South Korean birth rate worlds lowest in struggle for balance: report – Reuters

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea has the worlds lowest birth rate, according to a United Nations report released on Tuesday, as ladies in Asias fourth-largest economy struggle to attain a balance in between work and other life needs. FILE PHOTO: Women participate in a protest as a part of the #MeToo movement on International Womens Day in Seoul, South Korea, March 8, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji/File PhotoThe yearly report by the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) found the fertility rate per lady in South Korea was just 1.1, the least expensive amongst 201 countries surveyed. “Even as women have gotten equality in access to education and work, choices on having more children are constrained by their second shift in taking care of children and managing households,” stated Won Do-yeon, chief of the UNFPAs Seoul office, in an email interview with Reuters. Reversing the decline in fertility will require wider institutional reform consisting of policies to empower females, in addition to the higher participation and assistance of males, he said. The U.N. report, which looked at practices that harm girls and ladies and undermine equality, included a group of South Korean female activists who combated to suppress a deep-rooted choice for boy in the 1980s. In 1994, 115.4 young boys were born in the nation for each 100 ladies, but the ratio has actually dropped to 105.6, around a natural level, it said. Nevertheless, females in the country still deal with more domestic obligations, a glass ceiling at work environments and new forms of gender-based violence including online sexual abuse, the report stated. Crimes including dating violence and spy webcams have led thousands of women in South Korea to object in the last few years, calling for more stringent charges and enforcement of laws. “A strong civil society and femaless groups are vital to addressing the emerging types of violence,” Won said. Other countries with a low birth rate included Bosnia and Herzegovina and Singapore at 1.2, and Cyprus, Greece, Italy and Portugal at 1.3. Reporting by Hyonhee Shin; modifying by Richard PullinOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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