According to a report from Statistics Korea on the distribution of 6 household chores (including grocery shopping, cleaning, cooking and caring for sick family members) between married couples in 12 different countries for 2014, the participation rate of Korean husbands was significantly lower than that of their European counterparts. For example, the proportion of couples in South Korea cooking meals together was 9.3% (vs. 33.1% and 28.1% for couples in Norway and Denmark, respectively). The proportion of Korean couples cleaning the house together was 19.7% (vs. 39.4%, 36.3% and 33.1% for Finland, Sweden and Denmark, respectively).
This may be due to the deeply rooted culture of the Confucian patriarchal society where the husband is considered to be the breadwinner and the wife is responsible for the household chores.
In fact, according to the Korea Economic Research Institute’s report comparing the economic activity rate of South Korea to that of 7 OECD member countries (including the United States, Japan, Germany, Canada, Britain, Australia and the Netherlands), the proportion of Korean women aged between 25 to 54 who are working or available for work was 63%, which was significantly lower than the average of the 7 OECD countries of 76.2%. It seems that Korean women are more inclined to become full-time housewives after marriage.
If you do not like household chores and are looking for a husband who is willing to share household chores, perhaps Koreans are not your choice!
You can read more on recent marriage trends in South Korea in my blog post dated 5 December 2014.
Reminder: The next blog post will be published on 12 January 2015. Watch this space!
Yoon Min-sik, “Ratio of Korean couples sharing chores lower than in Europe“, The Korea Herald, 2015-01-07 – you can get further detail on the report from Statistics Korea
Shin Se-min, “Married Korean couples are not dividing up household chores as evenly as European counterparts“, Arirang News, 2015-01-07
Lee Ji-yoon, “Korean women’s economic activity rate lower than some OECD member countries“, Arirang News, 2014-11-25 – you can get further detail on the report from Korea Economic Research Institute