pregnancy

James Turnbull's picture

It’s Official: UNDP Says Korea Now Feminist Paradise (NOT April 1 Joke!)

 

(Source: unknown)

If there was only one statistic that best sums up contemporary Korean society, then that would be its “Gender Empowerment Measure” (GEM). Calculated by the UNDP, it is:

…an indicator of women’s degree of participation in political and economic activity and the policy-making process, using for its evaluation factors such as the number of female legislators, the percentage of women in senior official and managerial positions, the percentage of women in professional and technical positions, and the income differential between men and women (source).

Or, to put it graphically (see here for more details):

And why Korea’s GEM is so revealing is not just because of its abysmal ranking, which, at 68th out of 179 countries surveyed, is bested even by developing countries such as Kyrgyzstan, the Dominican Republic, the Philippines, Vietnam, Moldova, Botswana, and Nicaragua. Rather, it’s because that rank is so out of sync with its other rank of 25 in the Human Development Index (HDI), which measures a country’s  standard of living. Surely, as I explained two years ago, there is no greater testament to the palpable gender apartheid here, than the fact that Korea does such a good job of educating and taking care of the health its citizens, only then to effectively exclude fully half of them from political and economic power?

James Turnbull's picture

Resisting the Criminalization of Abortion in South Korea

( Source )

Like Lindsay Lohan says, some stories do indeed keep on growing. And the more I’ve learned about abortion in recent weeks, the more certain I am that if it doesn’t become a hot political issue for Lee Myung-bak in the remaining years of his presidency, then it certainly will be if not addressed by his successor.

Not so much because Koreans feel strongly about the issue itself however. Rather, because this is the same president that despite campaign promises not to, immediately tried to abolish the (then) Ministry of Gender Equality for instance. And also, because a year later, he encouraged targeting women for mass layoffs as a solution to the financial crisis.

Criminalizing abortion simply in order to increase the birthrate rate then, is really part and parcel of a wider mentality that is fundamentally failing to get to grips with women’s entrenched inequality here. And perhaps could come be the symbol and/or catalyst for later volatile protests about any number of related issues, much like those in 2008 were never really simply about imported beef.

James Turnbull's picture

Newsflash: Korean Doctor Sent to Jail for Performing Abortion, Korean Woman Fined for Planning to Have One

 

( Source: Dramabeans )

Yes, those really did happen in the last couple of months.

Perhaps it was naive of me to be so shocked and surprised however? After all, according to the Korea Herald, “about 30 [doctors] have been brought to the court over the past 5 years, mostly resulting in probation or fines”, so presumably this latest case technically isn’t the first time a Korean doctor has been incarcerated for performing an abortion (for 1 year, with probation for 2 years). And then the Lee Myung-bak Administration did signal it would begin enforcing Korea’s long-ignored abortion laws over a year ago too, in a vain and wholly misguided effort to increase the record-low birthrate, so prosecutions had to emerge sooner or later.

Still, I’d be surprised if this wasn’t the first time a pregnant woman has been fined for just planning an abortion, and according to the law she could even face having her baby in jail herself if she tries again. And the fact that she was charged as a result of her husband informing the police? It sounds positively Dickensian.

Seriously, is he physically confining her to their home as I type this? Is she still allowed to divorce him, or has she been stripped of that right too?

My second surprise was that, yet again, I didn’t actually learn of this important news via any English-language media, but rather via the following humble-looking video passed on to me by my Facebook friend Mee-young Cherry, who in turn found it via her friend Heejung Paik of Gwangju Womenlink (광주여성민우회). Simply a very brief overview of Korean’s draconian abortion laws in the global context rather than a discussion of the cases themselves though, I’ve just translated those parts relevant to Korea below:

arvan's picture

In the womb of controversy

[From Times of India]

CHENNAI: As high drama is being played out in Indian courts over surrogacy issues, the US consulate in Chennai, perhaps worried about the rash of litigations, has decided to tighten its visa processing norms, particularly for couples coming to the city for fertility treatment and assisted reproduction.

About a month ago, Vimala (name changed), a US citizen, returning home after delivering a healthy baby boy, was put through a grilling at the US consulate in Chennai when she went to obtain a passport for her new-born. On learning that she had conceived the child with the help of donor eggs (through assisted reproduction by transfer of eggs or oocytes donated by another woman), the consulate declined to recognise her as the biological mother.

"The father's name and mother's name are mentioned in the consular report of birth. This certificate is issued to recognise a US citizen child born outside the country. But the certificate for my son does not list me as the mother. I had to go through a lawyer to process adoption in the US and get the certificate amended to incorporate my name," Vimala said in a communication to her doctor.

arvan's picture

Back-street abortions underline need for sex education

NAIROBI, 19 October 2009 (PlusNews) - Julia Nyaberi's* "clinic" in Majengo, a slum in Kenya's capital, Nairobi, caters to one type of client only - pregnant women seeking abortions.

Young women writhe in pain on the floor of the poorly lit house; the neighbours all know what happens here and have become immune to the moans and wails.

"They come to me and each pays me 50 shillings [US$0.70]," Nyaberi told IRIN/PlusNews. "Most of them are sex workers who operate here in Majengo and have conceived by mistake."

She uses a concoction of herbs to induce abortion, and admits there have been fatalities. "Even qualified drivers at times cause accidents; I do not do this job to kill anyone, but at times some are unlucky and go together with the child they came to abort," she said.

Diana Awuor*, 21, is a sex worker in Majengo, and fell pregnant after unprotected sex with a regular client.

"Not that I have sex without a condom every day but there are some regular clients you can excuse at times and I think that is how I became pregnant," she said. "We cannot do our work while pregnant because nobody will want you, so I have to abort to stay in business, and also, I don't want a baby."

Speaking of Sex's picture

Family Planning - Controlling the Stork

Check out our latest podcast on family planning and access to contraception and sexual health services. Unless your genitals are magically immune to infection or pregnancy, this one is for you.

exposing body image issues's picture

Female body image; the search for REAL visuals

by Colette Coughlin



This is one of my less-flattering self-portraits; not only could I not stand the sight of myself that day, I was also in a nasty mood. I took pictures anyways and later turned this one into a drawing.  By the time I'd finishing sketching my scowl, I'd forgotten the disgust I felt about the picture. Everybody has rotten days, feels ugly, wishes things were different sometimes. So what? This too, passes... yet the visual models (as in examples) most of us feel we need to live up to are rarely less than super-models. Super made-up, super-fixed-up, super dressed-up people with ideal figures who we see on every magazine cover, poster, publicity, movie, and TV show we come across. It's become so pervasive that we've forgotten it's not real life!


I share my scowling self with you hoping it might make you feel better about how you look... but how often do we really see people, regular people, at their less-than-best, particularly when it comes to nudity?


EvilSlutClique's picture

Sex Kills on ABC Family

Crossposted on EvilSlutopia.com

 
The One Million Moms are at it again. They really don't like the new season of the Secret Life of the American Teenager. They disliked it so much that they're asking Kellogg to pull their ads from the show. (Apparently Hershey already stopped sponsoring it).
 
First of all, let's take a moment to laugh out loud at the fact that are still typing the word "sex" as s*x. Hilarious! Anyway... on to the show.
 
I was sort of on the fence the first time we looked at this show, but I've now decided that it is a complete piece of garbage. I agree with the OMM that the show sucks, but again we really disagree on the WHY.
EvilSlutClique's picture

The Secret Life of the American Teenager

[This blog entry was previously published at EvilSlutopia.com]

While I was making fun of the One Million Moms for their protest against The Cougar, I mentioned their previous campaign against The Secret Life of the American Teenager. Even though their complaints are a little bit old news, it's still considered an active issue on the OMM site and The Secret Life's new season starts tomorrow. So since we just love to make fun of them anyway, here's my take on it.

An increasingly popular TV show titled "The Secret Life of the American Teenager" combines anything and everything a mother tries to protect her children from viewing and rolls it into one soap opera for teens.

ABC Family is responsible for showing such racy content, when instead it should be adhering to its name by airing family-friendly content.

EvilSlutClique's picture

Why Is Bristol Palin's Sex Life My Business?

I know everyone is sick of reading about Bristol Palin and frankly so am I. (Especially when the latest news is over whether Todd Palin offered Bristol a new car in exchange for dumping Levi). But yet, here I am, writing about her yet again. Honestly, the ESC kind of loves Bristol - or at least, we love the Bristol that we think is in there somewhere, behind the PR-clutches of Sarah Palin and Co.

We love the Bristol who said that abstinence is "not realistic at all" much more than the Bristol who claimed the quote about abstinence being unrealistic was taken out of context. Because really, what other context can you take it in? She was quoted referring to abstinence as "the harder choice, but it's the safest choice". Yeah and it's totally realistic to expect teenagers to go for the harder choice.

No one is suggesting that abstinence doesn't work to prevent teen pregnancy. If you don't have sex - you won't get pregnant. It works pretty damn well. What doesn't always work is the getting teenagers to practice abstinence part. It is unrealistic for most teenagers and that is why abstinence-only education is such a huge failure. Not because using contraception is somehow safer than not having sex, but because it is way safer than having unprotected sex.

And take it from Bristol, because she knows.

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