Married women's labour force participation and status : a study of the working class in South Korea.
The factors affecting the supply side of married women's
working participation in the working class and the impact of women's
paid work on their Btatus at home are the main concern of the
current Btudy. For the argument, homeworkers and workers outside
the home were compared. The baBic points in thiB study are:
The age of the youngest child was one of the biggeBt barriers
to married women's labour force participation. However, the age
barrier seemed not to be absolute or the whole story in decisionmaking
over married women's paid working participation.
Another traditional domeBtic responsibility, housework,
to exercise only a slight influence on the female labour
participation in Korea.
An important factor influencing women's acceSB to paid work was
the huabanda ' attitude. In particular, the control of women'B
sexuality because of the fear of infidelity seemed to be the most
important reaBon of the husbands' opposition to their wives working
outside the home. For the same reaBon, women's working conditionB
were controlled by their husbands.
Economic needs resulting from the husbands' inability to
sustain the household forced them to allow their wiveB to work for an
incom~._ HowE'v~r, this did not automatically lead to the hUBbands
giving perrr:'ssionfor the wives to take up paid work. Women
struggled against, and resiBted, their hUBbands control over them.
Their income earning was not likely to enhance women's status
in relation to their huabanda at home because of the husbands'
control of married women's labour power and their working conditions.
The status of women at home Beemed primarily to be the cause of their
position in the labour force participation, rather than the result.
However, women's high income could only reinforce the status of those
women who already had a good relationship with their husbands