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Male-Oriented Family Registry System May Be Abolished
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Real Reality



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2003 3:34 pm    Post subject: Male-Oriented Family Registry System May Be Abolished Reply with quote

The government said yesterday it will push for the revision of the civil law to abolish the traditional family registry system, which is criticized for legally instituting discrimination against women. The draft revision will be put to public notice before it is sent to the National Assembly.

However, the government plan is likely to face stiff opposition from traditionalists, who still prefer sons over daughters and are accustomed to having their family lineage succeeded by male children.

Under the system, the status of each family member is defined in relation to the male family head, or hoju. Upon marriage, women are taken from the register headed by their father and then placed under a new one headed by her husband.

If the bill passes through the National Assembly next month, the hoju system is expected to be replaced with the individual registration system by as early as 2006.

But a tough road lies ahead until the revision planís legislation, as conservative groups who believe the hoju system defines the very pillars of Korean society and are expected to make fierce protests against the plan.

http://times.hankooki.com/lpage/200308/kt2003082217512312070.htm
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peppermint



Joined: 13 May 2003
Location: traversing the minefields of caddishness.

PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2003 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's about time. . . I read something last year that said that if the head of the family (father) died, then the oldest son automatically became the new head of the family, even if the son was a newborn. This situation is absurd. As well, the system causes trouble for the children when parents divorce, not to mention the few that are born out of wedlock. I wish I still had the article, or a link.

I'm all for tradition but when a country clings to outdated systems which really don't reflect the changing social mores, it is difficult to accept claims that it is a "developed"country.
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katydid



Joined: 02 Feb 2003
Location: Here kitty kitty kitty...

PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2003 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Man, that would be cool. I felt a pang of sadness last semester when I had my housewives class draw pictures of their family trees and it turned out to be pictures of their HUSBAND's family tree. Kinf of the equivalent of a pine branch being grafted onto an elm tree, I think. Crying or Very sad

I really hope this goes through.
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Len8



Joined: 12 Feb 2003
Location: Kyungju

PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2003 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm pleased to see that system being taken to the cleaners too. The male line exclusiveness also ment that an eldest son born out of wedlock was able to claim complete rights to all the fathers wealth and property, after his death. Sometimes the fathers legal offspring, and wife were left with nothing, because of a heartless son's greed.

I hope this change will also allow divoced mothers visitng rights to their children. The hoju system was also responsible for giving children to the father in the case of divorce. Mopthers were forbidden to see their children, so I am hopping that mothers will now be able to see the children they haven't known for the last 3 to 15 years. Divorce used to be something women would rather avoid, but when it did happen it was usually because of violence. Real weird legalities here. Common sense would say that a child or children are better off with a stable mother rather than an abusive father, but then I guess comon sense isn't part of the Korean make up.
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On the other hand



Joined: 19 Apr 2003
Location: I walk along the avenue

PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2003 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wonder who the "conservative groups" that the article mentions as likely to oppose this reform are? I can't imagine any right-wingers who are serious about attaining influence would come out publically against it; won't do much to enhance the "Hub of Asia" thing if their opposition gets international media play. Then again, I don't know what the family systems are like in Japan, Taiwan, etc.
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The Great Wall of Whiner



Joined: 24 Jan 2003
Location: Middle Land

PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2003 10:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the other hand wrote:
I wonder who the "conservative groups" that the article mentions as likely to oppose this reform are?


Men.
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anae



Joined: 13 May 2003
Location: cowtown

PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2003 5:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I can't imagine any right-wingers who are serious about attaining influence would come out publically against it;


You can't be serious.
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On the other hand



Joined: 19 Apr 2003
Location: I walk along the avenue

PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2003 6:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
can't imagine any right-wingers who are serious about attaining influence would come out publically against it;


You can't be serious.


Yeah, I typed that in a hurry. I guess what I meant to say was right-wingers who are serious about Korea's image on the world stage. Of course, when you're not in government, its easy to advocate any old yahoo policies, no matter how reactionary, because you are somewhat insulated from reality. YOU'RE not the one who has to defend blatant sex discrimination on the world stage, or for that matter to the more enlightened section of your own electorate. On the Left, Noh learned that the hard way, after running an anti-American campaign but then realizing that what plays with firebrand college students doesn't cut ice in Washington, or for that matter with Koreans who have a more nuanced assessment of defense policy.

If this attracts international attention, I can't see how keeping the hoju system would do anything but harm to Korea's image, so the very least the government would have an incentive to go ahead. And if the reforms pass, I think it would be virtually impossible for any future government, no matter how conservative, to reverse them. For now, I guess we'll wait and see where the opposition comes from. Does the GNP have a position on this?
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anae



Joined: 13 May 2003
Location: cowtown

PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2003 7:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well-

So far one GNP(Hannara) member of the Registration and Judiciary Committee lukewarmly supports the abolishment.

Another GNP committee member is quoted as saying (roughly translated by my husband):

"tradition will be corrupted"
"the roots of the family will be shaken"
"this has nothing to do with human rights"
"this has nothing to do with sexual discrimination"

The leader of the current elected members of the GNP has been quoted as saying that he can't even say his opinion in public because it "might upset his family elders."
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Len8



Joined: 12 Feb 2003
Location: Kyungju

PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2003 3:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Confucianism pervades all aspects of Korean life, and the family registration thing is a big part of it. It's a mindset amongst the real powers that be, so those advocating change have a real uphill battle.

I read that Japan isn't much different when it comes to patriarchal power and authority. Koizumi has a son born out of wedlock who is apparently the splitting image of his father. The two have never met, and I think it's because the Japanese don't want to parade their more stranger customs and traditions to the rest of the world.
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On the other hand



Joined: 19 Apr 2003
Location: I walk along the avenue

PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2003 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Koizumi has a son born out of wedlock who is apparently the splitting image of his father. The two have never met, and I think it's because the Japanese don't want to parade their more stranger customs and traditions to the rest of the world.


Both Mitterand and Trudeau had out-of-wedlock daughters who showed up for their funerals, but I think that was probably the first time that either of them had made public appearances. And, until a few years ago, out-of-wedlock kids were not something ANY western leader would be in a hurry to publicize. How is the Japanese situation different? Is it a common practice for people over there to have out-of-wedlock children?


Last edited by On the other hand on Mon Aug 25, 2003 6:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
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indiercj



Joined: 30 Jan 2003
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2003 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For the confusian conservatists this issue is crucial not only it is against their traditional idea but because these legislation would jeopardize the men's finacial rights over huge family properties. For those family menbers from old "yang ban" nobility this a question of life or death.
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Dan



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: Sunny Glendale, CA

PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2003 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

slowly but surely korea pushes toward the modern world culture...
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Pyongshin Sangja



Joined: 20 Apr 2003
Location: I love baby!

PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2003 12:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Slowly maybe. Surely, hard to say.
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Ya-ta Boy



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: Established in 1994

PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2003 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This will be a great opportunity to watch a society grapple with its tradition. It will be a fascinating battle.

I often ask Korean friends who complain about one thing or another about their society, "How much can you change society and still remain 'Korean'?" It's just my clumsy way of learning about attitudes toward social change here.
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