A new breed of South Korean women have emerged as empowered members of society, since the South Korean government introduced reforms and lifted restrictions.
The younger generation of South Korean women have started aiming for a future that includes employment. Many have veered from traditional plans of simply settling down in marriage as a means to improve one’s status in life. Even in rural areas, women find work in the agricultural sector, since lack of sufficient education limits their employment opportunities.
Young Korean men are also embracing the concept of marrying women who can help them in making decisions and in contributing to the financial stability of the family.
Today’s Korean women are no longer depicted in movies and television shows as housewives subservient to the demands and whims of their husband. As empowered women, they now voice out their opinion without fear of becoming less attractive to the opposite sex.
The all-girl group Blackpink alone, exemplifies women who are making important contributions to the country’s economy. At the same time, they have inspired young Korean women to step out of their traditional societal roles as domesticated housewives, by fulfilling desires for their own happiness and personal pleasure.
One such example of the radical changes in South Korean culture is the way adult supplies outlets ( 성인용품 ) have transformed into classy boutiques. Young Korean women no longer have inhibitions in visiting adult supplies stores on their own, or in groups or even with their boyfriend. In South Korea today, sex-related objects and topics are no longer strictly taboo, which is part of a move to provide Korean women with ample sex education.
The Role Played by the South Korean Government in Empowering the Women of South Korea
The government of South Korea has taken steps to help women build careers for themselves, without losing interest in entering into marriage. The government has ordered workplaces to be more family-friendly, by allowing married female employees to return to work after taking a maternal leave. Other initiatives include instituting flexible working hours, tax incentives for part-time work and increasing childcare benefits.
Government programs include strengthening childcare services as this is seen as vital to a woman’s decision to take part as a member of the country’s workforce. Employment centers no longer have prejudices over female applicants, particularly married women. Actually, the government reforms had helped increase the female labor force in the country.
A year after the 2017 government reforms were introduced, South Korea’s statistics showed that female employment in the country went up by 25%.