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My research shows that in 2006, 46 per cent of married Korean women between 25 and 54 were full-time housewives; Korean wives, many of whom are working outside of the home, did over 80 per cent of the housework, whereas their husbands did less than 20 per cent.Women have gained more opportunities outside marriage, but within marriage, men have not correspondingly increased their contribution to housework and childcare.
Despite a strong traditional emphasis on marriage, they have begun to postpone and even forgo marriage.
Although Confucian culture originated in China, many scholars believe South Korea is even more influenced by Confucianism.
Confucian values emphasize the importance of marriage and carrying on the family bloodline.
Recently, the South Korean government has passed a law which cut the maximum weekly hours to 52, down from 68, hoping that Koreans could still have some personal life after work.
It is rare for single women to have children: 1.5 per cent of births were to unmarried mothers in Korea, as compared to the overall OECD average of 36.3 per cent.
Yue Qian does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.