Korean Feminism and Gender Roles


Chloe Cairns

Faculty Mentor(s)

Chong Eun Ahn (History)


Chloe Cairns
Asian Studies
Korean Feminism and Gender Roles

This presentation analyzes how Korean tradition and culture enforces the strict social norms placed on Korean women. These values include the pressure to be a good wife and mother even if it is at the expense of a woman’s career. If a woman does not meet the expectation of a good mother or if she wants to pursue a career, she is often pressured to feel guilt for neglecting her family life. However, in the past two decades, women in Korea have been fighting against the societal pressure placed on them. Korean women have accomplished this through pursuing careers and holding off on marriage and having children. However, workplaces have huge barriers such as wage gaps and pressure to not take maternity leaves. Korean women continue to fight against gender norms by pursuing careers and education. These actions challenge present social norms and traditions, while working towards gender equality.

Keywords: Gender,Feminism,Korea


3 thoughts on “Korean Feminism and Gender Roles”

  1. Great presentation, Chloe! I completely agree with you when you point out that women are often placed in a double bind, either/or binary choice between family and career.
    I wonder if you are familiar with the concept of the double burden: https://iwda.org.au/resource/the-double-burden-the-impact-of-economic-empowerment-initiatives-on-womens-workload/
    My question is concerning the double burden, or understanding of domestic labor and how it disproportionately affects women. Is there a feminist movement in Korea that addresses the issues of inequality in the home, when women are expected to do more work as their duty, and their labor is viewed is inconsequential?

  2. Chloe Cairns is an amazing presenter. She is a public speaking natural, fluently reading with an appropriate engaging pace. More impressively, the audience is given the impression she is talking to them confidently from a position of expertise and not appearing to be reading notes or following a script. The most distinctive part of Chloe’s presentation is shown in her voice. She offers a great deal of her own input while explaining her understanding of the topic in relation to the research, not merely citing or quoting it. She understood the topic well and tried to discover its matter in a variety of views. Her presentation also reflects deeper research values with time invested and is very well-organized.

  3. Great work, Chloe. I appreciate how you narrowed down some of your arguments to make specific points about political and cultural gender dynamics!

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