Gender discrimination in the workplace: Effects on pregnancy planning and childbirth among south Korean women

Ji Hye Kim, Sarah Soyeon Oh, Suk Won Bae, Eun Cheol Park, Sung In Jang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Introduction: This study aims to investigate the association between gender discrimination in the workplace and pregnancy planning/childbirth experiences among working women in South Korea. Methods: We analyzed data from the Korean Longitudinal Survey of Women and Families (KLoWF) for the years 2007 to 2016. The study population consisted of 7996 working women, between the ages of 19 and 45. Gender discrimination was measured through the 6-item Workplace Gender Discrimination Scale, evaluating discrimination in terms of recruitment, promotions, pay, deployment, training and lay-offs. Multiple logistic regression analysis was employed to measure the association between gender discrimination and the pregnancy planning/childbirth experience. Results: Compared to individuals experiencing no discrimination in the workplace, those experiencing low [odds ratio (OR): 0.78, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 0.61–0.99] or medium (OR: 0.69, 95% CI: 0.54–0.89) levels of discrimination had decreased odds of pregnancy planning. Likewise, individuals scoring low (OR: 0.70, 95% CI 0.54–0.92), medium (OR: 0.68, 95% CI: 0.51–0.92), or high (OR: 0.47, 95% CI: 0.27–0.80) levels of discrimination also had decreased odds of childbirth experience when compared to the no-experience group. When stratified by income, compared to individuals experiencing no discrimination in the workplace, those experiencing gender discrimination had decreased odds of pregnancy planning for low income (low OR: 0.64, 95% CI: 0.45–0.92; medium OR: 0.55, 95% CI: 0.52–0.97; high OR: 0.45, 95% CI: 0.24–0.87), medium income (medium OR: 0.53, 95% CI: 0.37–0.77; high OR: 0.29, 95% CI: 0.14–0.63), and high income groups (low OR: 0.64, 95% CI: 0.49–0.84; medium OR: 0.69, 95% CI: 0.52–0.92). Conclusions: The present study finds that gender discrimination in the workplace is associated with decreased odds of pregnancy planning/childbirth experience among working South Korean women. Furthermore, low and medium income groups were especially more likely to be affected by the level of gender discrimination in the workplace when planning pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2672
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Volume16
Issue number15
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Aug 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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