Korean working moms' conditions worsening, poll shows

Korean working moms' conditions worsening, poll shows

SEOUL - About 73 per cent of working mothers in Korea are experiencing difficulty in balancing career and family despite government efforts to support women in the workplace, a poll showed Monday.

According to a survey of 1,000 women in their 30s and 40s conducted by the Women's Intercultural Network, the Misery Index for working moms reached 3.33 points on a scale of zero to five, up 0.29 points from last year. A reading closer to 5 indicates higher levels of stress.

The organisation analysed the data by breaking down their lifestyle into four broad categories. Troubles with managing social life accounted for the most with the index standing at 3.56 points, followed by personal life at 3.38 points, family life at 3.37 points and work life at 3 points, data showed.

In the social life category, the respondents cited insufficient policy support for women to handle the demands of career and family as the biggest difficulty.

Asked about what could help increase the birthrate, 27.6 per cent, the largest group of respondents, cited employment stability.

The Korean government has increased efforts to improve work conditions for women and help them to enter the workforce.

The most notable policy announced this year is the flexible work system, in which employees work on a part-time basis but receive similar welfare benefits to those of full-time employees.

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