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As a Woman, I Have No Country;Birth Map

기사승인 2017.03.04  16:00:36

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BIRTH.KOREA.GO.KR

“As a woman, I have no country.”  This is a quote by Virginia Woolf.  She spoke these words in opposition to war, but it is used now in a much broader sense.  ‘Birth map’, a website that was created on December 29th by the Ministry of the Interior, makes use of it.  Ministry spokesperson claims the government created the map highlighting low birth rate areas around the nation to encourage local governments increase the birth rate.  The website illustrates regional birthrates by giving the public access to authentic statistical data and information on services and benefits that would be provided to parents who have children.  It also provides the location of 243 local government childcare zones across the country.  There is a problem with the information.  The map simply marks women of childbearing ages as digits.  The Ministry does not regard women as human beings, but as objects that can increase the birth rate.  Indeed, there is a statistical connection between the number of women of childbearing age and the birth rate, but the Ministry uses this correlation as an incentive for birth, not as reference data.  In other words, women are nothing more than data, means by which a nation can increase its population, regardless of whether the individual wishes to have children or not.  As a result, there has been increasing pressure for women who have no plans to bear a child to give birth.  Also, the government attributed the low birth rate to individualism.  The biggest reason for the low birth rate is actually the Korean social structure; that is, its lack of social welfare, financial difficulty due to the cost of living, and the high unemployment rate.  If the Ministry wishes to increase the nation’s birth rate, it should first look within and fix the nation’s social structure. Many women across the country are upset and voicing their angry with: “As a woman, when can we have a country?"

Kim Lim Minji smt_kmj@sm.ac.kr

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