2023Hyuna Moon, Minja Kim Choe
Citation: Hyuna Moon, Minja Kim Choe. (2023). Korean Family Law Revisited: Focusing on the Revisions Related to Gender Equality. Korea Journal, 63(4): 111-136. doi:10.25024/kj.2023.63.4.111
Journal: Korea Journal
Publication Date: 2023. 06. 19
Keywords: family law, hojuje, son-preference, low fertility, gender equality
Abstract: This article aims to analyze significant changes in family law and their relationship to gender equality, which has emerged as one of several factors contributing to low fertility in Korea from a socio-legal perspective. Fertility changes in Korea can be categorized into two distinct periods. The first period, spanning from 1960 to the late-1990s, saw a rapid decline in the fertility rate from approximately six children per woman to slightly below the replacement level. The second period began around the early 2000s, and is characterized by a further decline in the fertility rate to an extremely low level that continues until recent times. During the first phase of low fertility, several revisions were made to the family law, including major revisions related to hojuje, along with subsequent changes. This paper analyzes the implications of some of these family law revisions, specifically, examining provisions related to son preference and gender discrimination in inheritance and the parent-child relationship in family law and their impact on fertility. Through this analysis, this study aims to establish a connection between the revisions of family law and changes in fertility, ultimately shedding light on the complex relationship between law and society in modern Korea.