Date of Graduation

Spring 5-18-2019

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Asia Pacific Studies (MAPS)


College of Arts and Sciences


Asia Pacific Studies

First Advisor

Brian Komei Dempster

Second Advisor

Dayna Barnes


This paper presents a cross-cultural examination of gender inequality in Poland and South Korea. Gender inequality has been part of the academic discourse for a long time; previous research, however, tends to focus either on specific countries or regions with shared connections. Drawing from an array of sources, including credible studies, news and journal articles, this research offers a broader, holistic approach, examining the roots of gender inequality and limitations to the emergence of equality by examining two seemingly different cases. This research proposes that gender inequality in these two countries, which on the surface may seem to share few commonalities, derives from and is upheld by similar ideologies and practices. In both countries the patriarchal system breaches women’s rights, and low female political representation contributes to general invisibility and a lack of voice regarding gender issues, as in the glaring case of abortion. Misrepresentation and invisibility are the effects that arise from ideologically constructed systems of patriarchy built upon Christianity (in Poland), and Confucianism (in South Korea). Although both ideologies recognize women as crucial parts of the society and contributors to its growth, both strip them of recognition. The workings of the system reveal themselves in double standards women are required to meet, gender stereotyping and continued discrimination.