Korean Women's Status Still Low Among OECD Nations

      July 02, 2009 07:50

      Obesity among Korean women is the lowest among the 30 member countries of the OECD with 3.3 percent, even lower than Japan's 4.3 percent. Korean women work an average of 44.3 hours per week, the longest among OECD members, and well above the OECD average of 34.3 hours.

      Korean men also work the longest hours in the OECD with 48.3 hours, but considering the gender wage gap in Korea, where women only earn 62 percent of what men earn, the gap in working hours is minimal.

      The Korean Women's Development Institute published a report on Korean women's life and their status to mark the 14th Women's Week from July 1-7, based mainly on the OECD Factbook 2009 released in April.    

      One key figure that shows the current status of women in Korea is the rate of participation in economic activities. In Korea, the rate was 58.7 percent in 2008, lower than the OECD average of 63.2 percent. Among Korean men, the rate was 82.2 percent, slightly below the OECD average of 83.3 percent. Along with Greece, Italy and Japan, Korea has a gender gap in economic activity of over 20 percent.

      The rate of part-time workers with both work and family duties was 12.5 percent, fourth from the bottom among OECD countries. On the other hand, the proportion of self-employed women among those who worked was 31.2 percent, placing Korea in the higher group along with Turkey (51.5 percent) and Mexico (34.8 percent). Yet these countries have a low index for women's rights, while advanced countries such as Denmark, Norway, Sweden and the United States have a rate under 5 percent.

      Use of daycare facilities among women with children aged between three and five was 33.9 percent, the lowest in the OECD with Turkey, while France recorded 100 percent.

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