Rebuttal: Why Korea is Ranked 108th in Gender Equality

In response to the heated discussion generated last week by two of our articles about gender relations in South Korea, koreaBANG has partnered with the editor of Korean Gender Café (KGC), Chelle B. Mille, today to offer a different viewpoint about the World Economic Forum Gender Gap ranking for South Korea.

Why Korea is Ranked 108th in Gender Equality

by Chelle B. Mille

Korea University researcher Dr. Kang Seok-Ha1 spent “just a few days to find these examples of biased use of data” to feed a critique of Korea’s ranking in the World Economic Forum (WEF) Gender Gap Report to an eager audience at popular and politically conservative pundit Byun Heejae’s Media Watch site. Dr. Kang should have more carefully analyzed the data in order to support the broad conclusions he draws about gender equality in Korea. We at Korea Gender Cafe will respond to Dr. Kang’s evidence evaluation methods and talk about sexual violence in Korea. If you’d like to read additional takedown of his opinions please visit and join our discussions at the Korean Gender Café blog, Twitter and Tumblr.

The only data point that Dr. Kang actually explains in detail is his claim that Korea’s education ranking shouldn’t be lower than Lesotho and Botswana. He repeatedly critiques the WEF for omitting absolute values and not considering the absolute quality of life for Korean women as compared to other nations. He seems to have missed the title of the WEF report which clearly states that it is measuring the gender gap between men and women. This is akin to writing that Korea cannot have a greater degree of income inequality than Afghanistan because Korea has a much larger GDP. The difference between relative gaps and absolute levels are clearly laid out for the reader on WEF page three.2 For those who read further, on page four we learn that nations are ranked according to whether or not there is a gap in women’s access to education, not in the absolute numbers of women who have attended school. Thus, Dr. Kang’s musing that Korea ranked 99th because the report “includes everyone in Korea, meaning the older generation who grew up before primary education became mandatory in 1950” is false according to WEF methodology.

Dr. Kang’s methods obscure the data in two important ways. First, he only discusses primary education. Yet, the WEF study includes secondary and tertiary (university) education, where Lesotho and Botswana actually a higher ratio of women enrolled than men. In stark contrast, Korea has a disparity of 0.72:1 female-to-male enrollment in tertiary education. Second, although Dr. Kang’s report was published on August 8, 2013 he compares the 2012 WEF Global Gender Gap index to the 2011 UNDP gender equality data, even though 2012 data was available. Why? Notably, Korea ranked 11th on the UNDP list in 2011, but dropped to 27th in 2012. Perhaps he was unaware that 2012 data was available, or he highlighted the ranking that he liked better to represent gender equality in Korea.2

Both the WEF and UNDP indices are blind to health, social welfare and employment policies. On one hand, Korea’s high UNDP health and particularly reproductive health performance can be praised. But while Dr. Kang is quick to point out the history of education access in Korea, he neglects to mention reproductive policy. After decades-long state-driven and repressive reproductive policy, the state recently switched to family fertility promotion. Under this reproductive regime Korea marshals social resources to solve its ‘fertility crisis’ with abortion bans, restricted birth control, free infertility counseling and treatment, overuse of costly and complicated surgeries, inconsistent abortion exceptions for teens and rape survivors, and heavy stigmatization of unwed motherhood.4 We will continue to respond to Dr. Kang’s arguments and provide counter-evidence in the coming days on our blog.

Dr. Kang points out human rights violations against women in other countries, but we can point to sexual violence and human rights violations in every country. That is not the purpose of these indices. We agree that it is problematic that gender inequality indexes do not adequately reflect violence against women or sexual violence. We disagree with Dr. Kang’s outward looking criticism and encourage discussion of sexual violence in Korea.

Preparing this rebuttal, we noted that many koreaBANG readers participated in an argument over whether or not a rape survivor was “telling the truth” when she told her story in the comments on last week’s article. First, we applaud Guest/Kate for sharing her story. Second, that debate brought up a number of problematic issues: rape survivor shaming and silencing, the idea that rape is “only a problem” if the survivor is foreign, and every commenter’s opinion about what a survivor should do. Rape is everyone’s problem, citizen or not, male or female. Survivors do not need to be shamed, silenced or told how they should respond – there are already too many cultural cues that encourage women to second-guess and blame themselves, we need not add to that! More importantly, hearing those who speak out provides us an opportunity to stop being bystanders and to create safer communities.

To that end, KGC authors have been at work for months building a team of 24 volunteers nationwide to establish a supportive community and useful tools called Hollaback! Korea.5 We join 22 other Hollaback nations in sharing incidents of street (sexual) harassment. Our bilingual Korean and English site and mobile app will launch in early December and provide an opportunity for survivors to share stories of street harassment and sexual violence. Our project will encourage public awareness and effective bystander intervention. Next year we will use the stories of street harassment to prepare a report and recommendations to address sexual violence. For more information please contact us through KGC.

1Dr. Kang Seok Ha (33) studied biology at the Kyung Hee and then completed his Ph.D. in medical science at Chungbuk National University. He currently researches the influenza virus at Korea University.
2http://www3.weforum.org/docs/GGGR12/MainChapter_GGGR12.pdf
3http://hdrstats.undp.org/en/indicators/68606.html
4http://www.koreabang.com/2013/stories/controversial-book-on-abortion-in-south-korea-triggers-debate.html
5http://www.ihollaback.org

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  • bigmamat

    Thanks for the rebuttal article and additional information. Often out here on the net I get a lot of push back from Koreans as to why I’m interested in Korean gender issues. That’s because I’m an American and people assume that if you have no first hand vested interest in an issue you shouldn’t care. But I always tell them that I’m a woman first and women’s issues are near and dear to my heart because empowering women everywhere is good every woman. I also find it a little disingenuous of people to question why an American would be interested in South Korea. Once again this brings about the need to explain that S.Korea is a U.S ally with close military and economic ties to our country. Thanks again for Korean Gender Cafe, it’s one of my frequent sites on the internet. Keep up the good work.

    • truthguy

      I’d like to point out that in Korea, a woman gets to leave her job for an entire year for childbirth, and still gets paid at reduced salary. And gets her job when she comes back! Such a thing would never happen in the US. But wouldn’t woman’s rights entail childbirth laws and benefits? Oh… not when it comes to Korea apparently…

    • truthguy

      Also, I am not sure if you noticed by now, but in Korean culture, most women WANT to quit work after marriage, while the husband WANTS them to work! Korean women consider it “lucky” to marry a guy who can support her financially while she sips coffee and gossips all day about which hakwon her kids should go to. But then again, who cares? Lets make a study like this to promote this “inequality” so that Korean women can bully korean men even more.

      • What?!!!

        I’m yet to meet one of these coffee shop girls. All the jobless Korean women I know of are either stressed out trying to find a job or are busy raising their bratty kids. I’m sure there are plenty of these coffee shop girls in Gangnam but I think internet dorks like you are perpetuating the myth.

        • dk2020

          Maybe there aren’t enough good paying jobs for everybody in Korea .. seen it with the recession in the US..

          • bigmamat

            I read this week that Korea’s unemployment rate is at 3% I can’t remember when it’s ever been that low in the US. I think we usually consider it pretty good at 5. But then we shouldn’t compare Korea with the U.S. it’s like apples and oranges.

          • dk2020

            If unemployment is at 3%.. Korean women are employed?

          • Ruaraidh

            Unemployment figures generally refer to people who are actively looking for work, but aren’t in employment. Therefore they don’t include people who aren’t participating in the labour market.

          • bigmamat

            Yeah that is true because the people who are counted as unemployed in the U.S. are receiving unemployment, it’s been hovering here around 8%. Then when you factor in the people who have stopped looking or work. Or even when you look at slices of unemployment like say “youth unemployment” which is estimated at over 20%. Besides didn’t I say you can’t compare Korea and the U.S. I wasn’t suggesting anything just mentioned the figure because I had seen it recently. It’s also paints a rosier picture if the unemployment figures are lower which means they can skew them when they need too.

          • The employment rate for Korean women is at 53%. The OECD average for women is at 57.2% Even recent college grads are having trouble finding work ..

            http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/biz/2010/03/123_62656.html

          • bigmamat

            I know honey it’s bad everywhere. It’s very scary these days all over the world. I feel most sorry toward young people. Most of our young people have worked hard, done what they were told, went out and got a college education. If you’re American you probably have a huge amount of college debt. Jobs that are out there, aren’t paying a living wage. Young people need to get pissed but not at each other. They need to be disgusted by a world economic system that is manipulated to turn them into slaves fighting each other for scraps at the bottom of the pile. Koreans don’t even have minorities they can blame for their economic and social problems. Now the economy and the antiquated social structure is beginning to pit Korean men against Korean women. Koreans aren’t even having children anymore.

          • Same low birthrates in any developed nation including the US, Japan, Singapore etc.. How much has changed even from my generation and I’m an early 80’s baby.. I come from a big family, my grandma had 9 kids, my mom had 4.. me and all my siblings have kids. I believe family is the most important thing in life..

            I was practically raised by my older sisters and grandma while my parents worked all the time.. See in Korean families, rellies are supposed to help with the child rearing.. I don’t get where Korean women are alone in that, and it would not surprise me if these younger Korean girls dont know how to cook and clean either its just a sign of the times..

            Yes! Wealth disparity! That’s what I’ve been saying!! The chaebols stay rich and its NEPOTISM not gender discrimination that keeps Koreans down.. and not enough job opportunities .. but thats why my family immigrated to the US in 1976 in the first place.. Koreans are survivors though.. even North Korea with their shitty regime won’t go away lols..

          • truthguy

            Having worked both in the US and Korea (im not an english teacher), I do find that Koreans have a much more greater sense of job security and respect for one’s “right to make a living” than in the US. For Korean Americans in the US, the bamboo ceiling is the biggest issue. i.e. no matter how hard you work, you will never be an executive. Never. It will usually go to the less qualified white guy.

          • It’s the stereotypes against Asian Americans both men and women ie. docile not good in leadership roles, passive aggressive, avoids conflict etc..

          • Against Korean Racism

            >bamboo ceiling
            >bitterness towards whites

            Annnnd there we have it. Do you hambyung filled Korean/Asian-American males ever stop to think that perhaps loathing white men whilst pining after white women is going to make for one hell of a dysfunctional relationship and incredibly dysfunctional children if ever you manage to win the objects of your rather creepy affection?

          • Gookfilth

            I’m with you, brother. We need to get all these little gookers out of America ASAP. They will never be real functioning members of this society. They can’t be trusted because they all have hambyung and a creepy fetish for our white women.

          • Against Korean Racism

            Why do Korean men have such wonderful, come hither eyes? I’m so drawn to them. I can’t explain this attraction.

        • chucky3176

          But now a days, a lot of Korean wives don’t even have kids, nor plan to have one. So what do they do all day while the hubby’s away at work? Go shopping, go to the gym, hang out with their friends, drinking coffee and gossiping. Then come home to her little puppy who’s their replacement child.

          • bigmamat

            You guys are really bitter. Is it that bad? I’ve seen some pretty ugly stuff written about Korean women on expat blogs. But I wondered what ordinary Korean guys thought about the women and gender issues. You guys seem really bitter about it all. Are there any non Korean women around. Date one of them.

          • dk2020

            Korean men have BS machismo, its like when they are racist and they don’t even know it.. easier to blame Korean women and others .. but it is true sometimes, gongjubyungs do exist..

          • truthguy

            I’m not bitter. As a kyopo, I am somewhat exempt from some expectations. But I feel sad for most Korean men, especially in the light of the topic in this page. I do see more and more western women Korean men couples around. I see about 3 a day walking around here in Seoul.

          • What?!!!

            All the married Korean women I know or know of are popping out kids like it’s going out of fashion.

          • truthguy

            Every time I go home for lunch, the elevator is full of ajummas who talk about the latest botox measures, on their way to a coffee house. All they do is talk about investments and gossip all day while shopping. In the eyes of most Korean women, they made it. Men’s goal in life is to bring home the check and for their wives to shop for luxury goods to enhance their status among other women.

          • bigmamat

            So if you lived in the U.S. then you understand that Korean people often behave a lot like asshole Americans. One of the reasons I identified with Korea more than any other Asian culture is because I could see the Korean in me and in my own culture. I’m from the South and I know conservative when I see it. Koreans are almost 30% Christian and they make up a good percent of missionaries. Of course there was a time when a S.Korean was powerful enough to have a direct effect on our politics. So yeah I don’t understand why Koreans think that Americans shouldn’t be interested in their country, politics, and culture. They sure as hell seem interested in ours.

          • moody

            what type of moron would marry a girl like that ?

        • Abubu Khan

          If they’re clever (and they are) they’ll be working at one of the places listed on the thousands of little cards all over the city streets or one of the thousands of similar places of business that are found in every 동 in this country.

      • dk2020

        Stop being a little bitch and grow a pair. Not all Korean women are the same..

        • truthguy

          I assume you are talking to me. The original title of this article assumes there is a huge gender inequality in Korea where women are helplessly exploited by men. In fact, I think the opposite is true. I feel sorry for most Korean males who have to live to make money to support their family as their only goal in life. In general, A Korean man losing his job is a common reason for his wife to divorce him in Korea. This would never happen in the US. Its just sad. In the US, generally a woman will support a man if he is out of work and not want to divorce him because of that.

          • truthguy

            There is a real place for a western woman in Korea. Its to free Korean MEN from an oppressive gender system, where their entire life goal is to make money for their family. A western woman can show a Korean man that life is about happiness and joy, and that women want their man to be masculine and not feminine and wear makeup.

          • Gomushin Girl

            Oh, BS. How exactly are western women supposed to simultaneously “free Korean men from an oppressive gender system” AND “show a Korean man . . . that women want their men to be masculine and not feminine”? That’s a hell of a contradiction!

          • LMAOOO.. you’ve been watching too many Hollywood movies putting Western women on a pedestal.. funnny! Women are different you can’t generalize..

          • Against Korean Racism

            “A western woman can show a Korean man that life is about happiness and
            joy, and that women want their man to be masculine and not feminine and
            wear makeup.”

            Who wants to bet that “truthguy” is one of the many asian-american men who blow their lid whenever they see an asian girl with a white dude? lmao. This is why I hate Asian-American males…. This hypocrisy is fucking nauseating, and if you live in close proximity to the fuckers, you deal with it every damn day.

          • Gookfilth

            These little Korean men with their tiny penises and huge egos are just sickening to even think of. Look, brother, where do you meet like-minded white nationalists? We should get together outside of the Internet and forge a strong bond of brotherhood. Together, these little gookers don’t stand a chance against real men like us.

          • David

            Yea, you can wear cool costumes (white is a nice color for a sheet), have secret hand gestures and neat expressions of welcome (I think “Zieg Hail!” is taken but maybe you can borrow it).

          • Against Korean Racism

            Why do Korean men always ignore me when I look at them? I make sure to smile and wear cute clothes and stuff. But they just pass me by as if I were invisible.

          • Uh.. divorce rates are the same in Korea and the US so it seems like you’re taking the same chances in marriage either way. LOL, no woman wants to be married to a scrub that doesn’t have a job, but thats really some hypothetical generalizations..

      • dodi

        if this is the case, then korean culture is backward and need to change.

        • truthguy

          All this hoopla about gender inequality in Korea is just sad. If anything, I feel sorry for all the little boys wearing makeup trying to impress girls. That would never happen in the US. Korea is turning into a matriarchy.

          • its just a fashion trend.. the emo trend in the states is similar .. dudes wearing make-up, looking feminine, wearing skinny jeans etc..

      • David

        You know that is exactly what the men in Muslim countries say about how wonderfully they treat THEIR women (and honestly believe it). Whether it is forcing them to wear a burka or needing 4 male witnesses to convict a man of rape, they all about how happy their women are. And some are. I am not comparing oppressive Islamic culture to Korea, but I am saying that the old excuse of “In X culture this is perfectly OK and everybody is happy with it” is a BS statement. Also, if you know Korea well, you know Korean women don’t NEED any excuse to bully their men more (OK,I had to put in a little joke to keep it light).

        • SMH, imposing Western values on foreign cultures again without any understanding or respect.. it’s like bringing democracy to Iraq/Afghanistan.. those wars aren’t working out too well..

      • moody

        You obviously don’t have kids
        I took two month off my work to allow my wife to get back to hers.
        I tell you, there is no time to sip coffee, most days, not even time to cook for my lunch , i lost 4kg in 2 months and i am already the fit type
        taking care of a kid is a full time job , they are up at 5/6am, need to be fed every 2 to 3 hours, wash, clean, play time, go out
        you cannot get a breather
        sipping coffee …

    • haohao

      In other words, you’re a nosy outsider who feels justified in imposing your sense of morality on other countries because you think it’s morally righteous.

      • bigmamat

        I’m not sure who you were addressing here since this post is pretty old. I don’t think anything I posted suggested that I was imposing my values on anyone. But I’m not exactly an outsider I am an American and since my country has pretty deep military and economic ties to S.Korea I am interested in the culture. Looks like the post devolved pretty badly after I lost interest.

  • chucky3176

    I have a problem with this argument.

    “After decades-long state-driven and repressive reproductive policy, the
    state recently switched to family fertility promotion. Under this
    reproductive regime Korea marshals social resources to solve its
    ‘fertility crisis’ with abortion bans, restricted birth control, free
    infertility counseling and treatment, overuse of costly and complicated
    surgeries, inconsistent abortion exceptions for teens and rape
    survivors, and heavy stigmatization of unwed motherhood.”

    Abortion bans are about human rights for unborn babies and right to life. It has nothing to do with female rights. The author already knows aborting of female babies in Korea was a common practice up to not too long ago, how can you argue that banning the mass killings of unborn babies is stomping on women’s rights? That’s a totally fucked up nonsense. That includes the victims of rape and teen aged mothers. Unless the mother’s life is endangered, all babies have the right to live, killing them is not promoting women’s rights. And I surely hope South Korea doesn’t follow the West with promoting teen pregnancy. The social stigma attached to it, unfortunately is necessary to prevent runaway teen pregnancy backed up by social welfare that have bankrupted the Western nation’s coffers. The stigma should not be removed, and the state should not encourage teens to get pregnant by offering them social welfare. The government should instead, promote birth control, more sex education in schools, through massive public education campaign.

    And finally I also agreed that both the UNDP and WEF reports, just by looking at their criteria of rankings, they’re both pretty poor piss poor reports that doesn’t take into consideration all the factors.

    As for:

    “Second, that debate brought up a number of problematic issues: rape
    survivor shaming and silencing, the idea that rape is “only a problem”
    if the survivor is foreign”

    I’m not trying to defend TerribleMovie’s insensitive jackass comments, but I don’t think anybody has said they’re defending rape because Kate is a foreigner and she deserved what she got.

    • bigmamat

      All babies have the right to live huh? First of all this debate is very old in my country and I would appreciate it if you wouldn’t make asshat statements like the U.S. supports teen pregnancy. Which is completely ridiculous and not based on any kind of fact. Welfare bankrupted the nations coffers really? Do you think if you use 5 dollar words that makes your silly unsubstantiated statements sound more viable? Guess what we have sex education in schools but it is constantly being attacked by the right to life lobby. Which by the way not only works tirelessly to limit a woman’s right to choose but also works diligently to limit women’s access to birth control.

    • On that second point, if you re-read the discussion you will see that folks kept saying that if a foreigner got raped it would be national news… and someone did claim that rape is “only a problem if the survivor is foreign” it was a direct quote I pulled from the discussion posts. Saying a survivor is a liar is silencing and suggesting that they “should have XYZ” is shaming behavior.

      To the first point, Korea shifted away from sex selective abortion a while ago and some surveys indicate couples would prefer to have a daughter these days. I don’t think if abortion were legal that it would lead to sex selective abortion. Abortion isn’t the only point I raise, and it is one that I am not backing away from, but inconsistencies in access to birth control, stigmatization at the OB/GYN, surgical deliveries, etc. are also women’s health concerns that should be addressed. I really disagree with your view of social welfare for unwed parents and have written about that a few times on my blog.

      Thanks for commenting~

      • truthguy

        In America, Ben Rothelesburger gets a pass on rape because he is white. But Michael Vick goes to jail because he had a friend who killed a dog, because he is black. What I find troubling about womens rights in America is that a woman’s respect is gone once she is not young or sexy anymore. Her societal power is gone. However, in Korea, a woman still has societal power n the basis of being an ajumma.

        • Kobe and 2Pac didn’t rape nobody though,,

          • truthguy

            ^ I don’t get what that has to do with what I said. Kobe did get prosecuted for rape. Ben Rothlesberger and Mike Vick are both NFL QBs who were prosecuted and convicted of crimes. One for rape, one for having a friend who killed dogs. Apparently its worse to have a friend who kills dogs, than to personally rape a woman. This is American culture. Period.

        • Against Korean Racism

          Again with the gooky inferiority complex.

          How can you lust after our women while you hate us and think such a mentality is healthy? Are you really so stupid?

          I really hope not all Asians are like this, but goddamn, the overseas ones, and the American ones especially, have a nauseating victim mentality.

          You aren’t owed a white girlfriend just because of a US passport you worthless little shit.

          • Abubu Khan

            you’ll find it’s largely just the west coasters. and not all of them. but if your parents raise you to think youre shit, refuse to even tell you they love you, and you grow up as a minority at the same time, you’ll constantly measure yourself against everyone else as well. It’s just the worst parts of Korean jealousy sociopathic tendencies taken overseas.

        • Against Korean Racism

          I have a strange obsession with Korean men. So exotic and manly. I once got rebuffed by a Korean man at a gay bar in downtown Manhattan.

          • Gookfilth

            *yawns* Looks like Gookguy is shitposting under a different name.

          • Gookfilth

            When will these little gooks ever learn?

    • jon777

      All sperm has a right to live too? I mean.. it’s moving.

    • Abubu Khan

      “””That includes the victims of rape and teen aged mothers. Unless the mother’s life is endangered, all babies have the right to live, killing them is not promoting women’s rights. And I surely hope South Korea doesn’t follow the West with promoting teen pregnancy. The social stigma attached to it, unfortunately is necessary to prevent runaway teen pregnancy backed up by social welfare that have bankrupted the Western nation’s coffers.”””

      These two things cancel each other out. Korea’s teen abortions are out the whazoo.

  • Sillian

    In stark contrast, Korea has a disparity of 0.72:1 female-to-male enrollment in tertiary education.

    In the original table, it shows 86:119 which was converted to 0.72:1 in this article. Does anyone know how they came up with a number that exceeds 100? Is it not a percentage number?

    For those who read further, on page four we learn that nations are ranked according to whether or not there is a gap in women’saccess to education, not in the absolute numbers of women who have attended school.

    The report says the gap between women’s and men’s current access to education is captured. ‘Access’ sounds kind of vague. How do they measure it? What I could find is that in 2012, the university entrance rate for women was 74.3% and for men, it was 68.6%.
    http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2013/07/113_138329.html

    • chucky3176

      The problem with this report is that they show a conclusive result (however they arrived at that data), but do not explain what the barriers are that supposedly prevent Korean females from going to schools as their male counterparts. But to be fair, I have not read the report so they may indeed be explaining their data and I’m simply missing it. As far as I know, education is valued for both sexes and all they have to do is to pass the state administered tests to go to college. Everything depends on the grade, not the sex of the applicants. I’m still scratching my head on that one, why Korea scored so low in college admissions for females. And I don’t think that should even be an issue for Korean females.

      • Gomushin Girl

        Like a lot of things, it may seem that there’s no institutional barriers but that doesn’t mean no social barriers or trends are involved. In this case, families may be less willing to invest money in tertiary education for daughters, particularly in situations where post-college employment is depressed for young people (like now). Or girls may receive inequitable education at lower levels, leading to lower rates of success in examinations. Women may decide that the investment in higher education doesn’t pay off in light of Korea’s notoriously hostile work environments, especially when they know they’re likely to be pressured to quit when they marry or have children. Social stigma may prevent women from perusing more education because they believe it diminishes their chance of finding a spouse. Families may rely more on monetary contributions of daughters, and prefer to keep them working for family maintenance. I’m not saying all of these apply in Korea, but some definitely do.
        Certainly, most women here are aware that they face lesser job prospects than men, even if they achieve the same level of education and experience. They know that they’re likely to have to choose between childbearing and a career. And historically, families have indeed chosen to prioritize educating sons – a good many men who went on to tertiary education in the 70s, for example, were sent to school using funds contributed by their sisters who engaged in factory labor. So education being valued doesn’t mean valued equally, and women still face barriers to educational achievement that men don’t.

        • bigmamat

          Thank you, thank you, thank you for such as well though out and well written rebuttal. My ham handed attempts to make the male posters on this site see that their constant juggling the numbers does not indicate there isn’t a problem have failed.

          • Sillian

            Statistics gives you numerical data and ‘juggling numbers’ is a routine task with it. We all know there is gender gap or discrimination qualitatively. It’s helpful to get accurate quantitative ideas. For economic and political gap, it is intuitively obvious. For education, however, it isn’t that clear how they came up with such results. This is a legitimate part of the discussion that shouldn’t be dismissed.

          • bigmamat

            Understood but it shouldn’t be the ONLY thing you discuss. Especially someone like yourself that is reasonable and well informed. Arguing minor points and picking at only one part of the data often devolves into nothing more than a distraction. Then the entire subject and otherwise decent conversation is lost to the next headline. If everyone agrees that S.Korea has gender issues that need resolved then I’d like to hear from someone articulate and thoughtful on how they can be addressed.

          • Sillian

            As to how the gender inequality issues should be resolved in concrete terms, I honestly don’t have any original ideas to share. There are other commentators like Chelle who are well versed in this topic. I don’t think concretization of practical extent and areas of gender gap is a ‘distraction’. We don’t have a set goal that we all have to follow in this comment section. Just as I see numbers that I don’t understand, I’m questioning them.

          • There is also a lot of debate and critique of these indices. Some argue, for example, that evaluating political participation by National Assembly seats might be elitist.

            The numbers give us a narrow look at several key indicators of equality. I don’t think they are adequate enough, on their own, to tell us about a society. They are one tool to understanding trends. I’d love to see them used less as a slogan and more as a toll to encourage collaboration, something like Minister Cho asking “Botswana pulled off gender equality in tertiary education, how does your system compare to ours.”

            It bothers me that conflict (war, displacement), sexual violence, elder care, etc. are not adequately reflected as these definitely impact human development and gender equality. Significantly, there is little evaluation of policy accompanying this data. We need to ask why, and design policy or social structures that are effective.

          • I agree with you on this point. I felt that the author had picked education and it was a strange selection. Education IS an area where there has been worldwide progress in closing gender gaps… so I really agree with your point about how not talking about other areas, particularly employment, health, political participation, safety, etc. can obscure the bigger or systemic problem by looking at one area where there has been progress.

        • bumfromkorea

          I agree 100%. South Korea’s chronic problem with hostile working environment for women (including Pregnancy vs. Career choice that many Korean women are faced with), combined with an exceedingly high cost of education relative to average income, results in parents electing to educate boys over girls when there aren’t enough resources to educate all.

          Basically, why spend money on a daughter’s education when she’s just going to get fired the instant she gets pregnant? She can just marry someone well-off and she’ll be fine.

          It’s a pretty abhorrent mixture of dysfunction at both gender politics and education.

          And historically, families have indeed chosen to prioritize educating sons – a good many men who went on to tertiary education in the 70s, for example, were sent to school using funds contributed by their sisters who engaged in factory labor.

          This is exactly what happened with my mom; she was so intelligent, she taught herself all the way up to linear algebra because she wanted to learn… but was only able to go up to a 상고 then work at a factory to support her brothers who went to college.

        • chucky3176

          I understand and accept that there is sex discrimination rampant in S.Korean work place. But I think that Korean women also have a partial responsibility in this too. Which group do you think say they are happiest in Korea? If you guessed women, then you are right.

          http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/08/study-less-time-at-the-office-doesnt-make-people-happier/279029/

          It’s the Korean women’s attitude toward career also contributes to their own problems. Their ideal of a career is graduating from university and finding a rich husband and become a homemaker. I once asked a girl what her plan was after she graduated from higher institute of learning. Her answer? Get married. And this girl was attending Ewha. Unfortunately, she’s probably not the oddball, but a common phenomenon.

          I think Korea’s situation is very similar to Japan, where one in three females replied in a poll which asked what they want to do after they graduate. Their answer? Homemakers. This in a country, like Korea, where there is a largely accepted traditional gender role, where more and more men and husbands demand that their women go out their and help out economically at a time when it’s becoming more difficult.

          http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/1-in-3-japanese-women-want-to-be-housewives-poll

          Like I said, if you’re happy with the status quo, then don’t expect anything to change without a fight. Perhaps feminists in Korea should be concentrating on getting the Korean women on board first, before doing anything else.

          • bumfromkorea

            . Their ideal of a career is graduating from university and finding a rich husband and become a homemaker.

            That is more or less a forced hand – if your employer fires women when they get pregnant because of 꼰대-like thoughts, then of course the course of survival becomes finding a rich husband. The society has set up a system for women where the only way she can find success is through her husband. That same society then cannot turn around blame women for seeking success through her husband, when that is the only viable option given to women by the society.

            My dad said the other day, “The only way Korea will move forward at this point is if everyone my age and over disappears.” We’re at a juncture where the younger, more liberal-minded Koreans are working for the older, rigid conservative Koreans. We hear about these problems now, precisely because the younger generation is dissatisfied with how the older generation is running the show. A generation afterwards, hopefully this problem will be less severe if not altogether solved for.

          • chucky3176

            The whole point is, what if Korean women don’t want to work? They want to be homemakers. Are they allowed to choose that? I know another Korean couple who keeps arguing over this very thing. The hubby wants his wife who used to work in a bank manager, to go to work and help out with the bills. The wife insists she stay home and look after their one 3 year old daughter, saying it’s not easy being a homemaker. They argue about this every week.

            As for generational changes, I doubt very much things will change much unless Korea’s drinking/working culture changes. It’s crucial for your career to go out and drink with your boss, that is if you want to advance in your job. Unless the working culture changes and they put more emphasis on the family, rather than the jobs and their after hour working drinking parties, then nothing will change.

          • What did you think of Lee Myung Bak’s “go home early a few nights a month” policy for fertility promotion?

          • Gomushin Girl

            As has been pointed out, many women don’t want to work because working in Korea overall is lousy, and working while female is much, much worse. Most offices are positively hostile to women as employees – why on earth would you want to spend your time someplace where you will be treated as lesser than your male peers, given more menial work (coffee or tea, despite the MA . . . ), paid worse, promoted less often (if at all), excluded from social events and then punished for not participating (oh, 회식), potentially sexually harassed if you do attend . . . and after all of that, you’ll be fired as soon as you get married or pregnant. Yeah, sounds like a real treat. But this is again, women adjusting their expectations to the society they’re stuck with. If you ask the average 8-year old, housewife isn’t on her radar. Ask her again when she’s 18 and has a better idea of the limits Korean society has in store for her, and it starts to sound a lot better – not because she really wants to cook and clean and take care of kids for the rest of her life, but because her other options are so very small.
            I also want to take a moment and point out that you’re relying pretty heavily on anecdata. There are lots of women who are working, who wish to remain working, and have high ambitions for themselves. Housewife isn’t what most women want to be, it’s what most women realize they can reasonably achieve without being miserable. You’ve already said that Korea’s own culture makes it hard for women to achieve real career success, so why do you continually insist it’s because *women* want it that way?

          • truthguy

            Are you aware that a woman gets paid leave up to a year for childbirth in Korea? This is her legally protected right. But in the US, there is zero time for childbirth that is protected by law. Why don’t you actually do some studying instead of coming up with random junk? What are you? A republican trying to discredit Obamacare?

          • Patrick

            Just because it’s the law does nt mean it is followed. I only know anecdotes of woman facing steering pressure by employers to quit rather than claim their legal right. You have the data that is easiest to find, the law, but do you have any idea how much goes on behind the scenes and then the actual numbers regarding the percentage of women who actually claim this benefit?

          • Gomushin Girl

            Women are guaranteed a 90-day fully paid maternity leave, legally, 45 days of which must be granted after the child is born. Of that, 60 days is paid by the employer, and the remaining 30 by the state. Perhaps you should do the studying? But perhaps you’re too busy leaping to bizarre conclusions about my political stance?

          • Wheres your omma to take care of the kids while you work? thats how it worked before.. if you’re sexually harassed on the job, report that shit to HR and get his ass fired.. jeeez, don’t go out drinking if you don’t want to.. people come up with some weak oppression, stand up for yourself! A job isn’t worth your dignity.. and its all hypothetical BS too.. smh..

          • Gomushin Girl

            Who cares where the grandmother is? Maybe she’s working. Maybe she’s dead. Having a living grandmother who is both able and willing to take care of the kids isn’t exactly a viable social plan for keeping women employed. And yeah, you have fun reporting that to HR and getting completely shut out by everybody else at work. If you’re lucky, of course. Anyone remember what happened to Lee Eun-eui when she had problems with harassment at Samsung?
            “As nothing was done within the company about my accusations, in 2007 I informed the Human Rights Commission, and they made an official recommendation to Samsung that the company needed to institute measures to prevent such sexual harassment from occurring again. Rather than following that recommendation however, Samsung sued the Human Rights Commission to have that recommendation withdrawn!”

          • Srsly? You weren’t raised by your halmoni or other relatives? I guess that’s just unique to gyopos.. LOL, my mom would not stop working even though she was preggo they had no one else to keep the jangsa open.. and yes, Korean men need to be better fathers and husbands.. its not that hard changing diapers and watching the kids on days off..

            Women should boycott the chaebols and companies that practice gender discrimination.. send a clear message it won’t be tolerated, it will continue as long as women are willing to put up with it..

          • Gomushin Girl

            Yeah, I’m sure boycotting employment will totally help solve the problem of low employment for women. /sarcasm on HIGH

        • So you blame the patriarchy for personal choices made by Korean women? I truly believe anything is possible through hard work and determination, if the job market is whack try to immigrate to a country that has more opportunities that’s what my family did.. but the generation today isn’t like the Korean immigrants of yesterday.. they probably feel too good and prideful to work the menial jobs and open up small businesses in the ghetto that made the 1st gen successful for their children.. correct me if I’m wrong but if you’re poor you’re poor doesn’t matter if you’re a Korean man or woman you still live in the same house.. Having the victim mentality and blaming the gender gap won’t accomplish anything.. to hell with circumstances.. I create opportunities..

    • Hi Sillian, thanks for sharing that article link. however just FYI the data in that article wouldn’t be reflected in the index until next year. So you’d need to look at their data sources, which they cite in the report I linked in the post above.

      • chucky3176

        Chelle, read the article, it says:

        “In 2009 for the first time more women than men went
        to university. Since then, the gap has widened, with the university
        entrance rate for women at 74.3 percent this year and for men at 68.6 percent.”

        So we basically have a disagreement on the stats that are being used. Korea Times says more women are being educated then men, but the WEF says the completely the opposite. Why is there such a large gap in information? And which sources are being used? And here’s the question, if more women are being educated than men, is it not fair to say that there are discrimination against men in education?

        • Hi Chucky, if 2009 was the FIRST time that more women than men went to university, why are you skeptical? That would mean that in all the years prior to 2009 more men went than women, so the ratio only approached 1:1 some time in 2008. So if we think about those in the workforce aged 20-40, they would have attended university at a time when the gap was bigger. I think education is one area where Korea has been rapidly closing the gap, and the inequality appears more as generational trends (20s, 30s and 40s will show different gaps in tertiary education).

          Entering college and graduating college may have different figures. The WEF data shows us 3 stages of educational attainment: attained elementary education, attained secondary, and attained tertiary education.

          Also, WEF isn’t reporting about just the people that start college in the year of the index. In South Korea students may drop out before completing, or may take 4~6 years to complete (study abroad, military service, internships, etc.). To see year to year changes I suggest that you visit the WEF website and take a look at the figures for the index data points relative to education in their 2010 and 2012 reports. This should tell you if the gap is closing, if the ratio is closer to 1:1 then you will know that the data reflects that Korea is closing the gap.

          The report notes that pretty much all over the world the education gap is closing. Two critical areas where gender inequality is NOT closing are economic participation and political participation.

          • Sillian

            Someone posted this link under another article and I think it’s worth reading for you.

            http://news.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2013/11/13/2013111301016.html?news_Head3

            “대학취학률은 대학 재학기간으로 산출한다. 우리나라는 남자의 군복무 기간 2~3년을 전부 대학 재학기간에 포함한다. 그러므로 재학기간이 6~7년으로 늘어난다. 외국의 경우는 군 모병제를 하는 나라가 많은 데다 군복무 기간이 평균적으로 짧다. 그러니 대학 재학기간이 우리나라보다 짧게 나온다. 대학취학률은 2010년 통계를 썼음에도 한국에 불리하게 측정되는 요소다.”

            In other words, men’s extended period of college enrollment due to their military duty is reversely interpreted as inequality against women. This WEF report is a hot mess tbh. I’m all for realistically presenting Korea’s gender inequality problems but this report has too many misleading factors. I feel this grossly misunderstood report has been dishonestly abused by some political groups, which doesn’t help at all because too much of it only turns people sarcastic.

  • dontcare

    God damn why are Korean expats always trying so hard to look intelligent? It’s obvious what the basic problems are to Westerners, it’s more Koreans that are confused so if you really care, go post this shit in Korean on wherever you found the original comments. Stick to what your sister sites do and just post translated news/comments, if I really gave a shit about gender equality in Korea, which is neither a complex or mysterious topic, I’d google it or ask.

    • Thanks for asking ‘dontcare’ *^.~* When you Google, who do you think writes the result that pops up? Researchers.

      Harald didn’t mention it, but I am a graduate student publishing my research in Korean language on gender and human rights implications of the 2004 Act to Prevent Sex Trafficking and Prohibit Prostitution.

      haha, agreed, I think a lot of my life IS spent trying to look intelligent enough to pass a qual exam in Korean history, or prepare for thesis defense.

      • dontcare

        Well Chelle Mille, it’s not that I am against your research (even if I find some analysis flawed); in all honesty I do wish you well on it. Just a case where I visit this site because I’m more curious about the translated opinions (it’s the only site I know of that does it) than the topic itself. Good luck

    • Sillian

      It’s a special guest article from an actual researcher of the subject. You can always choose not to read any article here.

    • Brett

      The sister sites post follow-up articles too. As Sillian wrote, no one is forcing you to read anything.

    • BSDetector

      Ahh Generation Google, keeping us aware that 80% of the population is stupid.

    • A Gawd Dang Mongolian

      Ironic a fellow named dontcare cared enough to reply.

  • lonetrey / Dan

    WALL OF TEXT…. EVERYWHERE.

  • bigmamat

    There’s more at the Korean Gender Cafe…thanks again for the work you do. http://koreangendercafe.blogspot.kr/2013/10/extended-rebuttal-inflated-assumption.html

  • commander

    Two points are worth for the authors of tge contentious report.

    First, I am not an expert at statsitical methodology but it is clear to me that there is no way to quantify qualitative features in a clear cut way as assumptions for the research as such are controversial and debatable.

    We all know that changes in assumptions and different research methodology could alter seemingly ludicrous assessment of Korean gender equality dramatically.

    (Well, the authors are presumed to sound the alarm to boost public awareness of tge importance and urgency of a more equitable gender climate in South Korea. But the 108th ranking for South Korea looks like going too far so that it provoke the opposite of what the report intended: sarcasm and mockery)

    Second, sexual violence is serious social malaise which a sensible person would agree to eradicate once and for all.

    But I think it is necessary to differentiate sexual crimes and sexual assault as a gauge of gender equality.

    The confrontational approach to blame men as a whole for injustices in gender equality, including sexual violence, is hardly conducive to rallying support for the cause of gender equality.

    Whether the empahsis is put on human rights or human rights of women as opposed to men will make a cricial difference in women status enhancement campaign.

    • Sillian

      But the 108th ranking for South Korea looks like going too far so that it provoke the opposite of what the report intended: sarcasm and mockery

      Unfortunately I reckon that has been the case. I have read a few reports about this ranking in the Korean media. It is very easy to take the data as a comparative list of absolute measures from different nations. How many people would even bother finding the pdf file to read about the methodology for themselves? When it was inferred that Korea’s gender inequality situation is, in any practical sense, worse than the above 107 countries that include many countries in very ‘difficult’ situations, dismissive and sarcastic reactions ensued. If the initial media reports and the women’s rights figures who frequently cited the ranking were more specific and insightful instead of aggressively reiterating “It’s 108th, it’s terrible!” as if the eye-catching number alone tells you all, I suppose a lot of backfiring could have been prevented or replaced by more constructive debates.

      1. Economic Participation and Opportunity: 116th
      2. Educational Attainment: 99th
      3. Health and Survival: 78th
      4. Political Empowerment: 86th

      For 1 and 4, most people wouldn’t think twice. For 2 and 3, however, it isn’t strange at all to wonder how the heck they came up with that, as an initial reaction, regardless of your political inclination.

      • commander

        Although the findings of a study based on scientific objectivity do not be necessarily in line with common sense, it is quite weird that in a country where measures for turning around lower fertility rate and boosting economic parrticipation rate for women are vigorously debated in a bid to keep economic vitality in a projected demographic shrinkage, the much-worse-than-expected report findings raise the eyebrows among South Koreans, male and female, about its impartiality in its researching process.

        In the above defense of the report, Mille claims that the report gauged relative gaps in gender equality in countties around the globe and that the wider gap is found in South Korea than in other underdeveloped countries with, in the outside view, cruel practices like circumcision.

        But what is the most nonsensical is that if women are forced to choose between South Korea and one of those countries, I bet the vast majority of them will take the former without a shred of reluctance.

        I think this is the most contradictory dichotomy in the report in that the rankings in the report do not accord the flesh and blood sentiments.

  • holdingrabbits

    BOOM

  • Krystal Hampton

    People tend to forget that Koreans who live in Korea are socially behind developed countries. When they say that, ”Women are happy to stay at home and raise children.” and ”They are happy to cook and clean.”, they mean it. To them, 65% do want that but this is socially MEANT to happen. Regardless of whether or not they are against child rearing or staying at home, the society dictates that people should marry. Nothing’s wrong with that, but the rest of the world that’s developed knows that women in general don’t always want to get married, have kids, and raise them. They want some control in their lives. Korea hasn’t realized that, and we should let that fact be. They can socialize themselves how they want to. But of they complain about not being acknowledged internationally, they only have to blame themselves for mot being socially up-to-date.

    • dk2020

      Dafuq is so bad about being a housewife if they choose to be? I know American women that are housewives too! Nobody is forcing anybody to do shit .. I heard recently the trend is NOT to get married and have kids in Korea because its expensive! Even with all the social pressure..

      Condescending really.. its so hilarious and ironic how American dudes be looking for a Korean wifey because they think they are so exotic and docile compared to American women .. all you morons do not know Korean women or really what goes on in a Korean family..

    • chucky3176

      Kind a ridiculous to claim social superiority when one look at the mess the US/West is in. It’s for sure in Korea, the gender roles are clearly defined, and most people don’t have a problem with it. Koreans don’t have delusion that men and women can be exactly equal. They are not equal, biologically and mentally, and can never be equal. The march toward unisex is useless because it can never happen.

      • Ami

        What the fuck? You do realize that as time goes on women will only get more powerful right? Your bigoted views will soon be a thing of the past.

        • chucky3176

          I don’t hate women, I love them. Why would I be bigoted?

        • dk2020

          Define powerful? First women president of ROK don’t mean jack just like the first black president of the USA?

          Why does there have to be a gender divide? Korean women are awesome even with pigheaded Korean men ..

      • bigmamat

        Let’s get something straight Chuck. What is wrong with the US/West is not because their women are more empowered. What is wrong with the West right now is the same thing that is wrong with the East, income inequality. Everybody starts getting pissed off when they realize that life is going to be difficult. That the things your parents told you would make you successful don’t materialize. When housing and health care and day to day living is full of hard work and little reward. I know what’s wrong with the U.S. right now, 1% of the population controls 99% of the wealth. The rest of us are working our asses off for the scraps at the bottom. Sounds to me like Korea is going in the same direction. Except Koreans don’t have anyone else to get pissed at but other Koreans. No minorities and immigrants to blame it on.

      • Abubu Khan

        Yes, my young apprentice, you are mastering the bullshit straw-man quite well! Let the inferiority complex flow through you!

  • dk2020

    I don’t really know how bad the gender inequality is in Korea because I don’t live there, didn’t grow up there, and I’m not a woman. But I do think some of you American women – expats are taking it a little overboard though imposing your American values on Korean culture .. which won’t work and is ultimately a fail. Korean women have voting rights and every other basic human right as a citizen of the ROK.

    Domestic violence, rape, fear of Korean men etc.. is not normal everyday life and I refuse to believe in that bullshit, to live in fear of other Koreans, and I wish Korean women didn’t have to either. The issue is way more complicated than that also. Korean women are focusing more on their education and careers, but that means putting off getting married and having kids which is the reason why there is a low birthrate and the younger generation isn’t getting married in their 20’s anymore. There is still a generation gap with the older conservative generation too.. Conservative right wing politics that are the majority isn’t helping either..

    Korean culture traditionally is your family/clan above all else .. and I truly believe Korean women is the backbone of Korean culture being mothers of our children and they can accomplish anything they want to.. What good is being successful and wealthy if you don’t have family? I don’t believe in the superficial and materialistic either.. Expats I think can’t handle the culture shock and after awhile become cynical..

    • To clarify: Do you mean me, my blog, or some generic group you made up called “American expats?” I will reply to each possibility: Our blog is a collaborative project with 4 main contributors, including a Korean male feminist, and a group of guest contributors. The generic group you call “American expats” doesn’t have a unified vision/viewpoint. As for me, I am definitely studying under, collaborating with and learning FROM Korean women’s organizations and not imposing MY “American values.” Finally, one more important point to consider: human rights are not uniquely “American” values, as many comments from all over the world in this discussion alone can attest~

      • Just sayin my opinion to no one in particular.. constructive criticism with helpful solutions is one thing, ridicule and contempt is something else and that’s what alot of these comments from around the world amount to.. Korean womens’ human rights were violated? How so? Even with all the social pressures and conformist mentality in Korean culture.. free will still exists..

        • Since it was a comment on THIS rebuttal, I thought it was a directed comment. Women’s rights are human rights so work around promoting women’s rights is human rights work.

    • Abubu Khan

      What good is having a family when you are refused any possibility of taking care of yourself, having anything for yourself, or having an identity outside of gestating a male property heir, being a wank bank, and looking like a trophy for a distant husband? After that, the superficiality takes over and we get the illustrious Gangnam fantasy girls.

      • uh, don’t you think that’s a extreme? but I guess in your expat fantasy thats what you imagine..

        • Abubu Khan

          The statistics don’t lie. But if Koreans are happy with that, so be it. They aren’t alone in this way of thinking, I’ll admit.

          • Sillian

            “The statistics don’t lie.”

            Often statistics end up having the same effect as lying because many people fail to interpret them the right way. Sometimes there are plain inaccurate numbers too.

  • Too Much LOL

    LOL Butthurt Koreaboos :D

    • jimmy keitel

      yawn

    • jimmy keitel

      Hope you end up dismembered, thx.

  • Pingback: Korean Government Releases "Discriminatory" Android Application()

  • dk2020

    Maybe these reports also need to take turbulent Korean history into account also. S Korea was a third world country until the 1970’s and all S Koreans didn’t have voting rights until the 1980’s, there was hardly any foreigners until 10 years ago also..

    Mainly, what American expats don’t realize is there was no women’s rights movement or civil rights movement for equality in Korea unlike the West.. say what you will but you can’t compare cultures because its polar opposites ..

    • Not true, there has been a women’s rights movement dating back over a hundred years in Korea.

  • Clark__K

    Do we agree that Korea is still a male dominant and male chauvinistic society? (Never mind that the President is a woman)

    • Clark__K

      A downvote means “I don’t want to admit it but, yes, it’s true”.

    • Buhhh.. some white folks still got that savior complex, save the heathens from themselves.. love the women hate the men.. divide and conquer with a little bit of cultural imperialism.. smh..

      Japan is 101st on the list that’s not that great either, but I don’t hear yall trying to make all Japanese men feel like crap on JC.. I do acknowledge there is a big gender gap in S Korea but there is progress and it is getting better no matter what condescending expats say.. I love Korean women they are my people!

      • Against Korean Racism

        >love the women hate the men

        Nope. That’s non-white males. Always has been, always will be. Our women are the most attractive so beyond a few weeaboos we have no real need to “love” your women. Actually, I find Asian women rather disgusting, especially South Korean and Chinese girls.

        • LMAOOO, against korean racism and you’re racist, ironic and hypocritical, I knew it lame af .. you’re probably still a virgin smh ..

        • Gookfilth

          Preach on, brother. By virtue of our white blood, we are great. Asian women are overhyped, overrated and disgusting little sex toys. I only like Japanese women. The Japanese are Oriental white people. They don’t have slanted private parts like those Korean and Chinese women. But the best are our white women.

          • David

            WTF is wrong with your brain you inbred trolling racist MF? It is pathetic that you get your rocks off by internet trolling like this. I don’t believe for a second even a dumbass like you believes all the crap your spewing. Did your daddy not love you enough that you need attention from strangers? Are the men at the bus station getting boring? Geeez, I want the last minute of my life back.

      • Abubu Khan

        You have to admit, having a conversation with a lot of Korean (non kyopo) males in any language is like playing a text-based Commodore computer game from the 1980’s- but a computer game on a sick power trip.

        • I didn’t have commodore or atari .. a little bit before my time old man .. generation gap ..,

  • linette lee

    After reading all these articles, now I know if you are a foreign woman you should not move to South Korea to live or work. It’s a shxtty place to be women there. The men treat women there like second class and mis treat them. Their society don’t make it friendly for career women. Not a good life.
    USA and HK are better for women. With working environment much friendlier for women. And they have anti discrimination laws. And people won’t treat you different just because you are foreign at the work place or because you are a woman and expect you to fetch coffee or something.

    • Sillian

      The men treat women there like second class and mistreat them.

      That’s your conclusion? That kind of simple generalization doesn’t help you understand the complex gender mechanics in various situations at all. Female workers can be marginalized at work but male workers may be expected to do more unpaid overtime work that stresses them out. Unless they are the old boys sitting at the top of the echelon, both male and female earthlings can be subject to their own sufferings. It’s not just men vs. women. Your statement can also make a lot of young Korean guys dumbfounded when it comes to their personal relationship with female friends. It’s just not that simple.

      • linette lee

        You koreans can continue to paint south korea as first world much like western countries. After reading so many complaints from foreign women about work place and the culture of the Korea society, even the blind can figure out Korea is nothing like the western countries. South Korea is more like a major city with mentality still stuck in 1930. Things that men get away with in the korea society is nauseating. Many things considered unacceptable in today western society are very acceptable and common in Korea..and expecting female coworkers to fetch coffee is just a small part of it. There are other things much worst. And if it is bad for Korean women then it must be worst for foreign women who don’t speak the language well. And if the complaints are coming from white foreign women, then it must be worst for non white foreign women. Foreign women who are looking into oversea universities or career opportunities should not consider south korea as one of their choice because they may get really disappointed. Go to universities in USA, Canada, Uk, or even HK or Singapore. Those are good choices. After obtaining advance degree that is where they should pursuit a career. And also plus working as a foreigners in these countries you don’t have to worry about discrimination because they are very strict with the anti discrimination laws. Korea is a very racist and sexist country. It will be impossible for foreign women to compete in the corporate world or just in any private company. And If you are not Korean you should not be there. It’s not a place for non korean especially women.

        • LOL Linette.. if you haven’t noticed foreign women and men love talking shit about their experiences in East Asia.. or you haven’t seen all them angry condescending expats in ChinaSmack?? I grew up during the LA ’92 riots.. so I’m used to people talkin masa about Koreans.. Oh jeez the poooor women so oppressed in Korea, there are laws against them getting an education, voting, getting jobs, riding a bike, and even leaving the house.. SMFH!!!

          Look up Jasmine Lee the only non-ethnic Korean in the govt thats making multicultural changes and empowering migrant wives and she only one person!! .. if progress for womens rights isn’t happening the Ministry of Gender and Family wouldn’t exist thats their purpose which is funded by the govt!!.. which is more than I can say about all these self righteous whiny ass foreigners!

          If you’re not ever planning to ever get a job or live in Korea .. why the fk do you care bai chi?? Oh yeah gives u another reason to talk smack with your Chinese superiority! Long live Chairman Mao!

          • linette lee

            you bai chi. what do you know? I am just expressing my opinion because 1)I am a woman 2)I was once looking for overseas universities when I decided I will not go to HKU. 3)I moved to a foreign country to study and live and to pursuit a career away from my home city. So for those women who are doing the same thing like me following my steps my opinion is something for them to consider because I was once taking those steps. Especially I see so many chinese female students going overseas for higher education. And it is good that other foreign women talk about their experience living and working in Korea too. Moving from USA to Korea for job opportunities or universities. They should share their experience.

            And you baichi. long live your chairman Kim Jong Un. duh…..

          • LMAO sure Linette, you look lots older than a college student mentirosa.. don’t go to Korea there’s rapists and scallywags around every corner preying on women.. and thats just the drunk ajeoshis on tuesdays..

          • David

            He does not know anything Linette. He is just some stupid uneducated punk kid who thinks he knows Korea because he is American. He wears his cloak of ignorance like it makes him cool. He must have been educated in that wonderful L.A. school system because he can’t even deliver a coherent argument. As if being a Korean American boy gives him some special genetic insight into gender inequality in a country he has probably never even spent more then a summer in (if that). So you should probably not give him another thought, I know that will be my course.. .

          • LMAOOO looking for friends Dave? you corny ass expats thinking you’re more Korean than me just because you lived in Korea? jokatun sekkis lols.. I was raised in a Korean household by immigrant parents in Koreatown and yeah I do look Korean and still have roots back in the old country..

            If you knew anything about Korean culture, being Korean how important it is knowing who your ancestors were, family background, and where your clan hometown is.. oh but you’re not Korean, so it doesn’t really matter to you.. and I bet I can fit in quicker in Korea than you and actually enjoy my time there.. what exactly is your beef with me? That I’m so unintelligent and ignorant huh waegookin? .

            Old condescending lame ass troll, your whining doesn’t change shit either dummy. Go study some more self proclaimed Korean culture expert with no solutions to the gender inequality other than S Korea is a backwards shithole, Korean men are oppressive abusive rapists, must save innocent Korean women from evil Korean culture, hopefully they know basic English.. that’s some really insightful analysis..

            This site is for debate, and I’m just yapping saying what I feel, I don’t say I’m right all the time but I’m definitely not learning anything from you, and don’t get mad at me just because I don’t agree with you asshole.. I’m not here to make friends and don’t worry my feelings aren’t hurt just come up with some better insults.. I’m stupid because I grew up in the LAUSD? Really? You don’t really look too sharp yourself with your mullet.. are you a republican redneck for women’s rights in Korea? Funny characters on teh internets..

          • chucky3176

            Growing up in LA Korea Town as a second generation American born person, and being born and growing up in Korea are two completely different things. Korean Americans are about 20 to 30 years behind the times on how Korea has changed. They seem to live in a frozen time because they can’t seem to keep up with the rapidly changing Korea. Just because that’s how it was 30 years ago, that’s not necessarily how it is in Korea today.

          • LOL, yeah gyopos are so amazed when visiting Korea, the culture is so completely different now. No cultural understanding from gyopos whatsoever. You forget Ktown LA has the largest population of Koreans outside Korea which were and still is mostly fresh immigrants. Frozen in time? I’m not the older generation that needs help programming the TV..

            Gyopos are more adaptable, not as xenophobic, and more open minded from growing up in a multicultural society rather than tojungs that never left the country..

            Korea has rapidly changed to what? More superficiality and materialism? Less importance of community and family, just looking out for yourself and your own problems? I don’t think that’s necessarily a good thing but maybe that is the price of success..

          • chucky3176

            “Gyopos are more adaptable, not as xenophobic, and more open minded from growing up in a multicultural society”

            Not necessarily true.

          • Well I guess it’s all from your own perspective and experiences.. the older Koreans that immigrated were very independent and self made, setting up their own small businesses with help from the community and gaedohn.. working all day to support the family.. my parents owned a small cafeteria by the airport and I had to work there for free as a kid.. we came from nothing when S Korea was still in poverty and a dictatorship so we had nothing to lose.. whatever happened to that fighting spirit?

            Ktown after the 92 riots was a burnt down shithole and I was a wild knucklehead kid, I was a yangachi hung out with the wrong crowd and spent a couple years in the kangpohms for the mistakes I made.. I didn’t go to college so I am unedumacated but I did go to trade school.. I’m a HVAC tech, it’s blue collar, some days it is hard manual labor but it pays good and I’m able to support my family.. it’s not prestigious work but I have no shame in that..

            For Korean women.. who the hell wants to work in the corporate office where you’re a hamster on a wheel? Working for the chaebols getting them rich? Be innovative determined and achieve your goals.. do not use gender discrimination as a crutch you’re better than that.. Get into professions where there isn’t gender discrimination and there are plenty of successful Korean women .. nursing, teaching, politics, professional golf, the arts, fashion design etc.. and let your mother move in with you and take care of the kids while you work if you want to have a marriage and start a family..

          • Jonathan

            My mom(KorAm) and dad(black)Lived in L.A Koreatown thru ’87-94 while attending Law school at USC. they came out of there level headed while staying romanticly involved. Just amazing.

          • That’s whats up shikgu, I got much love for hapas being in my immediate fam.. my hyung who I grew up with was blasian funny thing was he would go nutty the most if u said anything bad about Koreans,, it was hella racial back then after saigu some black dudes had resentment against Koreans thinkin I had money and was smart.. but I’m like I’m stuck in the hood with you going to the same shitty LAUSD schools lols..

            I’m pretty tired though of fighting the same ole stereotypes.. that Koreans are racists, women beaters, alcoholics, basically genetically defective from birth because we are Korean.. Aiiiiish!

            Fuck it, two tears in a bucket.. time to evolve, accept anybody that is Korean, hapa, adoptee, whoever got love and respect for Korean culture. These haters be slick af .. saying we’re backwards trying to say we condone rapists SMFH, telling Korean women to be independent run away from their families and shit on our culture..

            My older sister, noona is a PHD professor teaching at Boston University, I’m extremely proud of her. She has two kids and still got it done, so it is possible but it was in part because of the support from our family.. Haters gon hate though..

          • David

            Says the guy who does not live in Korea. I lived there for years, starting in 1985. I like Korea and, in general, Korean people. I still currently teach Korea students from 7th to 11th grade at my international school and while things are miles better then they were in the 80’s (where executives used to routinely tell me they would never higher a woman to work in their company) gender equality is not even in the same ballpark as almost any western style country. Sillian is correct, Korean men also have it bad but that is a different issue. Instead of taking the report as something to be ridiculed, if you care about “your people” (talk about divisive language, I guess you learned that in that wonderful city of tolerance L.A.) you would use it as a beacon that illuminates a problem that needs to be addressed if the ROK (a rock of democracy in Asia) is to be respected by other world powers. Now you can tell insult me and tell me how you know better than everybody who has spent many years studying the subject, with all your experience living in Korea as a Korean woman.

          • Go study some more dude and miss me with that condescending tone, you don’t know me. Well since you have lived there since the 80’s what have you done to fix the problem or at least help? Do you have Korean citizenship to vote and get politically active like Jasmine Lee? Talk is cheap especially coming from expats.. Poor Korean women, sadly you can’t save them white knight with your pessimistic and smug attitude. But guess what? Life goes on, no matter how bad the gender inequality or whatever other social issue there is. Damn homie, you’ve been teaching ESL since the 80’s? That must be a record for a waegookin..why you think Koreans call you that? I can’t change my ethnicity.. Let me know though, has there been anytime in the history of the world where foreigners have brought social change for good excluding wars and imperialism..

          • David

            I guess you just prove the point, once a dick always a dick. This is why nobody has respect for your opinions. Start by learning how to read, It will take you a long way in life. No need to change your ethnicity, just your level of education and maturity. There is no virtue in being ignorant.

          • IDGAF, I’m a reflection of you and the respect you’ve shown me dick, you started talking shit to me, I didn’t even read your posts or knew you existed before that.. smh, condensing prick.. go study some more enlightened motherfucker because even with all your knowledge you still don’t understand shit.. you sure as hell aren’t making any changes over there.. don’t read my posts if it bothers you so much with my lack of intelligence asswipe..

          • You’re currently in China and you’re talking about gender inequality in S Korea? Okaaaay gweilo, is that why you keep talking about the 80’s and sporting that greasy mullet? Yeah, really fken relevant to today.. wheres your disdain of Japan and their gender inequality? They are #101 but since they are polite they still cool huh? Double standards es no bueno bitch..

          • Against Korean Racism

            “has there been anytime in the history of the world where foreigners have
            brought social change for good excluding wars and imperialism..”

            Yes, Hong Kong and Britain getting rid of the restrictive, racist, sexist laws of the Qing Dynasty and creating a livable environment at a time when Mao was going full retard.

            Brits in India getting rid of widow burning. Brits and other Europeans in Africa mid to late 19th century stamping out the Islamic slave trade (which was larger by volume than the Trans-Atlantic).

            Singapore, ensuring Greek independence from the Ottoman Empire, support the independence movements of Balkan countries against the Islamic imperialism of them too. The list is endless.

          • Against Korean Racism

            Yes, there has. Let the white man save you. Everybody listen to Miley Cyrus and eat Kraft brand American cheese slices. I’m a white man with a huge penis.

          • AnthonyLudovici

            I’m pretty sure Korea’s “cheese” is even worse than Kraft’s, and the less said about Korean “bread”, the better.

            Miley Cyrus is a disgusting whore, but then again, most Westerners will acknowledge her as such, people like Cyrus are literally pushed down our throat. Koreans on the other hand really do believe that the likes of Girls Generation are masterful “artists”.

            Koreans are a slave race, always have been, always will be.

          • linette lee

            That is just bad. What do all the women do over there in south korea after getting college degree? If they are not given equal opportunity what’s the point getting a degree?

          • David

            Linette, while there is no doubt about the inequality between men and women in Korea, understand two thing. 1) It is a lot better than it used to be (i.e. it IS getting better) and 2) there are ares (such as primary and secondary teaching, but not educational administration) where women enjoy some privileges and prestige. It is in the traditionally male jobs (business, politics, law, engineering and any kind of managerial position) that women have a hard time achieving success. This does not mean there are no women doctors or principals, it is just more difficult for them to advance in those fields. However, Korea is reaching a very critical point where they must learn to change some of its cultural prejudices if they want to continue to grow and avoid the self-destructive path that Japan is on (after all the U.S. is not the same as it was a 100 years ago). In addition, there are plenty of people in Korea who see and understand this and are working for change.

          • chucky3176

            Do you really think she cares about this topic? She doesn’t. It’s just an opportunity for her to assert her Chinese superiority complex.

          • David

            Well, between the nationalist civilians in China, Japan and Korea all trying to tell the other two they suck (and that Americans suck even more) if we read all three web site we can get a good view about how everybody sucks (and just read any non-American news web site to see how much we suck). Good luck Park Geun Hye, you are going to need it (and give the chicks with short skirts a break).

        • Sillian

          I didn’t know it was you. Your ID was something else when I was writing the comment. You made your own false premises as usual. I will just tell you this. It depends on the job. Most non-military western workers in Korea are English teachers. Private ESL isn’t exactly a reputable industry but if they do some research, they can find decent places as many have done. I’ve talked to many western expats for years, both male and female. There are things to complain about for anyone but most of them do fine enjoying life while regular disgruntled expats are the loudest on the internet. There are also some interesting expats who can share their unique experiences and perspectives. Then there are unlucky people like anywhere else.

    • commander

      The simpe answer to the complicated problem involving multiple factors is not persuasive.

    • I hesitate to say that the US is “better for women.” I do think for an American citizen, living in one’s country with nationality could provide different legal and social resources to deal with all of this, compared to living abroad as a non-citizen. However, even among citizens in the US, I think that race and class and other factors intersect with gender to affect one’s rights.

      • linette lee

        What do you know about HK you dumba55? You don’t even know where it’s located. HK has its own hk gov’t and their own laws. China laws don’t apply on HK territory.

        ” Under the Basic Law, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is exclusively in charge of its internal affairs and external relations, whilst the Government of the People’s Republic of China is responsible for its foreign affairs and defence.”

        Taiwan don’t need China to recognize their freedom. Taiwan is doing just fine with their economy. HK and taiwan are close trading partners and many HK-TW marriages they are just next door one big family. No oppression from China. Taiwan will continue to do fine just like HK.

        • Guest

          Hahaha IDGAF!! u mad? Oh say you’re Chinese one minute but then you’re HKer the next, how convenient for you ..China issues still exist..

          • linette lee

            I am Chinese. HK Chinese. You don’t know? You better not hang out in LA china town. I might be flying to LA next week. You better hide and don’t go near it. I know how you look like.

          • HAHAHAHA did you just threaten me online??? Srsly? Damn Linette you’re so easy to troll.. I think I’ll just leave you alone now.. good night..

          • linette lee

            HAHAHA…you better not go to Ocean seafood dimsum restaurant next Sunday. I might be going there with my homegirls. You better hide.

          • David

            People in HK and TW are still ethnically Chinese even if they are their own SAR or their own country, respectively.

      • linette lee

        LMAO..where do you get the idea I hate Korea or koreans? I hate liars and phonies. I work with koreans. I have two korean coworkers and I don’t have any problems with them.
        Are you having another seizure because I don’t like kpop. They look the same to me so I don’t know much about it. Why kpop fans are so obsessive?

        • ..

          • linette lee

            YOu talk shxt about Chinese too. I talk the way you talk. You dare to talk like that to Chinese where you live?
            When did I tell you I am going back to college? I finished already many moons ago. I am very experience with the whole procedure of moving to foreign country for college and work.

            Hong kong won’t let you in.

          • Dafuq? bwahaha.. Linette you’re so overdramatic.. I dont wanna know.. nevermind, since you get so butthurt.. I do dare talk like this to Chinese where I live! LOL.. nobody cares..thats on the other side of the world..

    • Against Korean Racism

      The Korean media presents a highly sexualized, easy image of white women.

      Many white women who work in SK believe it or not do not want anything to do with Korean men, but they’re harassed with near constancy by creepy Korean males who believe that, because of some porn they saw, or because the Korean media told them the female youth of Western countries are all inured on K-Poop, when in reality it’s a few unpopular girls with daddy issues and no friends.

      • Kinda ironic cuz thats how white dudes get yellow fever.. I grew up in SoCal but it wasn’t all palm trees and blonde girls .. I can say derogatory ishh about them from my experience but I won’t because it’ll be ignorant but personally I’m not attracted to white girls at all .. my black homies love snow bunnies though, LMAO redneck white boys get mad but don’t say nothing ..

        • linette lee

          YOu MARRY to spanish. So you have arroz con pollo fever.

          Why when non asian like Asian girls that is call yellow fever? How about men like blonde? So why they have blonde fever? What is up with all the blonde fever?

          • LMAOOO.. funny Linette ..

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OK1aZD7o9yE

      This you Linette? SMH.. here’s the other side to the gender gap.. HK girls be bossy and vicious af.. he probably didn’t buy her any prada prada gucci gucci ..

      • linette lee

        hahahah….you are too crazy.
        She got arrested for assault by the Hk police. By the way, How you know she is HK chinese girl? The couple speak with accents. You want me to beat you like that? I don’t want to break my nails. None of my HK girl friends are bossy.
        I say they deserve each other. Most men would not take beating from women if they can get better quality girls. That is why he didn’t move. He cheated on her, and she is a bxtch beating him on the street. What a matching pair. lol. I say all those men who are cheaters and are women beaters or rapists should marry to these bxtches. Perfect match.

  • Sillian

    * Sexual discrimination can be regarded as a distant notion by many young Koreans who haven’t started working in hierarchical or traditional organizations or who aren’t well into their career yet. The generational gap can be significant in their opinion about sexual discrimination.

    * There are many struggling men who don’t feel they are empowered at all. The approach of men versus women can only backfire. We should stop painting women as victims and men as aggressors mechanically. I feel that’s a very regressive approach causing dismissive sarcasm. The ultimate goal should be empowering the socially marginalized citizens, men or women. Classism may be a bigger problem.

  • Jang

    I’m afraid to ask what kind of nonsense(influenza virus) research is this Dr. Kang Seok-Ha going to come up with?
    http://weekly.donga.com/docs/magazine/weekly/2013/02/25/201302250500015/201302250500015_1.html
    I’m sure he’ll twist that all up for the sake of S. Korea’s image rather than the health of the people. He surely is a young chap, maybe he should wait until he gets older and moves out of his parents house before he does anymore research.

  • Okay, the whole argument against sexual violence in Korea is … it’s not predictable its not a science.. and since rape is rape its too late so its not preventable either! Harsher laws and chemical castration for repeat offenders! Women keep pepper spray handy and learn self defense in the meanwhile..

    • i would add consent education to your list and police training and other things, too. I think some of this puts too much of the responsibility on women to prevent rape, when men can also do work to prevent rape.

      • rape is morally wrong just like murder.. there are no excuses.. responsibility on women? I put total responsibility on rapists..

  • commander

    What is urgently needed is to determine the cause of sex discrimination against women.

    Without identifying the root cause, its solutions hardly come by.

    In ferring out what is responsible for sec discriminations, the most contentious point is the disagreement over its casuality even if preliminary controversy over the degree of sex discrimination committedis set aside.

    The conflicting comments from Netizens and different research conclusion expose the convoluted nature of the probem.

    Feminists stubbornly pin blame on men for lasting discriminations, while men seeks to a oid an accuaing finger saying some of men are responsible for it but that’s not my fault, occasionally in a show of resentment over the blaiming side including them as one of those who discriminate against women.

    In this deadlock, other groups argue the underlying cause of sex discrimination may lie at a deeper level and discriminatory practices are a just mirror of such undercurrents.

    Socioeconomic structures that are self perpetuating may be the answer of what has promted so mmany controversy but refused to be settled.

    From the day we are born, we learn gender roles from parenting and studies at schools.

    Boyish girls becomes the object of mockery for not being girly and correct themselves to be more feminine over time. Boys who are less masculine in behavior are often teased by peers, encouraging changes for being macho.

    This social convetion, albeit gradually weakening owing to a blurred gender line, still works to set the stage for breeding stereotypes of sex, an ultimate source of sex discrimination.

    Difference is not wrong and needs respecting but in reality difference often gives rise to discriminations.

    Differences in appearances, wealth and education levels, race, religion, and political affiliations breed all froms of discrimination.

    Sex discrimination is among them.

    The space shortage restrain me to elaborate on implicit mechanism of how to differnt perception of sex get institutionalized but this factor forecast great obstacles for anti sex discrimination campaign by feminiat groups which put their focus on individual levels for gender equality.

    • David

      I think the point of this report was to make people AWARE of the gap in equality between gender roles (in many countries, it did not just target Korea). First they must acknowledge that such a gap exists (which as you can see many people are NOT willing to acknowledge). Then you study possible causes and finally possible solutions.

  • When something becomes an issue for all people, It becomes a case of right and wrong but that innate sense of right and wrong can also become an issue that affects our place in society. Whether we are male or female, or we are from this place or that place. It is not a war it is a case of justice and no-justice when an injustice is repeated to the point it seems institutionalised its time to ask questions time to stick up for your personal belief if that puts you in one group or another so be it. No shame in standing up for what you believe in.

  • Overall.. Koreans are obsessed with status and wealth.. money does not buy you happiness..
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZ7Y1-0bNeQ

  • Abubu Khan

    Who cares? Let Koreans figure it out by themselves. Let women be slaves and the men think they have golden penises.

    • Sillian

      Misplaced sarcasm. Have you read any of the actual debate?

  • kick the crutch

    God bless to Kimchi-girls and Bo-Seul-A-chi.

  • haohao

    But is gender equality even a good thing? Remember that morals are based on emotional responses and have little to do with the effectiveness of a nation. One can argue that having the full economic output of both male and female citizens will strengthen the nation, but I see little value besides that.

  • Sam Chung

    Although the discussion seems to have died out, I’d add couple things for future readers.

    First, forgetting about the schizophrenic Dr. Kang for a second, Mr. Mille you seem to have overlooked certain, pertinent aspects of the whole WEF index vs UNDP index dichotomy.

    It is true that the WEF report attempts to calculate the relative inequality between men and women, not the difference in absolute values of the raw data. But by what logic can you defend, as you seem to be doing with your omission of a critical reading of the WEF report, the value and even validity of the WEF report?

    That is, the relative value of gender inequality in, say, secondary education is quite meaningless, when Lesotho has more women enrolled than men, but the overall enrollment rate in that country is a dismal sub-40 range. In comparison, ROK has 96% of men and 95% of women enrolled in secondary education.

    By the WEF indice, ROK is behind Lesotho and numerous other nations. But does that indice even matter when women in the ROK clearly enjoy more opportunities (and I say this without an ounce of exaggeration) to attain secondary education than Lesotho or most other countries on the WEF list (95% of women in ROK vs. 37% in Lesotho)?

    You argue that both WEF and UNDP reports are blind to social policies. On the surface level this is true b/c neither report explicitly controls for such variables. But when the WEF’s relative inequality indice is next to useless, it only elevates the superiority of the UNDP report compared to the WEF report. One is just bad science and the other is flawed but relevant science.

    This problem of the validity of relative inequality indice persists throughout most of the WEF report. In another glaring example, the sex ratio indice, while seemingly an indicator of whether or not reproductive policy has been equal for men and women, is just as much an indice of the availability of birth control and contraceptives as it is an indicator of simple male:female ratio. That is, more prevalent the availabiity of contrapceptives, more likely the effects of non-natural manipulations to the sex ratio (as opposed to natural/coincidental causes such as war, natural disasters, etc).

    And it is true that ROK has had a dark history of state-led reproductive policies, and there is no going around such history and the fact fairly undemocratic, bureaucratic reproudctive policies are still present. But, it would be absurd to argue that a simple sex ratio indice, without controlling for variables such as those I mentioned above, is even a remotely viable or relevant indicator of the gender inequality in ROK or anywhere else in the world. In the reproductive right front, ROK is far ahead of any of those nations ranked above the ROK in the WEF report. An indice into the availability of contraceptives (a perhaps a more urgent and directly relevant concern for women’s reproductive rights than a unqualified male to female sex ratio) would be a related, more relevant indicator of such inequality/equality.

    The point I’m trying to get to, of course, is that your sarcastic rebuttal of the schizophrenic Dr. Kang (a half-wit, no doubt) on the basis of attacking his criticism of the WEF report is clearly unsubstantiated. Kang is an idiot, but the fact that the WEF report is deeply flawed, if not criminally irrelevant and misleading still stands.

    By attacking Kang’s criticism of the WEF report and failing to qualify that attack with a critical reading of the WEF report amounts to a validation of the flawed WEF data. And your rational for asserting that ROK is indeed justly ranked 108th in the world in gender equality is based on a pile of misleading data.

    While ROK is a deeply patriarchal society with multitude of gender inequalities, my problem with the WEF report, as it is possibly the problem other Koreans have with the WEF report, is that it grossly misrepresents reality of ROK and the day to day lives of men and women in ROK. To be sure, some or even many Koreans may deny, in vain, that gender inequality doesn’t exist. But the biggest bone most people have with the WEF report is the misleading portrayal of ROK, and the useless and reactionary sentiments (i.e. the insect comment) churned out of the Ministry for “Gender Equality,” a completely self-absorbed, bureaucratic piece of junk that in reality only hinders gender equality in ROK.

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