Total Articles 85
2010.11.12 14:47:12 (*.11.178.60)
How to Improve Government Welfare Services
for Low-Income Unwed Mothers in Korea
Mijeong Lee, Hye Young Kim, Bo Young Sun
Korea Women's Development Institute
A. Background of Study
Along with the recent increase in the number of unwed mothers raising their children, there is a growing interest in unwed mother families in Korean society. According to a nationwide public survey on perceptions of unwed mothers, the tendency of judging the moral standards of unwed mothers has significantly declined in Korea (Kim, Hye Young et al., 2009). The South Korean government, which had failed to aggressively support unwed mothers in the past, despite being criticized for carrying out mass "exports" of Koran babies for overseas adoption, has recently acknowledged the importance of providing child-care support to unwed mothers and has vigorously initiated support activities.
However, despite the weakened social prejudice against unwed mothers and active government support, the majority of unwed mothers are still suffering from economic difficulties and social prejudice. Women who had been employed at a solid workplace often fall into proverty after becoming an unwed mother. Savings accunulated during employment become depleted as they undergo an emergency situation of an unexpected pregnancy. The moment a woman decides to carry on with the pregnancy and keep her child, regardless of what her education level or occupational competency may be, social prejudice pushes her into a most strenuous situation.
The Korean government provides various welfare services for unwed mothers who are suffering from economic difficulties, but many Yangyukmihonmos continue to voice concerns about the financial hurdles they face while rearing thier children. Although the government states that it provides a wide range of services, thd actual welfare services that are perceived to be helpful by Yangunkmihinmis seem to be limited. This study will review thd welfare services for unwed mothers provided by the Korean government, and look into tje degree of which such well go on to suggest recommendations for improving the current welfare services for Yangyukmihonmos.