Prepare food, clothes before birth: Sexist tips to pregnant women criticized

The federal government of South Korea’s capital is going through criticism for a web based guide for pregnant girls that contained sexist ideas and gender stereotypes.

The now-deleted tips, which had been revealed on the web site of Seoul’s “Pregnancy and Childbirth Information Center,” steered that pregnant girls ought to put together meals, garments and every day requirements for his or her husbands and household earlier than going to the hospital to provide delivery. They provided recommendations on weight administration that concerned hanging up smaller dimension clothes for motivation and warned girls towards extreme spending on youngsters’s clothes.

South Korea has one of many lowest birthrates on the earth, in keeping with the United Nations Inhabitants Fund, and is attempting to encourage extra births. However critics say these efforts have been hampered by a authorities that always displays a deeply patriarchal society and widespread sexist views.

“It’s like Seoul City is declaring that a wife should take care of all the housework,” Kim Hyomin, a pupil at Duksung Girls’s College, stated in a cellphone interview.

The guide was revealed in 2019, however did not obtain widespread consideration till final week, when criticism unfold on social media. The belated fury prompted the capital to delete the rules and triggered on-line petitions demanding that it apologize.

The Seoul Metropolitan Authorities acknowledged in a press release Monday that it had did not totally test the rules, which it stated had been initially from the Ministry of Well being and Welfare web site, and promised to evaluation city-related web sites and educate staff on gender equality.

The rules additionally warned girls about what they stated was the elevated danger of untimely delivery if a husband “suddenly throws himself on top of her” or engages in “aggressive sexual activity.”

The rules promoted and normalized gender violence, in keeping with Ji-Yeong Yunkim, assistant professor on the Institute of Physique and Tradition at Konkuk College.

“Women are seen as having to sacrifice and take care of adult men, however difficult it is,” Yunkim stated.

This isn’t the primary time that authorities efforts to extend the birthrate have backfired.

In 2016, South Korea’s Ministry of the Inside launched a “birth map” web site that confirmed the variety of girls of childbearing age by metropolis district and area. That web site was pulled after a public outcry.

Yunkim, the professor, stated the recurring mishaps by South Korea’s authorities stem from male-dominated establishments’ notion of ladies.

“They see women as reproduction tools rather than individuals,” Yunkim stated.

This story has been revealed from a wire company feed with out modifications to the textual content. Solely the headline has been modified.


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