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Korean Women Still Earning Less

While the gender pay gap is narrowing, it remains that females are paid just 70% of what males make.

By Maggie Mancini

The gender pay gap in Korea has persisted, with female workers earning just 70% of what their male counterparts earn per hour in 2022, according to the most recent data co-published by the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family and Ministry of Employment and Labour.  

The average hourly wage for women was 18,113 won ($14) in 2022, while male workers earned 25,886 won ($19.72). Still, the gender pay gap has narrowed gradually, from 64.8% in 2012 to 65.9% in 2017, 69.8% in 2021, and 70% in 2022. In 2022, the average monthly wage for men was 4.12 million won ($3,123) and 2.68 million won for women ($2,041). During that time, the number of employed women in Korea reached 12.1 million. Their employment rate has steadily increased from 48.6% in 2012 to 52.9% in 2022.  

The employment rate gap among women aged 35 to 39 was the most pronounced, with 30.7%. The number of women experiencing career disruptions decreased from 2.1 million in 2014 to 1.3 million in 2022. The most common reason for women’s career breaks was childcare (42.7%), followed by marriage (26.3%), and pregnancy and childbirth (22.8%). While fewer women are quitting their jobs following marriage, childcare continues to pose a risk to their career progression. 

Tags: APAC January 2024, APAC News

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