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Women In Korea

The position, role and rights of women have changed over the years. In some societies, modernism and interactions with other cultures have changed women’s position and roles. However, women in some countries have had to fight for their participation and inclusion in decision-making processes. Men dominate the economic and political sectors in many countries. Women have been fighting for recognition in such sectors. Their efforts have been successful in many countries where new laws are established to protect women rights of participation in all economic sectors. Issues of gender-based discrimination and harassment in workplaces have reduced significantly.

The role of women in the traditional Korean setting

In the traditional Korean setting, the role of women was restricted to their household duties. Women were expected to serve their husbands and children. Men had the right to divorce their wives but women were not allowed to divorce their husbands for any reason. A husband could divorce his barren wife and in most cases, in-laws would mistreat such barren women. Women remained in villages and would be segregated from men. Rarely would a woman leave her compound or sit with men. Men bore the responsibility of providing for their families. However, women would still be expected to work in farms to feed their families where a man’s efforts were insufficient. Most Korean women did not go to school given their position in society.

In addition to their household duties, some women acted as traditional healers who would cure illnesses and tell fortunes. Some women acted as spies for kings while some were entertainers in palaces. As the Koreans began to interact with other Asian communities and immigrants, some traditions began to change. Women began to participate in economic development by working in factories and selling marine products. Women started working in clothes, assembling, and shoes factories. They began to provide for their families while their husbands who chose to work in service industries supplemented the family income. Most women working in these factories were overworked and underpaid. Their position in their marriages did not change with their economic development. They had to remain submitted to their husbands.

The role of women in Korea today

The role of women in the contemporary Korean society has changed significantly over the years. Women have a right to divorce, go to school, fair treatment in workplaces, and participate in politics and critical decision-making processes. Although Korean women have been persistent in fighting for their rights and freedom, some societies still hold on to their cultural beliefs. Young women often have to defy their parents’ wishes to seek education, choose careers paths, and pick life partners. Some have opted to live and work in cities where women are recognized and respected. The Korean society is still male-dominated but the position of women has improved significantly over the years.

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