Dating in south korea
"The multiple roles working women are expected to continue to play in the family and in society - as mums, wives, daughter-in-laws …make it difficult for them to prioritise marriage and motherhood over their careers." Ultimately, according to sociologist and University of Seoul lecturer Michael Hurt, South Korea needs to rid itself of ingrained sexism and reform its long-standing negative policies towards women if it wants to raise a birth rate that has it set on the path towards "natural extinction by 2750", as one study commissioned by the government found in 2014."When I meet people for the first time, they ask me why I'm not married.It's especially common for older Koreans to ask these questions," she said, adding that the younger generation tends to find such queries rude and unnecessary.A culture that prioritises work and study over relationships is another oft-cited reason for South Koreans staying single.OECD data showed that in 2017, the average South Korean worked nearly 250 hours more than counterparts in the US, and 424 hours more than those in Germany.
"They joke about it at first, but they get really serious by the end of our conversation." A 32-year-old female freelancer also based in the capital tells a similar story.
One Australian women who recently married into a Korean family described marriage as a way for families "to trade wealth", bargain and exert power.
"If the son's family has a famous name or the son is a doctor [then] that family can expect a large payment from the female's family because they think they deserve some kind of tax from others for their perceived 'high status' in society," said the 34-year-old.
Because older people are less willing or able to work, a higher proportion of them will ultimately lead to a labour shortage, said Kang Sung-jin, an economist and director of Korea University's Institute of Sustainable Development.
"A decreasing supply of labour affects the economic growth rate," he said.
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In deeply conservative and patriarchal South Korea, women are also realising what they stand to lose by getting married.