S Korea MP grills official nominee for not giving birth | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, September 03, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:36 AM, September 03, 2019

S Korea MP grills official nominee for not giving birth

A South Korean lawmaker provoked outrage yesterday when he berated a female economics professor nominated as the country’s antitrust chief for not “fulfilling her duty to the nation” by having a child. Despite its economic advances, South Korean society remains highly patriarchal and is facing a demographic crisis with women increasingly reluctant to have babies for reasons ranging from the expense of child-rearing to career setbacks. Jeong Kab-yoon, a five-time lawmaker from the conservative opposition Liberty Korea Party, sparked an outcry when he scolded Joh Sung-wook, an unmarried academic who is in her mid-50s, for not having children. The government has spent billions of dollars since 2005 to try to boost the birth rate -- one of the world’s lowest -- by providing child subsidies and expanding daycare services, without success.

 

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