Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Korea: The Female Factor

From the New York Times:
So many women have entered public service in recent years that, in 2003, the government revised its quota system. In 1996 it had begun mandating that at least 30 percent of new hires in all government departments except the police and military be women. Now, because so many women have succeeded in competing for these jobs, it is applying the minimum 30 percent quota for men as well.

The recent surge of women in the public sector is an outcome of government efforts to expand democracy after decades of military rule, to combat economic stagnation by bringing more well-educated women into the paid work force and to check the country’s plummeting birthrate, attributed in part to the difficulties South Korean women face trying to combine careers and motherhood.

Faced with all this, it has been the government that has led the way to expand women’s rights. Since the mid-1990s, it has enacted laws addressing issues like sexual and domestic violence.

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