The wedding hall turned into a funeral hall… South Korea’s low birth rate seen by the world

In 1951, despite the war, 670,000 people were born in South Korea. Last year, 250,000 people were born in Korea. It seems that life is as hard as war. An advertisement for a local clinic attached to a subway station. ‘Work during the day, dialysis at night’, ‘wise night dialysis for busy office workers’. It tells the hard life of Koreans.

When I followed the movement of the person confirmed in the early stages of the corona, her aunt, who was confirmed by her while working at a call center, was turning green juice at dawn. Another employee was working at the Coupang distribution center on the weekend. A 30-year-old woman was working in a call center as an emergency care teacher. Young people in this country who are busy from cradle to grave no longer have children.

1. ‘ Workism’

American public radio NPR introduced Korea’s unique ‘ workism ‘ (work-centered society) while analyzing Korea’s low birth rate . He introduced that Korea is one of the countries with the longest working hours per week among OECD countries, and that the rate of working more than 50 hours per week is 6% in Denmark and 10% in France, while 19% in Korea ( data OECD ) . pointed out

In particular, “Koreans have a strong tendency to believe that if they contribute more at work and are in a higher position, that makes them more valuable,” the analysis said. NPR said, “The more a country values ​​work than family, the lower the birth rate.”

We are a performance society where the harder you work, the clearer the reward. And if you fall behind in the competition, a cold price awaits you. However, in this complex society, someone has no choice but to be pushed out of the competition. A society dominated by the idea of ​​’you can do it’ and indifferent to the limits that citizens have to endure. The life we ​​want is ‘cha-cha-cha in a seaside village’, but the reality is a ‘squid game’.

2. Dual Perspectives on Marriage and Childbirth

In France and Denmark, which have relatively high fertility rates among European countries, there are relatively few disadvantages at work due to childbirth and childcare. The Economist ‘s Glass Ceiling Index magazine’s glass ceiling index ), these two countries are the 6th and 9th best places for women to work. Korea is in last place.

In the homepage of the Committee for Low Fertility and Aging Society, the chairman said, “With the goal of ensuring that the goal of self-realization and the joy of giving birth and raising children are satisfied at the same time, bold measures must be prepared and necessary financial investments must be prepared under the goal of ensuring that the state is fully responsible.” there is However, if you live happily raising children and realizing yourself in Korea, you will have to hear the words, “Then why do you work for a company?”

It may be a joke made up by someone, but it tells us our double views on childbirth and parenting. In Korea, women who choose to give birth and raise children often face disadvantages at work. The New York Times said, “I have no doubt what choice I will make. I can’t end my career with childbirth or childcare,” said an interview with a female college student in Cheongju.

In the so-called ‘baby-tan’ society, ‘non’ marriage and ‘non’ childbirth are the same as ‘burned’ at work. The BBC described Korea as ‘a society in which work and family are difficult to coexist’. In Korea, in reality, when ‘responsible motherhood is demonstrated, it becomes an unresponsible office worker’.

US public radio NPR also pointed out that Korean society still does not respect children born outside the institution of ‘marriage’. In 2020, South Korea had 2.5% of children out of wedlock, but in the same year, the United States recorded 40.5% (Norway exceeded 56% and Sweden exceeded 54%)./ OECD Family data as of 2018 ). More and more young people choose to give birth outside the institution of marriage, but South Korea still believes that childbirth is possible only within ‘marriage’.

France does not use the term ‘low birth rate measures’. Instead, it is expressed as a ‘family plan’. It is important for us to give birth, but for other developed countries, it is important to raise them. Developed countries think that ‘children are born by mothers and raised by society’, but Korean society still believes that children should be raised by their biological parents. So, they ask, “Who is the father of the child?” and indefinitely place the responsibility for childrearing on the parents. Is that why? South Korea, which says overcoming the low birth rate is the biggest challenge on earth, sent another 142 children abroad for adoption last year (data Ministry of Health and Welfare).

Marriage and childcare are very expensive in Korea. It demands a lot of money. Al Jazeera analyzed Korea’s low fertility rate, saying, ‘Uncertainty in the job market, high housing prices, and the enormous cost of raising children in a brutally competitive society. ‘ The choice of young Koreans not to marry and give birth is ‘reasonable’ in a society where having a child has to bear disadvantages and huge expenses at work. 3. ‘Korea is on a different level’ Low birthrate is, in fact, a challenge faced by almost all developed countries. But we are on different levels. CNN last May.

reported on how severely Italy is facing a low birth rate. Less than a quarter of 43-year-old women born in 1980 have given birth to children. He said that an economic dark period could come to this aging country, where 12 children die for every 7 children born. In Italy, 2 million workers are retiring by 2030, and there is an acute shortage of young people to fill their pensions먹튀검증.

CNN explained the case of Germany, where parental leave is available for up to three years, and said that the Italian government and the Catholic Church lamented the low birth rate, but closed their eyes to countermeasures. Italy’s fertility rate introduced by CNN is ‘1.25’. We are ‘0.78 people’.

In Japan, which has been declining for the 14th consecutive year, the population decreased in all 47 prefectures for the first time last year. Last year, 770,000 newborns were born and 1.56 million died. That’s how another 790,000 people fell. In our case, the entire population of Cheongju has disappeared. In January, Prime Minister Kishida confessed that the situation was “serious enough that it could not sustain social functions.” Japan’s total fertility rate is 1.26. We are 0.78 people.

CNN reported that the number of child care facilities in Korea, which were 40,000 in 2017, has plummeted to 30,000 at the end of 2022. Instead, the number of facilities for the elderly, such as nursing hospitals, increased from 77,000 in 2017 to 89,000 last year, which suggests that Korea’s low birth rate measures have failed.

Foreign media now ask who will support the elderly in Korea. In addition, the New York Times reported that the suicide rate of Koreans aged 65 and older is the highest in the world. South Korea, which has shown the most dynamic economic and cultural dynamics in the past decades, will experience a difficult future due to a low birth rate, he warned.

My friend’s father’s funeral home was the wedding venue where my friend got married. Taekwondo schools disappear in Gurye, South Jeolla Province, and obstetrics and gynecology clinics disappear in Yeongdeok, North Gyeongsang Province. Sales of milk, piano, and baseball gloves also decrease. Sales of baby diapers plummeted while sales of adult diapers soared.

In that way, we went against the law of human continuation and completed a ‘childless society’. The number of high school seniors who exceeded 900,000 decreased to 400,000 last year. After 20 years, it will be reduced to about 200,000. In the future, we have to throw away 200,000 desks and chairs only in the high school classroom. How many jobs will be lost?

The domestic demand of companies will decrease, the sales of your store will decrease, and the number of people who pay taxes will also decrease. The world is looking at Korea’s low birth rate with serious eyes. But maybe we’re the only ones pretending not to know. ‘In Korea, which has achieved unprecedented rapid economic growth, the generation that will receive the fruits of that growth in return is disappearing’ . This is the point of NPR, a public radio broadcaster in the US .

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