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The original article, "미혼모가 가난한 게 아니라 사회가 가난하게 만드는 것", was published in OhmyNews in Dec. 3, 2010. It was translated by KUMSN and proofread by Valerie Owen, a volunteer of KUMSN. If you have any question, please contact KUMSN at firstname.lastname@example.org
[Oh My News] Dec. 3, 2010
Unwed Mothers Are Not Poor. Society Makes Them to Be Poor
▲ Executive General Hee-Jung, Kwon of the Korea Unwed Mothers Support Network
On Dec. 2, I met with Executive General Hee-Jung, Kwon of the Korea Unwed Mothers Support Network and asked the measures to support for unwed mothers. She said that comprehensive support measures should be taken based on information on and understanding of unwed mothers.
She took an example of budget of 12.1 billion won to support young unwed mothers aged from 18 to 24. The budget was confirmed last year and implemented starting from this year. The budget is used for young unwed mothers who live independently in the community, not living in social welfare facilities. Childcare support of 100,000 won per month and medical insurance fee and fee for qualification of high school graduation exam are supported under the budget. However, she raised the question of effectiveness of the budget citing that the execution rate of the budget was a mere 5% as of late October.
2010 survey on the current status of the unwed mother in Gyeonggi-do (Hae-Jung, Seo, 2010) is the first example of the identification of current status of unwed mothers in the community. According to the survey, among unwed mothers who receive welfare benefits, those under the age of 24 accounts for 22.2%, those between the age of 25 and 30 accounts for 22.3% and those over the age of 31 accounts for 55.5%.
Ms. Kwon cited the results of the survey and said that the share of those over 30 is higher than that of other surveys. The result is quite different from that of other surveys focusing on unwed mothers in social welfare facilities. The result is very meaningful to dispel the misconception of policy makers that most unwed mothers are young.
Ms. Kwon said “In reality, young unwed mothers tend to use social welfare facilities because it is hard for them to make money for childbirth. Given the fact that there is no case where systemic research was conducted on unwed mothers in the community, it will be helpful to expand the 2010 survey on the current status of the unwed mother in Gyeonggi-do nationwide to identify the scale and volume of the support.”
“Unwed mothers have a stigma in our society resulting in breakup with their existing relationship and economic hardship. Unwed mothers themselves are not poor. They became poor when they are isolated from our society after being an unwed mother.” She added.
She said that the focus article on unwed mothers in “Oh my news” would improve the recognition of unwed mothers. In addition, unwed mothers would be free from sense of guilt. Currently, the government is providing psychological counseling service to unwed mother family in mojawon, a house for mother and child, but it is necessary for this service to be expanded to unwed mothers and their children in the community, she added.
”In reality, unwed mothers live under the great psychological and financial burdens and such burdens tend to be delivered to children. Therefore, we need to consider and pay attention to not only unwed mothers but also their children carefully.” She emphasized.
Reporter, Young-Sook Kim
2010.12.03 14:17 ⓒ 2010 OhmyNews
We appreciate Valerie Owen, a volunteer of KUMSN, for proof reading this article.