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Central and East Asia

South Korea
Annotations - Individual countries



CHEUNG, Fanny et al (eds) (1991)

Selected Papers of Conference on Gender Studies in Chinese Societies, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong, Kong.

CROLL, Elizabeth (1985)

Women and Rural Development in China: production and reproduction, ILO, Geneva.

CROLL, Elizabeth (1995)

Changing Identities of Chinese Women: rhetoric, experience and self-perception in twentieth-century China, Zed Books, London.

CROLL, Elizabeth (1978)

Feminism and Socialism in China, Routledge and Kegan Paul, London.

GILMARTIN, Christina K. (1995)

Engendering the Chinese Revolution: radical women, communist politics and mass movements in the 1920s, University of California Press, California.

GILMARTIN, Christina K. et al (ed) (1994)

Engendering China: women, culture and the state, Harvard University Press, Massachusetts.

HEMMEL, Vibeke and SINDBJERG, Pia (1984)

Women in Rural China: policy towards women before and after the Cultural Revolution, Curzon, London.

JASCHOK, Maria and MIERS, Suzanne (eds) (1994)

Women and Chinese Patriarchy: submission, servitude and escape, Zed Books, London.

JUDD, Ellen R.(1994)

Gender and Power in Rural North China, Stanford University Press, California.

SIDEL, Ruth (1982)

Women and Child Care in China: a firsthand report, Penguin, Harmondsworth.

SLIMMER, Virginia M. and KEJING, Dai (1991)

Experience and Status of Chinese Rural Women: differences among the three age groups, Kentucky.

SMITH, Douglas C.(1992)

"The Chinese Family in Transition: implications for education and society in modem Taiwan" in Asia Culture Quarterly, Fall 1992.


The Impact of Economic Development on Rural Women in China, United Nations University, Tokyo.

WOLF, Margery (1987)

Revolution Postponed: women in contemporary China, Metheun.

Gender and Education

AKSORNKOOL, Namtip (1995)

Daughters of the Earth: skills-based literacy programme for women, China, UNESCO and UNICEF, Paris.

DAI, Shujun (1991)

"Three Chinese Women's Vocational Universities" in Chinese Education: A Journal of Translations, 24 (2), 73-78.

HUANG, Jiafen (1993)

"An Investigation of Gender Differences in Cognitive Abilities among Chinese High School Students" in Personality and Individual Differences, 15/(6), 717-719.

KAN, Feng Min (1990)

Job Opportunities and Technical and Vocational Training of Unemployed Girls in China, Centre for the Study of Education in Developing Countries, The Hague.

KAN, Feng Min (1990)

Employment and Access to On-The-Job Training of Chinese Women, Centre for the study of Education in Developing Countries, The Hague.

NAN, Ning (1992)

"Sex Discrimination in Education" in Chinese Education and Society, 25/(1), 44-47.

MAK, Grace C.L. (1996)

"The People's Republic of China", in MAK, Grace C.L. (ed), Women, Education and Development in Asia: cross-national perspectives, Garland, New York and London, 3-28.

RAI, Shirin M. (1994)

"Modernisation and Gender: education and employment in Post-Mao China" in Gender and Education, 6 (2), 119-129.

UNESCO (1987)

Universal Primary Education for Girls: China, PROAP, Bangkok.

WIDMER, Ellen (1991)

"Martyred Matrons, Martial Maidens and the Women Reader: some Sino-Japanese Comparisons" in International Journal of Social Education, 6 (1), 60-82.

WU, Haiqing (1992)

"The Current Status of Women Professors in China" in Chinese Education and Society, 25 (1), 53-55.

XU, Jinni and FARRELL, Edwin (1992)

"Mathematics Performance of Shanghai High School Students: a preliminary look at gender differences in another culture" in School Science and Mathematics, 92 (8), 442-445.

South Korea


CHUNG, Sei-wha (ed) and SHIN, Chang-hyun (tr) (1986)

Challenges for Women: women's studies in Korea, Ewha Women's University Press, Seoul.

KENDALL, Laurel and PETERSON, Mark (eds) (1983)

Korean Women: view from the inner room, East Rock Press, Cushing.

KENDALL, Laurel (1985)

Shamans, Housewives and Other Restless Spirits: women in Korean ritual life, University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu.

SOH, Chunghee Sarah (1991)

The Chosen Women in Korean Politics: an anthropological study, Praeger, New York.

TINKER, Irene (1980)

Towards Equity for Women in Korea's Development Plans, Equity Policy Centre, Washington D.C.

Gender and Education

CHUNG, Ji Sun (1994)

"Women's Unequal Access to Education in South Korea" in Comparative Education Review, 38 (4). 487-505.

JEON, Kyung-Won (1993)

"A Study on Mental Health of Scientifically Gifted High School Males and Females" in Gifted Education International, 9 (2), 85-92.

KIM, Oksoan (1996)

"South Korea", in MAK, Grace C.L. (ed) Women, Education and Development in Asia: cross-national perspectives, Garland, New York and London, 51-64.

KWON, Mee-Sik (1992)

Conceptualisation of Critical Feminist Pedagogy as a Theoretical Tool of Social Transformation and its Applicability in a Korean Context.



UNESCO (1990)

Status of Women: Mongolia, PROAP, Bangkok.

Gender and Education

UNESCO (1979)

Standardisation of Education and Curricula for Boys and Girls in General Education, Vocational and Teacher-Training Schools in the Mongolian Peoples Republic, Paris.


Gender and Education

UNESCO (1991)

Islam, Perestroika and the Education of Women: principles and possibilities, Paris.


Gender and Education

HSIEH, Hsiao-chin (1996)

Taiwan, Republic of China", in MAK, Grace C.L. (ed), Women, Education and Development in Asia: cross-national perspectives, Garland, New York and London, 65-91,

WEI, Chin Lung (1993)

"Instructional Uses of Computers in Boys', Girls and Co-educational Senior High Schools in Taiwan, the Republic of China" in Journal of Computer-Based Instruction, 20 (1), 15-20.



AMINOVA, Rakhima Khodievna and MEEROVICH, B.M. (tr.) (1985)

The October Revolution and Women's Liberation in Uzbekistan, Nauka Publishers, Moscow.

Annotations - Individual countries

South Korea


MAK, Grace C.L. (1996), The People's Republic of China, in: MAK, Grace C.L. (ed), Women, Education and Development: Cross-National Perspectives, Garland Publishing, New York and London, 3-28.

The author adopts what she terms a special approach to assessing the status of women in China in relation to education, family situation and economic development. In general it seems that education and population policies in recent decades have met with some success in respect of enhancing female opportunity, whereas attempts to reach more liberal positions on marriage, divorce and employment have been constrained by male resistance. Lack of policy coordination in the social spheres and in relation to economic policy is seen as an important factor.

A useful background on historical attitudes to the education of women and girls is provided,, with special reference to the influence of the post 1949 period, and a range of useful data on issues such as enrolment at different levels, subject orientation and employment is listed. It was found that, post 1949, although a re-organised economy was more willing to recruit women, urbanization was slow. So geography has been a crucial factor in affecting women's employment prospects, since urban areas normally offer more education and training opportunities to females. The urban/rural dichotomy, distinctive and important in the case of China, is given further space in the article before the author moves on to the 'contemporary' situation: that is to say from 1978 to the present.

This is described as the period of pragmatism and is examined in relation to four issues: the family, education, the economy and politics. During the past 20 years marriage and childbearing trends in China have changed in such a way as to release women for economic participation, and this has direct links to education where emphasis has been on basic and vocational sectors. However, female improvement in educational terms is coming from a very low base and as recently as 1990, of the 80 per cent of the adult population who were illiterate, 70 per cent were female. Nonetheless within the proportion of the population actively engaged in education, the female dimension is growing, This, according to the author, attracts various forms of discrimination including: tracking females into traditional subjects such as foreign languages, primary school teaching and fashion; demanding higher grades for females than for males competing in the same arena, including access to higher education.

Agriculture continues to be the major occupation of the Chinese population, but while boys may be released for education, parents tend to keep their daughters in productive employment. Only if a 'township enterprise' (semi urban light industrial development) is nearby would that pattern be changed, and women transfer to non-agricultural work, In urban areas where diversification of production offers more employment opportunities, the positive educational profile of women and girls makes then attractive but has also attracted a backlash as males seek to protect their traditional position. The Chinese experience shows the difficulty of sustaining equality due, at least in part, to lack of power among women as a group. Yet, education and some modern sector economic participation has engendered a new awareness among Chinese women of their rights and their potential that sustains them in the continued struggle for equal opportunity.

South Korea

KIM, Oksoon (1996), South Korea, in MAK, Grace C.L. (ed). Women, Education and Development in Asia: Cross-National Perspectives, Garland Publishing, New York and London, 51-63.

Because studies of the impact of education on development typically came to differentiate females from males, the author sets out to investigate the extent to which female labour has contributed to economic growth since 1960 in Korea. There is a context of parallel and rapid expansion of educational opportunities in that country, but any connection needs to be properly demonstrated both in general terms, as well as in relation to gender.

The author based the study on three assumptions: that educational expansion in South Korea provided more opportunities for males than for females; that female labour contributed to economic groeth in Korea in different ways than did male labour; that educational expansion did not lead to improvement in the economic circumstances of the female population during the years of rapid economic development. Data are provided to illustrate the phenomenal growth in the education sector in South Korea in recent decades as well as the continued popular demand for this service. The figures show that the vast majority of investment and innovation has come from the private sector, and the author argues that the expansion has reinforced inequality in respect of educational opportunities open to males and females. In Korea this whole issue is dominated by social class leading to an unequal distribution of new educational opportunities. This in turn affects girls adversely and is even more reinforced by curricular stereotyping, making, for example, home economics compulsory for girls and technology for boys. This meant that, at a time of massive industrial and manufacturing expansion, certain industries concentrated on acquiring female workforces. This was due to low employment costs for greater skills and higher reliability. Regardless of sector, Korean females are paid about half that received by male counterparts. Cheap female labour is concentrated in the burgeoning cities. So because the manufacturing sector has occupied such an important place in Korea's economic growth, low paid female employees have contributed significantly to the accumulation of capital necessary for sustained economic growth.

A number of sources are the examined by the author in attempting to illuminate the relationship, if any, between educational expansion and economic growth. It is clear that in the South Korean case, most females are educated way beyond the level required for the job they are doing, and it is obvious that human capital theory does not apply to the female working population in that country. Women continue to work under poor conditions for low wages, regardless of their educational background. Conversely male workers are sometimes enjoying the higher wages gained in employment for which they are not necessarily qualified. From this it can only be concluded that Korean women's' contribution to the country's economic development has indeed been greater than that of men, which is considered in the context of educational background and payment for work done.