Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Korea needs Fathers and Mothers
In continuation from yesterday's blog, Korea has been fighting the low birth rate and has taken steps to bring about a change. Yesterday's Chosun Ilbo had an article with the headline: monthly birth of new born babies on average dropped 1800-from last year. The number of marriages also dropped 7% from last last year. This means this year, Korea could see a birth rate of about 1.1, France (2) Sweden (1.37). The average of the economically developed countries would be 1.73. Korea's rate is the lowest in the world.
The government is seeing things getting worse. The economic conditions of society play a part, fewer marriages of the young, the difficulty of getting a job will affect the number of marriages. A sharp increase in the percentage of unmarried women in Korea is a factor behind the country's low birth rate. The article mentioned the spread of the "swine flu" is also responsible for a decrease.
Following Korean Astrology those born next year will be under the zodiac sign of the tiger and this is a concern for some government officials. The sign of the horse and tiger in Korean astrology are not good signs for girls: Korean folklore is still influencing the society even despite the role of Christianity.
The government has taken steps but have not proven helpful.
"Our efforts will focus on raising social awareness of falling birthrate and encouraging couples to have babies,'' said a spokesperson from the Ministry for Health, Welfare and Family Affairs. "We will launch drives to prevent abortions, protect maternity in workplaces and encourage marriages.''
The article ends with the note that the birth rate could fall to the lowest in Korean history, with a rate of 1.o in 2011. There is sadness that our Christian families are not influenced more by their faith than things we would consider extraneous to a truly Catholic view of life.