SEOUL, Jul. 4 (Korea Bizwire) — A recent government report says only three in 10 married couples with children under 14 years of age are composed of two working parents, a figure well below the OECD average, which experts think is due long work hours and a lack of participation in housework on the part of South Korean husbands.
The shocking findings from the report released by Ministry of Employment and Labor (MOEL) based on data from the OECD and the Korean Labor & Income Panel Study revealed working parents only accounted for just below 30 percent of all parents with children younger than 14 years of age, nearly half the OECD average of 58.5 percent.
The MOEL says the combination of long working hours for male workers and their lack of participation in housework explains the stark discrepancy between South Korean and other OECD member countries.
The number of employees working over 50 hours a week accounts for 23.1 percent of all workers in South Korea, 10.1 percent higher than the average figure for OECD countries.
When it came to sharing household chores, South Korean men were the least helpful, as they reported spending only 45 minutes per day doing housework.
Single income families were still the most prevalent type of household in South Korea, as the number of families that rely on one income earner accounted for 46.5 percent of all families, 15.7 percent above the OECD average of 30.8 percent.
Among South Korean working parents with young children, couples who both work full-time every day accounted for 20.6 percent of the total, while those who work on a mixed schedule accounted for 8.8 percent, both below the OECD average figures of 41.95 and 16.6 percent, respectively.
While the number of full-time working parents typically increases as children get older in other countries, the increase was smaller in South Korea.
“The working environment in South Korea is not female friendly, hence the higher number of single income families. For mothers to work more, fathers need to more actively participate in housework and the culture of working long hours has to change,” a MOEL official said.
Hyunsu Yim (firstname.lastname@example.org)