Given women's increased economic participation rate, Korean society is currently witnessing an increasing need to reconcile the work/family dilemma for working women. This paper explores how to feel the work/family dilemma among working women. The authors aim to shed light on the importance of subjective feelings as well as the significance of objective social stricture for evaluating gender inequalities that working women face in everyday life.
The research method employed in this paper was telephone surveys with a stnictured questionnaire, and multi-stepped stratified sampling is used. The pilot study started on May 25th. and was finished on June 2, 2001. The available sample sizes are 1,535 cases.
Each survey question is answered from four different viewpoints, that is, from the married working women themselves, working women's husband's evaluation of his wife, non-married working women, and the non-married male's evaluation of his wife-to-be.
The research data was analyzed using the SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Science) PC+(version 8.0) and frequency table, the χ² test and the ANOVA (Analysis of Variance) were performed. The summary of our research results are as follows:
1) The socio-demographic backgrounds of the 1,535 respondents are as follows: female 51.1%, male 48.9%. The ages were distributed as 20's 27.4%, 30's 27.8%, 40's 18.1%, 50s-60's 26.7%. The proportion of married women was 40.5%, non-married women 9.0%, married men 33.6%, non-married men 16.9%. And the proportion of dual income families was 33.2%, one income family 40.9%, and non-married 25.9%. The educational level was: under junior high school 20.4%, senior high school 38.6%, college enrollment 41.0%, while the household income was under 1 million won/m 16.8%, 1 million to 1.5 million won/m 15.4%, 1.5 to 2 million won/m 23.3%, 2 million to 3 million won/m 24.9%, over 3 million won/m 19.6%.
2) The proportion of women's domestic labor charge is measured by average 75.7%. Those who are evaluated as taking the highest proportion of domestic labor turns out to be married women (87.4%), then married men's evaluation of their wives (80.5%), then the finances of non-married men (55.5%), and non-married women themselves (33.6%) in order.
3) To the question of "do you want to be a double income family?", the answers are 'somewhat agree' 61.6%, 'very much agree' 13.6%, 'somewhat disagree' 18.1%, and 'absolutely disagree' 6.2%. The preference rates of the double income family are: non-married women 82.3%, non-married men 81.1%, married women 78.6%, and married men 66.0%. The differences among the marital status/gender groups are statistically significant (F=10.4555, df=[3, 1440], p<.001).
4) The evaluation of the wife's contribution to the domestic economy is measured by an average of 41.8%. Married women themselves think their contribution averages 43.5%, married men's 41.2%, non-married women 43.2%, non-married men's 39.3%. The differences of evaluation rates are statistically significant (χ² =95.0947, df=51, p<.0002).
5) Concerning women's motivation to participate economically, the main reasons are 'to support family living' (46.5%) then 'to actualize personal capability'(37.6%), 'to save money for children's education and marriage expenses' (10.1%), and 'to fulfill the role of family bread-winner' (3.8%) etc. The suggested reasons of women's motivation to enter the paid workforce differs by group, married women (51.8%) and men (53.8%) point out 'supporting family living', non-married women (56.9%) and men (53.8%) 'doing whatever they want to do' as the main motivation to work (χ² =107.6862, df=15, p<.001).
6) To the question of "until when should women participate in economic activities?" 49.1% of respondents answer 'women should work throughout their life-time' and 27.5% of 'women should reenter the labor market after their children are over 5'. The results indicate that there is still an obvious conflict between th