Have any of you ever seen Japanese director Hirokazu Koreeda's <A Family>?

In <A Family>, which won the Palme d'Or at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, a family without a drop of blood appears as the main character.

Although they are not blood families, it is impressive that they are more harmonious and warm than any other 'real' family in the movie.

The director said that he made the film with the idea that there can be many types of families without giving a definition of "what is a good family".

(If you haven't seen it, I recommend watching it!) It's no

different that the movie was suddenly brought up, because today's Mabu News is trying to think about what a family is.

There are many people who live alone for reasons such as not getting married, and there are many cases where they live together without getting married.

Like the broadcaster Sayuri, there are families who are unmarried but have given birth.

Today's Mabu News is trying to think about what a true family is.

So today's Mabu News' question is this.

“Do I have to get married to become a real family?”

What does the most common family look like?

What does your family think of your subscribers?

Perhaps you didn't think about how parents and children live together, and the number of people is about 3 or 4?

But you may have heard that a family of four is no longer a common household.

According to the resident registration population statistics of the Ministry of Public Administration and Security in September 2021, single-person households recorded more than 40% for the first time ever.

The most common household in Korea is a single-person household.

In December statistics, the most recent data, the proportion of single-person households was 40.3%.

The perception that marriage is essential to forming a family is also changing.

More and more people are saying they can live together even if they are not married.

In a social survey conducted every two years by the National Statistical Office, the people are asking the question, “Should we get married?” vs “We can live together without getting married.”

In the 2018 survey, it even dropped below 50%.

On the other hand, the number of respondents saying they can live together even if they are not married has been increasing since 2010.

In 2020, 59.7% of respondents will choose to live together.

The typical family we used to think of is being dismantled.

It is possible to immediately confirm that the number of marriages is decreasing with the data.

The number of marriages has been declining since 2011.

The number of marriages that were close to 330,000 in 2011 has decreased to 213,502 in 2020.

The same is true for child marriage rates.

In 1980, the crude marriage rate exceeded 10‰, but it gradually decreased to 4.2‰ in 2020.

For reference, ‰, which looks similar to %, is the symbol for permeal.

How much has unmarried cohabitation increased?

Positive perceptions about living together are increasing, but there are no accurate data to determine the current situation.

So it is difficult to understand the actual situation.

However, when the National Statistical Office conducts a census, it conducts a household survey by household composition.

The number of non-relative households, from 214,421 households in 2015, nearly doubled to 423,459 households in 2020.

However, this classification also has limitations in accurately identifying households living together.

Q. What is the crude marriage rate?

Marriage rate is marriage rate, so why is it prefixed with 'Joe'?

The group attached to the crude marriage rate is rough, but it can be understood as "I looked at the marriage rate rough, I calculated it rough".

The crude marriage rate is the number expressed as 1,000 divided by the total number of marriages reported in one year by the total number of marriages in the year.

Strictly speaking, it has to be divided by the number of marriageable populations, but since it is divided by the total population, 'group' is added to mean roughly grasping.

The general marriage rate is calculated by dividing the number of males (or females) 15 years of age or older.

You can think of it as saying that statistics with 'group' like this are divided by the total population, such as the crude birth rate and the survey mortality rate.

Yeonang population refers to the central population of the year, and refers to the population calculated as of July 1, the middle of the year.

You are (legally) an abnormal family

If you look up the word 'family' in the standard Korean dictionary, it means 'a group of people in a kinship relationship mainly centered on a couple.

or its members.

It consists of marriage, blood ties, adoption, etc.”

The legal standards are similar.

In the Framework Act on Healthy Families, which is the basis for promoting universal family policies, the family is said to be 'the basic unit of society consisting of marriage, blood ties, and adoption'.

Since marriage is included in the sentence that defines the family, families who do not marry or cannot marry are outside the legal system.

This would be the case for unmarried cohabiting families or same-sex families.

In 2020, the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family conducted a survey on the status of unmarried cohabitation for those who live together or have lived together.

60.4% of respondents said they did not use family benefits provided by telecommunication companies or insurance companies, and 60.6% said they did not receive tax benefits.

There is a practical limit in that unmarried families are not recognized as guardians because they are not legally married even though they are the actual guardians of each other.

In addition, there are difficulties in using housing support systems such as housing subscriptions and housing loans.

Same-sex couples are also discriminated against.

Let me tell you about an ongoing case.

In February 2020, a same-sex couple made an inquiry to the Health Insurance Corporation.

Is it possible to register same-sex spouse B as a dependent of person A, who is an employee at work?

In the case of a spouse with no income, if they register as a dependent of a health insurance employee, they do not have to pay a separate insurance premium.

The corporation sent a reply saying that the spouse of a common-law relationship can acquire the status of a dependent, and Mr. B is registered as a dependent.

But suddenly in October, the Corporation unilaterally nullified the dependent status.

It was a mistake to register a same-sex spouse.

The couple immediately filed an administrative lawsuit.

Because I was discriminated against because I was a same-sex family, I had to pay insurance separately, so I asked the court to decide.

The court's decision came out in January of this year, what was the result?

The court ruled in favor of health insurance.

The reason was that it was difficult to evaluate the relationship between two people of the same sex as a common-law relationship under the current legal system.

The couple is preparing an appeal.

Countries that embrace different family types

In Korea, there are still unmarried cohabiting families and same-sex families who are not bound within the framework of the system, but those walls are gradually breaking down abroad.

Would you like to take a look at the long graph below?

What kind of data does that graph contain, with Korea being the last among the 42 countries?

Looking at the graph a little more, Chile ranks first with 73.7%, the EU average of 41.3% and the OECD average of 40.7%.

Of course, it must be related to the topic of this letter, and what would be the data with the lowest percentage in Korea?

Can you feel it?

The answer is unmarried birth rate data.

The graph below shows the percentage of babies born to unmarried couples among babies born in 2018.

40.7% of babies born in OECD countries were born to unmarried couples.

Korea has the lowest rate of 2.2%.

Compared to the past, the proportion of children born to unmarried children in OECD countries has increased significantly in recent decades.

According to 1970 data, the OECD average was only 7.4%, but in 2018, the average was 40.7%.

The only exceptions are Korea, Japan, and Turkey.

If you look at other countries, it is an environment where you can have children without being tied to marriage anymore.

Of course, that environment was created because the foundation was established with laws and institutions.

Let me tell you the story of France, which has the highest rate of unmarried births among EU countries.

In the late 1990s, in France at that time, the marriage rate continued to decrease, and the common-law marriage rate and non-married cohabitation rate increased.

It was also a time when the voices of opposition and limitations to the existing marriage system were raised as the French Court of Appeals, equivalent to the Korean Supreme Court, ruled that same-sex couples were not recognized as de facto marriages.

This voice led to the enactment of the PACS Act in 1999.

The PACS Act is a system that allows two adults to unite without marriage, and legally unite between same-sex couples.

It grants a legal relationship to unmarried, unmarried cohabiting couples and to same-sex couples who cannot marry.

Comparing the number of PACS unions and marriages from 1999 to 2020, we can see a stable increase in the number of PACS cases.

The number increased for 12 consecutive years until 2010, and in 2010 it exceeded 200,000 cases.

Marriage has been continuously declining from 305,234 in 2000.

In 2020, for the first time, there were more PACSs than marriages.

In addition, the same-sex marriage law was passed in 2013, giving same-sex marriages the same rights as heterosexual marriages.

Of course, the PACS did not pass smoothly at the time.

Protests by citizens and conservative groups against it continued, and a member of the National Assembly who participated in the vote on the PACS bill held a bible and gave a speech against homophobia.

During the same-sex marriage bill, he filed a lawsuit against the constitution, and former President Nicolas Sarkozy publicly opposed same-sex marriage.

long way to go

In addition to France, countries in Europe, such as Germany and the United Kingdom, have introduced companion laws to grant the rights of unmarried and same-sex couples. In Japan, the local government, not the central government, has established its own system. In Korea, the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family is preparing a countermeasure. The government is establishing a basic plan for healthy families every five years. The period from 21 to 25 corresponds to the fourth plan, which contains policies that embrace family diversity.

First of all, we plan to delete the provisions of the Framework Act on Healthy Families, which stipulates that the family is the 'basic unit of society consisting of marriage, blood, and adoption'. In fact, there has been talk of deleting this provision right after the Framework Act on Healthy Families came into effect. When the law was enacted in 2005, the Human Rights Commission recommended an amendment, saying, "There are and increasing numbers of diverse families without marriage, blood, or adoption. .

In addition to the revision of the Framework Act on Healthy Families, the National Assembly is also discussing the legislation of the Life Partnership Act, but there still seems to be a long way to go.

In groups that are against homosexuality, there are many voices opposing the law, saying it allows same-sex marriage.

In 2014, then-Democratic lawmaker Jin Seon-mi proposed the Life Partnership Act, but it was not possible to reach an agreement due to opposition from Christians and others.

Of the major candidates in this presidential election, only Shim Sang-jung, a member of the Justice Party, has promised the Life Partnership Act.

This is the letter Mabu News has prepared for you today.

In today's letter, we looked at the data of various families, especially the situation of unmarried and same-sex families.

I am curious to know what readers think of the Life Companion Act, which is one of the alternatives.

As the number of different types of families increases, is there a need for a system that can guarantee them?

Or is the law too early to require social consensus on cohabitation and same-sex marriage?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

(*This article is an edited article from the Witchcraft Newsletter)

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Written by

 : Hye-Min Ahn   


 : Jun    -Seok Ahn


 : Su-Min Kang, Dong-Yong Kang