Women : Society : News : The Hankyoreh

President Yoon Seok-yeol visits Seoul National University Children’s Hospital in Jongno-gu, Seoul on February 22 this year to encourage children and their guardians. Senior Reporter Yoon Un-shik

With the total birth rate at 0.78, the lowest ever, Yoon Seok-yeol’s government came up with a ‘measure’. However, all articles dealing with this use different terms such as low birth rate and low birth rate. How are the two terms different? Firstly, looking at the dictionary meaning of birth and birth, ‘birth’ means ‘giving birth to a child’, and ‘birth’ means ‘coming out into the world’. Demographically, the meaning is different. The ‘total fertility rate’ and the ‘crude birth rate’ are typical examples. The total fertility rate represents the average number of children a woman can expect to have during her reproductive years (ages 15-49). The crude birth rate is the ratio of new births per 1000 people. This is the reason why Korea’s total fertility rate in 2022 is 0.78 and the crude birth rate is 4.9. Current policies and laws use the term ‘low fertility’. This is because it is defined as a ‘low birth rate’ in the ‘Basic Law on Low Fertility and an Aging Society’. The agency under the direct control of the President is also called the ‘Committee on Low Fertility and an Aging Society’. The measures announced by the government in response to the low birth rate are also called ‘low birth rate measures’. A few years ago, there was a claim to change ‘low birth’ to ‘low birth’, focusing on the world of women. If the term ‘low birth rate’ emphasizes the subject that gives birth to a small number of children, ‘low birth rate’ focuses on the social structure where the birth population decreases. In order to share the perception that women are not responsible for population decline, but with the sexist social structure, the value-neutral term ‘low birthrate’ should be used. In line with this trend, a bill has been proposed in the National Assembly to change the name of the Basic Act on Low Fertility and an Aging Society and the term ‘low birth’ used in the law to ‘low birth’. Some local governments also use the term ‘low birthrate’ in their ordinances. However, academics explain that ‘low birth’ should not be substituted for ‘low birth’ as ​​the meanings of ‘birth’ and ‘birth’ are different. To find out how many children the younger generation has, it is necessary to use the ‘fertility rate’, which is influenced by the demographic structure, because ‘birth’ in ‘low birth’ is a different concept to ‘fertility’ and used in the ‘fertility rate’. 〈The Hankyoreh〉 judged that the term ‘low birth’ included the goal of gender equality, even considering that there is an academic difference in the meaning of birth and birth, so a word with fewer errors in conveying the meaning was ‘low birth’ . instead of ‘low birth’.’ has been noted. This was due to the view that the purpose of population policy should not be to stop having children, but should fit into a social structure that can raise children healthily and safely. Accordingly, in the case of the Yoon Seok-yeol government’s ‘low birth rate and aging society policy tasks and promotion direction’ published on the 28th, the official policy name ‘low birth rate’ is used, but there is also ‘low birth rate’ marking. However, academic terms are used when referring to demographic statistics, such as ‘total fertility rate’ and ‘birth rate’. Reporter Jang Soo-kyung


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