, Japan and China.”

    since when was india and china OECD nations??

    • Gabrielle

      OECD regularly conducts studies ranging further than its members.

    • bigmamat

      I guess that’s why it’s so “shameful”…non OECD men do more housework than industrialized nations…

      • linette lee

        Chinese men are very good with housework. They cook better than most Chinese women. Like my father and my brother. My father spoils my mom. Also I heard in Shanghai the women they wear the pants. Like the husband and wife both work outside, when they get home the husband goes to the kitchen and start cooking. It’s automatic. hahaha. They spoil their women.

        • chucky3176

          Oh really? Then why did the article says this?

          “Husbands in three Northeastern countries – South Korea, Japan and China – and Turkey, Mexico, India, etc. spend remarkably little time sharing housework with their wife.”

          Clearly, the study says Chinese men spend little time sharing houseworks with their wives. Once again, looks like you don’t know what you’re talking about.

          • linette lee

            It’s strange isn’t it. I am surrounded by married Chinese men and they are really pretty good. No joke. Most of my neighbors are married. Italian men are pretty good cook too. They can also be very traditional and very close to their moms. I think…Latin men are worst doing housework or cook. Their mothers spoiled them so bad.

            Are you a good cook? Cooking ramen don’t count.

          • Zappa Frank

            you think.. but the statistic says otherwise..

          • linette lee

            Which part you think is not true. Italian men can cook. You can cook really good Italian food.

          • milo

            You live in some fantasy world. Italian men are good cooks? How in god’s name would you know that? How many Italian men have you met? 1? 2? None? You know the difference between anecdotal and statistical evidence?
            Just becuase your dad and brother are super chefs who spit shine the toilet everyday doesn’t mean it is in any way representative of the total picture of China/HK wherever the hell you live.
            What next? All French men are romantics? All Americans are cowboys? You are either an idiot or a massive troll and I’m hoping it’s the second becuase it makes me sad to think that such a genuine idiot could exist.

          • bigmamat

            Don’t call her names. Most people you find online don’t know the difference between empirical and anecdotal evidence. It’s hard to get them to understand. She’s also Chinese and obviously “surrounded by Chinese men” which means she’s not coming into contact with a lot of people outside of her own community. I think it’s interesting that the men she knows are so helpful around the house. I really wonder how consistent they are, cooking once a week is a help. Cooking everyday is a damned miracle. One thing about being American that is wonderful. Families are free to decide how to divide the work and run their own households without a lot outside intervention from society. My brother in law did most of the cooking for years because he was better at it and their work schedules made it more expedient for him to make dinner. I was a single mom and did it all. I’ve got to admit that I’d rather cook than cut the damned grass.

          • reality check!

            Sadly it’s not the second with this one… trust me she is as big of an idiot as they come…

        • tony

          i concur.

        • CK7

          I have Chinese friends to coworkers who are abc and also immigrated residents. I have discussed with them who cooks at home for meals and packs their lunch boxes for work, only one just one stated that he cooks at home sometimes. And this dude seems like he enjoys cooking since he frequently talks about food and how to cook them. All others stated that either their wife or their mother cooks at home and packs their lunches.

  • chucky3176

    To remedy this situation, what Korea needs to do is to institute a Netherlands style of employment revolution. Korean governments, companies, and unions should get together to come up with sweeping labor reforms to give more people more time with their families. The goals should be:

    1) Reduce working hours by half.
    2) Reduce number of temporary workers, and raise the rights of temporary workers.
    3) Increase the number of female employment and improve female worker rights.
    4) Increase number of full time employment but reduce the working hours drastically.
    5) Stamp out industry wide practices of after hour drinkings and using company funds to pay for them. Government tax credits should be withdrawn, at least.

    Korea can do this by instituting Dutch style job sharing programs with cooperation from all parties. By increasing the number of workers by reducing working hours will mean there will be more jobs available, and as more workers are employed, the domestic economy will come alive, in turn creating more jobs.
    This has another good effect. As more people have more time on their hands to develop their personal lives and characters, both men and women will also have more time to devote to their families. Shorter working days will mean more happier, satisfied, employed people.

    I have heard nothing good things about the Dutch employment system, are there anyone who’s more familiar with this system?

    • wrle

      Its all great and I agree with you, but it just doesn’t work with korea’s export orientated economy. You have to compare the fundamental differences of the economies of netherlands and korea, and that is what needs to be changed. korea can’t keep manufacturing products for a less than premium price forever. They have to get smarter with their economy before they end up like japan.

      • chucky3176

        I suspect Korea can’t go on forever like that with an export model. But it is so successful right now, with Korea being the 6th largest exporter in the world, it’s impossible currently to wean yourself off so easily, without some paradime change of great magnitude.

      • Lou Maessen

        Im sorry but the Netherlands is an extremely export oriented country. How are they different in that aspect?

      • Sam Chung

        The focus on export doesn’t mean Koreans have to work longer hours. It’s only because companies are used to making their workers stay for longer hours and pay less than what is reasonable. This is the result of 40+years of unchecked rapid economic development–which forced massive labor right violations to keep the pace of growth going–and not necessarily the export intense nature of the ROK economy. ROK economy is now a mature economy. It doesn’t need to be wasting productivity of highly educated population by forcing unnecessary OT.

    • Sam Chung

      Increasing female employment won’t do anything to change the current share of household work between the genders. ROK has a steady increase in female employment already, and in fact the employment rate for females in their 20s has been higher than male employment rate in the same age bracket for the last couple years. Higher expectations from college educated women and female employment won’t force men to change. It’ll simply force women to forgo marriage, which is the current trend in the ROK (and incidentally in Japan)

      What the ROK needs in dealing with the household work imbalance is not necessarily an economic revolution, but a SOCIAL revolution. Economic changes alone are not enough to force down gender divisions, tho they’re helpful in a complementary way. ROK has never had a genuine, large-scale feminist movement on the grassroots level, at least not since WWII. There’s never been a meaningful, sustained gender rights revolution in the ROK, and the feminist movements have been either co-opted by the developmentalist state or functioned as an appendage to political/labor movements. Any changes to gender relations will come from the men and women themselves, not b/c of government policy and company directives. Those options have already been exhausted.

    • MikeinGyeonggi

      Koreans just need to become more efficient workers.

      Koreans go to the office, work slowly for 12 hours, go out drinking with the boss, and then stumble home at 11 PM. Germans and Scandinavians go to the office, work hard for 7 hours, and then go home to be with their families.

      The image consciousness of this society means that it looks bad if you leave work at 5:00. This ridiculousness needs to stop.

      • m0tbaillie

        Couldn’t agree more. Just because Korean men “spend more hours at work” doesn’t mean they’re getting more done. Time spent at work does not necessarily equate to actual productivity/output.

        Koreans stay at work until the boss leaves, and certainly don’t want to be seen leaving at a reasonable time, like 5-6PM. Just because you sit at work from 9-9, then go drinking with coworkers (because you’re “obligated”) on your way home does not mean you’re “working more”.

        Most Koreans take long lunches and stop working at around 3PM and more or less look busy until their boss leaves… Pretty hard to call that “overtime”.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)_per_hour_worked

        Korea is ranked #21 on the GDP-per-hour scale as of 2005. Highly doubt they’re jumped into the single digits in 2014.

      • A Pinky Promise

        It’s not that they don’t want to be efficient workers.
        It’s their bosses who won’t let them leave early no matter what

      • chucky3176

        I’ve already addressed this issue before. It’s not every jobs in Korea that are like this. Yes, in office jobs, that may happen where everyone stays behind waiting for their boss to leave first.

        But it’s far different for the vast majority of jobs in Korea – for the blue collar workers in manufacturing, construction, and service jobs. – jobs that require manual labor. They literally work til they drop, it’s not easy. They have to work hard from start of the day til the end.

        • m0tbaillie

          Welcome to *any* blue collar job. Nobody said it was easy, but the fact of the matter is Koreans like to self-victimize at every available opportunity. The whole friggin’ world works. Some blue collar, some white collar. Let’s not pretend that Korean is running slave labor any different from any other comparable industry.

          Simply put, Korean men feel they’re “above” household chores in many cases and they are still very much a Confucianist, misogynist society in many ways.

  • Joe

    Could we get an article with Korean opinions/observations of the Malaysian flight crisis please?

    Thanks,
    Joe <3

  • Rayna

    “That’s because Korean society provides poor working conditions for women. Even if married women want to continue working, employers hope they quit after marriage. On top of it, after a working woman gives birth to her child, one member of the couple has to quit working in order to provide childcare and most times it is the woman who quits. Please comment after realizing that Korean society is hard on working women.”

    this person knows whats up.

    • chucky3176

      Er… excuse me, but all South Korean parents who are bottom 70 percent income brackets, get free child care, or a choice of $200 per month voucher, courtesy of the Republic of Korea government. Any family who has at least one ethnic or racial minority person in the family, gets universal child care or a choice of $200 monthly voucher, no matter the income and doesn’t matter if you need it or not.

      Child cares in Korea are not the problem. Employers typically expect working moms to quit when they get pregnant.

      • linette lee

        $200 monthly voucher, no matter the income and doesn’t matter if you need it or not..

        hahahah…you should go marry the minority so you can collect the $$$.

      • 나비

        Child care isnt a problem, youre right. The daycares are many, mostly good, with different options from part time drop off to full time. I used both options. Also a lot of grand parents dont mind watching for a few hours. I think the issue is ingrained discrimination against pregnant women and moms in the competitve work place in korea. Employers asking pregnant employees to resign because they dont want to pay maternity leave and also because pregnant women are viewed as fragile and a health burden to the company. Women can,work all the way to delivery, thats now widely accepted in the medical field unless the pregnancy is a special circumstance. However, i found that the preception of,pregnant women in korea by the population to be that they are to,fragile to do anything. So they are viewed as not being able to handle their work load. Its a common bias. Then employers view women with small children as a burden because they believe women with kids will need more time off, leave earlier,etc.

        If the work culture changes to be more family friendly, less work hours, more vacation and sick days, etc then korean men will spend more time with family and korean women can earn an income. But things have gotta change.

        • MikeinGyeonggi

          Exactly. The mentality that pregnant women are fragile and shouldn’t leave the home is medieval. I think a lot of it is that many men simply don’t want women in the workplace, so they come up with reasons for why women should quit (marriage, pregnancy, kids). A lot of men I’ve talked to think women working in temporary positions is fine, but permanent positions should be given to men.

  • mei mei

    i will do all housework if my husband is Hyunbin

    • Mighty曹

      Good. You do housework while he goes out to play.

      • mei mei

        shut up. you dont even have gf loser

        • Mighty曹

          “woman and drama”

  • chucky3176

    Korea’s divorce rate is 0% for those men who earn a minimum of $10,000 a month. For women, their income level didn’t matter. Says this report in today’s news, which kind of supports the Korean men’s accusations against Korean women as gold diggers.

    http://news.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2014/03/19/2014031902318.html?news_Head1

  • Guy Forget

    Yeah because Korean men are WORKING 12 hours a day biatches. Stop trying to make Korean men look so bad. They are the most hard working sacrificial men on this planet. How else do you think Korea got from Kenya GDP 60 years ago to what they are today? Yeah, Korean men and women sacrificed and worked their asses off for today’s korea and today’s korea wants to take a cheap shot at them?

    • Mighty曹

      This article must have been originated by a Kimchi Bitch.

  • YourSupremeCommander

    “For Korean husbands, looking after children takes up 10 minutes, followed by Japan with 7 minutes and India with 6 minutes.”

    This is not called raising a child, more like child abandonment.

  • Mighty曹

    The unemployed married lawyers with kids should be increasing those housework hours.

  • Claude

    The only regret I have with the time I spent in Asia was the year I spent in Korea. It was a nation with one foot firmly planted in the mid 20th century. The daily frustration was intense.

    It was heartbreaking watching Korean woman scramble about in desperation trying to find a breadwinner because they’re second class citizens because they have few option’s for career advancement. Then, see bright woman become housewife’s dolling themselves and getting plastic surgery for their man-children who took them for granted. The little joy I had was when I had an all woman class and they would tell me their secrets about thier ridiculas husbands. The nights when they come home drunk and they would hold their heads over the toilet bowls vomiting – clean them up, put them to bed and tuck them in for four hours sleep. Come morning – wake them, make them breakfast, give them their pocket money for lunch and the cycle continues for the next thirty or forty years.

    Sad right? Unlike China, which is a mess and has plenty of excuses. Korea was an “advanced” or “developed” society, so they liked to tell me.

    • A Pinky Promise

      Why regret? You made easy money by teaching your first language, which is what anyone can do effortlessly. And since you don’t live in Korea now, whatever their problem is, it’s none of your business.

      • Claude

        Nothing easy about life in Korea and it’s even more difficult for Korea’s woman. Yes, it really not of my business what happens in Korea but it never the less heartbreaking to see woman treated as second class citizens. Unlike many of the more mercenary English teachers in Korea for the money, I have a tendency to be a more compassionate and empathetic person. I won’t apologize.

        • A Pinky Promise

          Oh.. please… If you’re truly a “compassionate and empathetic” person, you would have gone back there and done a protest or something. But instead here you are leaving judgmental comments online with no intention of actually doing something to help the very people you pity, just like kids on Facebook these days.

          • Claude

            As you pointed out, it’s none of my business. Who am I to got to Korea and tell the Korean people what they can or can’t do? Wouldn’t you consider that a colonialist mentality?

            How would that work by the way? A white guy protesting for woman’s rights with a placard in Seoul would be beaten to an inch of his life if not murdered by a mob of Korean males. If I opened an office for such activity, It would be firebombed. Do you think I’m exaggerating? I’m not, Koreans don’t take kindly for such activity from Foreigners.

            Shouldn’t Korean Woman organize and start demanding more equality like woman around the world have for decades? Tough nut to crack when Korean society is rooted in Confucian male domination.

            I had to leave; too mid-20th century for me. It’s like living an episode of Mad Men.

          • A Pinky Promise

            “A white guy protesting for woman’s rights with a placard in Seoul would be beaten to an inch of his life if not murdered by a mob of Korean males. If I opened an office for such activity, It would be firebombed.”

            ↑ Wow Haha. That’s the dumbest generalization and assumption I haven’t heard in a while. So basically in you prejudiced mind Korea is like some terrorist country from Middle East. Sorry to disappoint ya, but it’s not that difficult to find non-Korean protesters from all sorts of NGO’s and civil organizations in Yeouido of Seoul every week. And they don’t get beaten up.

            Anyway, don’t think too highly of yourself. You’re not noble or anything. You just like to judge people living in the different part of the world. That’s all.

          • Claude

            @Chucky and Pinky

            Come on now. You know perfectly well that picture was taken during public protests. The photo of that man was also taken during s public protest. That’s a strength in numbers situation.

            When I was in Korea I was dating a Korean American woman and the hostility I experienced because the Korean males thought she was Korean was thick. In the very least – sitting in a restaurant, a man would say to his wife: “She’s with a foreigner, she must be a whore”. His wife would say nothing but put her head down in shame. Not dare question the asshole. Or “She looks Korean, why’s she with that white guy”. I caught the flu, went to a pharmacy and was told to “get out” when the owner saw I was with a Korean woman. He yelled: “He’s got an STD from sleeping with prostitutes!” Last and not least, spat on and my girlfriend was yelled at “You’re a whore!” and various other things. Appalled I went to defend ourselves when my girlfriend dragged me away when a crowd formed. She felt the tension and thought I’d get my ass kicked. I would of.

            Trust me when I say I’m not looking for trouble, that’s not who I am as a person. I spoke to other expats at my school and they all shared similar experiences and it’s a mystery to me why they would stay.

            All of these events took place after dark when men were drinking with the exception of the pharmacy. In many cases a the situation could be defused when my girlfriend spoke loudly in English.

            My former stayed on in Korea. Her grandmother was there and I felt she was coming to term’s with a identity crises of sorts. Being Korean American or maybe just a woman in her 20′s, I don’t know. I begged her to go back to Boston but to no avail. I left.

          • milo

            How long ago was this?
            Because I heard a lot of similar stories before I arrived in Korea. Having lived here for over a year now and travelled from top to toe in the country (and living in an area a lot would consider “backward”) my wife and I have never experienced anything like that. Not once. The only thing I can maybe point to was when he went to city hall to sign some documents and my wife said that the guy working there was being quite passive aggressive and she thought it was becuase I was a foreigner and she was Korean.
            I don’t deny those things happened to you, but I have to say it isn’t my experience at all.
            Living here, a lot of stuff gets on my nerves, the group think, the architecture, the driving. But I think it’s unfair to paint Korean males in this way. Most of them are just regular dudes too busy living their lives to give a fuck about some interracial couple.

          • ESL

            Some of the ESL forums were extreme in their views before the mods started cleaning them up.

          • Claude

            It’s been 10 years but please don’t tell me it’s made that much progress because I had a friend who was there 5 years ago. He lived in Japan for a few and then moved to Korea. He said he made more money in a year than he made in two in Japan but left because he found the people to “contentious” and “obnoxious”.

            My sisters neighbor returned after 20 plus years in Seoul. He lived in a gated community surrounded by professionals, I assume. He’s so happy not to be there.

            I’m not denying it hasn’t improved over the years but it sounds to me like it hasn’t changed enough.

            One word of advice from someone who spent 12 years in the region when it comes to your everyday issues with a nation. Complaining won’t change a thing. If it’s not working for you, the country isn’t going to change you have to change your life. leave. I lived in Japan, China Thailand and Taiwan. Korea was my ONLY regret.

            I hope know one thinks I’m a racist because I’m not. I just don’t like rude people. I’m from Vancouver and Asian immigration was and is the best thing that ever happened to that city. It gave Vancouver culture, something it had very little of.

          • guest

            I don’t think you are a racist. I do think you are one bitter angry person.

          • Sillian

            I have known many expats and your story is definitely on the extreme side and you even claim every expat at your school experienced things like that. That sounds fishy. My first question is, how would you write these sentences in Korean?

            “She’s with a foreigner, she must be a whore”, “She looks Korean, why’s she with that white guy”, “He’s got an STD from sleeping with prostitutes!”

          • Claude

            My Korean American girlfriend was bilingual. These were her translations. “He said… Lets go!” “That man is saying…”

            I don’t speak the language, I left after a year. Really? You wanted to quiz me?

            “Every expat” Look again.

          • Sillian

            I’m just asking questions to make sense of the extreme things you said. There are mythomaniac people who make up stories even if they have no evil agenda. No hard feelings. I just don’t know you.

          • Claude

            Fair enough but I’m not telling any tall tales. I’ve noticed a few things about expats in Korea and elsewhere. They acclimate to their surroundings to the point to where they no longer see the level of chaos in their lives. Not only are expats adventurous and curious people some are even – dare I say, chaos junky’s. They move from peaceful nations to places like Korea or China where a level of chaos is the norm. I’m not saying that Korea is chaotic all the time, that would be China!! Personally, I like Japan and spent many years there.

          • jessica

            I find that really interesting, because I’m with a Korean man (have been living here for a few years), and only once has someone assumed I’m the “Russian” prostitute (note: not Russian). Guess it’s because white women are still seen as a “prize” of sorts (if I had a dollar for the number of Korean men that tell my husband he’s a god or ask how he “got” me, i would be rich.)

          • Claude

            Being mistaken for a prostitute would be pretty embarrassing. The same thing happened to me and my Japanese partner in Bangkok. She doesn’t look typical Japanese and they thought she was a expensive Thai girlfriend. You know the girls who will escort men around for as long as they are in the country and long as they pick up all the expenses plus a bonus as they leave the country. It was pretty embarrassing for us, I must say. She: Everyone thinks I’m a thai whore? Me: Everyone thinks I’m one of thooose guys!

            How’s life for you in Korea? I apologize if I offended but I was sincere in my post – it wasn’t a good time for me and I know all Korean men aren’t macho relics but those events really happened to me.

            I lived next to the second largest Korean population in Tokyo and I noticed the men were kind of controlling of their girlfriends. My friends and I went out with some Korean acquaintances and when finished eating and chatting we got outside, one girl tried to sneak a cigarette before her boyfriend came down but she was caught and he tore a strip of her in front of everyone. He didn’t beat her, just the yelling. I mean, how can you humiliate your girlfriend like that? When I was there it was still socially unacceptable for woman to smoke in public. I’m not a smoker but jeez, freedom to choose.

            Do they smoke in public now? Do Korean woman have more freedoms? I would appreciate your insight as a western woman living in Korea.

          • JJ

            I don’t blame you for feeling jaded. I’ve been to Beijing, had a horrible experience, but I know people that have had wonderful experiences. It’s hard to look past your own experiences, I know.

            That being said, I think Korea has really improved in its treatment of foreigners/response to diversity. I have still have issues every now and again, but the most that happens is the staring.

            For Korean women, I have only seen a Korean man yelling at his girlfriend in public (happened to my friend, also Korean) once. I see many women smoking more openly, but as far as “freedoms” go, I still think Korean men are harsh to their women (saying Korean women only want money, are all fake because of surgery but say girls without surgery are ugly, etc.). It’s very much a madonna/whore complex though, which can be seen in the States as well. About controlling men- Actually, the couple culture in Korea is a bit concerning, because both men and women end up not meeting their friends and insist on being with only each other (because of jealousy, etc). I think it’s on both sides though, not just men.

            Obviously I can’t speak for everyone. My husband is born and bred in Korea, and has only been outside Korea on trips with me, but has never tried to humiliate me in public (or private for that matter), act “macho”, is not super jealous, etc. :P

          • guest

            I couldn’t understand why you hated Korea so much. Now I get it. you thought that you were going to be treated like a king when you go to Asia but you weren’t treat like that. You thought that you could have any women you wanted, but instead you learned that it’s not acceptable to have foreign boyfriend or husband. There is only a small number of people in Korea that’s open to that idea. Yes I do agree that they do look down on women dating foreigner who are non Asian. They see these women as cheap people and that’s because of the past history. But I don’t believe your pharmacy story.

          • chucky3176

            Yes you are exaggerating. Your stereotypes of Korean males as white hating violent killers are not only offensive but also inaccurate. It’s the other way around, white males have attacked, hurt, and killed more Koreans around the world, than the reverse.

            This white knight in shining armor rescuing the poor Korean woman thing has to end. Because it’s damn embarrassing that anyone would actually believe this shit.

            Latest Korean polls all point to the numbers. The numbers show that the happiest and most satisfied group of people in Korea, are the women. The least happiest were the Korean men.

          • Sillian

            You are not that delusional but simply joking, right? I refuse to believe you made a serious comment. Do you even know what the MOGEF is?

          • Claude

            That’s fantastic! I wish them the best of luck. Like the feminist of the 60′s and 70′s it’ll be a hard long slog.

  • Sempath

    Netizens are right, they should of included working hours and counted work meetings in that as well. How are husbands supposed to have time to help clean if they work really long hours?

    If both husband and wife are working, they should hire someone else to clean. Like how idols have dorm adjummas.

  • Sara

    Not at all surprising imo. An unfortunate mix of inefficient work culture, Confucianism (aka women are expected to be the soul caretakers), and rising living expenses created this. It’s no mystery why the birthdate is plummeting. Why anyone would choose to being a child into this mess willingly knowing what lies ahead is beyond me.

  • guest

    I had a white female roommate. She talked about her family a lot. She told me that her mom is a stay home mom while her father worked outside of their home. She told me that her dad gave her mom twenty dollars a week for her allowance and her mom used that money for crafts which was her hobby. I was like what? What if she wanted a new carpet I asked? Then roommate told me that her mom had to ask her dad. Then I asked, what if he said no? Then she told me that her mom cant get a new carpet. she told me that anything her mom wanted she had to ask her dad. it was all up to her dad. I immediately privately thought said….what???? talk about slavery. She cleaned, cooked and looked after his kids for 20 dollars a week. This isn’t a husband and wife relationship. But then again, I guess this was the norm during the 60′s. Men worked and controlled the finances while women were stay home moms. Even though we are no longer in the 50′s or 60′s, many people still live that life style including my roommate’s parents.
    In Korea, Men work while women take care of their children and their home. It’s the same as in America like during the 60′s with few differences. One of the differences is when women takes care of their home, it includes finances. It’s men’s job to make the money and it’s women’s job to manage the money. In other word, men sign their pay check over to their wives. Women have more power when it comes to deciding how the money should be spent. To me, this makes sense. It’s not fair for men to work long hours and then come home and do the house chores. It needs to be balanced.
    American men want women to do everything. They want women to work and do all the house chores including taking care of their kids.

Personals @ chinaSMACK - Meet people, make friends, find lovers? Don't be so serious!»