More and more South Korean women are obtaining paid jobs outside of the home due to financial difficulties brought by widespread economic turmoil in the region.
Traditional values that formerly limited women’s sphere to their roles as wives and mothers are crumbling, at least partially due to economic need. Before the Asian financial crisis began in the fall of 1997, young women often quit work upon marriage or after having children. Now, women are working to support their families, with some becoming entrepreneurs and even executives.
Although financial difficulties have prompted many South Korean companies to lay off their female workers in favor of male employees, others are hiring women. Women who have been unable to find paid work are striking out on their own by opening small businesses or by working with their husbands to support struggling businesses.