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.
To maintain a stable population, the birth rate needs to be 2.1.
In the boom times of the early 70s, nearly 1 million South Korean babies were being born each year, but by 2017 that number had more than halved to 357,700.
"These days, some women will even officially announce their plans to stay single and childless for the rest of their lives." Shin Gi-wook, a sociology professor at Stanford University who specialises in Korean politics, said women also found it difficult to balance holding down a career with the societal expectations that are placed on them.
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.
In 2015, 90 per cent of men and 77 per cent of women aged 25 to 29 were unmarried, according to a report in The Korea Herald .
Among those aged 30 to 34, the figure was 56 per cent, shrinking to 33 per cent for 40- to 45-year-olds, the report said.
Last year, a survey of 1,141 people by employment websites Job Korea and Albamon found that 68.3 per cent were too focused on their careers or personal lives to get married, while 47.5 per cent were worried about financial pressures.
WOMEN OPTING OUT The government in Seoul is well aware of the issue.