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16 Geo. J. Gender & L. 633 (2015)
The Impact of Confucianism on Gender (In)Equality in Asia

handle is hein.journals/grggenl16 and id is 644 raw text is: 






   This  Note  will first discuss how  Confucianism has significantly influenced
Asian  countries such as Korea,  China, and  Japan,' and how  this has caused major
gender   inequality  and  discrimination.   Second,   it will explore   how   recent
legislation and  social policies, including parental leave, childcare, and  enforce-
ment   against  gender  discrimination,  have   not been   sufficiently effective in
implementing   gender  equality. Lastly, this Note will aim  to explain the ways  in
which  gender  equality  may  be achieved  through  a reduction  in the influence of
Confucianism,   reinterpretation of Confucianism,   and demographic   changes.


   Confucianism   was  developed   by one  of the most  preeminent  philosophers  in
China,  Confucius.2  The  ideology  is centered  on  the teaching  of moral  values
which  emphasizes   the harmonious  value  of inter-personal relations.3 Confucian-
ism  defines  five distinct relationships  and promotes   virtues  that are deemed

  * Georgetown University Law Center, J.D. 2015; Georgetown University, A.B. 2011. I would like to
thank Professor James V. Feinerman for encouraging me to pursue this topic for my Asian Law and
Policy Studies Seminar course and his thoughtful comments on an earlier draft of this paper. I am grateful
to the editors and staff of the Georgetown Journal of Gender and the Law for their helpful comments and
suggestions throughout the publication process as well as the Edward Bennett Williams Law Library staff
for their research assistance. © 2016, Juliet Y Mun.
  1. See, e.g., David A. Ralston et al., The Impact of National Culture and Economic Ideology on
Managerial Work Values: A Study of the United States, Russia, Japan, and China, 28 J. INT'L Bus.
STUDIES 177, 179, 201 (1997) (stating that Confucianism has been a primary influence ... within
Eastern culture and that Japan's cultural heritage [is] based on Confucian philosophy); Insook Han
Park & Lee-Jay Cho, Confucianism and the Korean Family, 26 J. COMPARATIVE FAMILY STUDIEs 117, 119
(1995) (Confucianism is not a formal religious institution in Korea but rather a code of latent ethics and
values that has profoundly influenced the society for nearly two millennia.); Sor-Hoon Tan, The
Pragmatic Confucian Approach to Tradition, 51 HISTORY & THEORY 23, 25 (2012) (It is not an
exaggeration to portray Confucians as self-appointed custodians of Chinese culture and tradition.)Yan
Bing Zhang et al., Harmony, Hierarchy and Conservatism: A Cross-Cultural Comparison of Confucian
Values in China, Korea, Japan, and Taiwan, 22 COMMC'N RESEARCH REPORrS 107, 108 (2005)
(explaining that the influence of Confucianism spread from China to Korea and Japan and that deliberate
efforts to promote and maintain Confucianism are evident in these societies).
  2. Angella Son, Confucianism and the Lack of the Development of the Self Among Korean American
Women, 54 PASTORAL PSYCHOL. 325, 328 (2006).
  3. Tan Soo Kee, Influences of Confucianism on Korean Corporate Culture, 36 ASIAN PROFILE 3


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