Korean Women: You have Come A Long Way
Confucianism has influenced gender roles more than any other factor in Korean society. Traditionally, women’s roles were limited to household matters, and young girls were taught to prepare for their future roles as wife and mother. After South Korea was established as the Republic of Korea in 1948, however, women achieved constitutional rights for equal opportunities to gain access to public education and to work outside the home. The traditional roles of women have been fading gradually. Today’s Korean society is not as dominated by Confucianism as it was in the past, but those traditions are still prevalent. Modern Korean women are challenged with multiple tasks as women are entering the work force in increasing numbers. In addition to being wage earners, they are expected to bear the lion’s share of child rearing and housekeeping duties. Korean women play a pivotal role in family support structure and are often overburdened with obligations and expectations.