SEOUL, South Korea -- The government of South Korea's capital is facing criticism for an online manual for pregnant women that contained sexist tips and gender stereotypes.
The now-deleted guidelines, which were published on the website of Seoul’s “Pregnancy and Childbirth Information Center,” suggested that pregnant women should prepare food, clothes and daily necessities for their husbands and family before going to the hospital to give birth. They offered tips on weight management that involved hanging up smaller size clothing for motivation and warned women against excessive spending on children’s clothing.
South Korea has one of the lowest birthrates in the world, according to the United Nations Population Fund, and is trying to encourage more births. But critics say those efforts have been hampered by a government that often reflects 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 student at Duksung Women’s University, said in a phone interview.