Chuseok holiday no break for women

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Only women are forced to perform domestic labor during the Chuseok holiday, according to a survey by the Seoul Foundation of Women and Family, Monday. The foundation conducted the survey of over 1,170 people on sexist customs practiced on the major holiday, which falls on Sept. 24 this year. Over 80 percent of female respondents said they have experienced sexist remarks or customs. More than 53 percent of the respondents said the most unfair custom is that only women are forced to prepare food for ancestral memorial services and take care of other chores afterward including cleaning up.  And this was not just the women’s opinion, as 43.5 percent of the male respondents said they want to change the custom and help their female family members prepare the food. Another 9.7 percent of the respondents said it is also a sexist practice that parents or relatives enforce gender stereotypes or gender roles, followed by 8.1 percent whose relatives ask about marriage plans.

Women said they feel uncomfortable when they are separated from men over a meal or when older relatives talk about their appearance openly. On the other hand, 13.3 percent of the men said they felt burdened from having to spend too much money during Chuseok. They also said it is unfair that men are forced to do the difficult work such as driving long distances, moving heavy objects or landscaping around a grave. “We found not only women but also men were also targeted with sexism,” a foundation official said.

By Kim Jae-heun

(Korea Times)

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