Women and Poverty in Korea: the Feminization of Poverty?

한국의 빈곤의 여성화에 대한 실증 분석

  • Published : 2004.05.31


This paper examine the gender-poverty gap and the feminization of poverty in Korea with using data from the National Survey Household Income & Expenditure(1996, 2000) and the Urban Survey Household Income & Expenditure(1996-2002) by Korea National Statistical Office. The poverty rate in 2000 was 16.9 percent for female-head families and 7.9 percent for male-head families, which means that female-head families were 2.6 times more likely to be poor than male-head families. With examining impact of economic crisis in 1998 on gender-poverty gap, it show that both the poverty rate of female-head and male-head increase radically in peak of economic crisis, while, in the stage of recovering economy, the poverty rate of male-head families recovered mostly the level before economic crisis, but that of female-head families recover only the 2/3 level before and the 1/3 remain still under poverty. Thus gender-poverty gap appeared bigger during passing through economic crisis. With analyzing on influence factors of poverty, it appear that poverty is influenced by gender itself as well as education level, working condition which is reflected substantially characteristics of gender. Such an analysis results mean that the considering gender dimension is necessary to resolve poverty fundamentally because gender is a point intersection among family, labour market, and social security. Therefore it appears certain that to develop and adopt of women-friendly social policy is effective approach, which could resolve poverty and social problems related to social rights.