Korea lags behind in tackling gender wage gap despite increase in female workers

Labor activists hold a street campaign for women's empowerment during International Women's Day in Seoul, March 8. Yonhap

The number of employed Korean women has reached a record high, but the country is still far from improving the wage gap between men and women, which is the worst in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).According to the Korean Statistical Information Service (KOSIS) data provided by Statistics Korea, Tuesday, the country had a total of 9.97 million wage workers in 2023.The figure was up 282,000 from the previous year and also marked the highest since Statistics Korea started compiling relevant data in 1963.The number of employed people from 1963 to 2023 increased more than 17-fold.The ratio of women in the workforce also reached an all-time high of 45.7 percent of the country’s workers in 2023.The rate increased steadily from 24.1 percent in 1963 to 33.8 percent in 1983 and 41.4 percent in 2013.The employment status for women improved as well.

Some 68.7 percent of 9.97 million female wageworkers were employed full-time, while another 28.1 percent were temporary workers and another 3.2 percent were daily contract workers.Despite such advancement, Korea still sits at the bottom of the OECD on the gender wage imbalance after nearly 30 years.The pay gap between men and women was 31.2 percent in 2022, making little progress from 31.1 percent in 2021.Korea was the only OECD member country that posted a rate higher than 30 percent, which was more than twice the OECD average of 12.1 percent in 2023.Israel was ranked second with a gap difference of 25.4 percent, followed by Japan with 21.3 percent and the United States with 17 percent.In a 2023 survey of 1,504 wageworkers taken by the Korean Women’s Development Institute, 39.6 percent of male respondents said career breaks due to having and raising children reduces chances for women to move up and receive higher wages compared to men.But 54.7 percent of the female respondents picked gender discrimination 온라인카지노 in promotions as the major reason for the pay gap.

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