Subscribe Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Korean report sheds light on foreign brides

Korean report sheds light on foreign brides

Korean report sheds light on foreign brides

A REPORT released Sunday by the South Korean government has highlights the circumstances facing Cambodian and other women who migrate to Korea for marriage – exposing in particular large gaps in age and education levels between the brides and their husbands.

Earlier this month, Cambodia temporarily banned marriages between local women and South Korean men after breaking up a human-trafficking ring designed to facilitate such unions.

According to the report, released by South Korea’s Ministry for Health, Welfare and Family Affairs, of the approximately 131,000 foreign brides surveyed there was an average age gap of about 10 years. But for Cambodian wives, the average gap was 17 years.

There was also a significant gap in the level of education attained by foreign wives compared with their husbands. Half of the women surveyed had obtained less than an elementary level of education, whereas their Korean spouses were mostly high school graduates. The report did not include information on the education gap between Cambodian women and their husbands.

The report found that, despite wide age and education gaps, 57 percent of foreign spouses surveyed showed “relatively high satisfaction” with their lives in Korea, though almost 35 percent said they felt discriminated against as foreigners.

According to the survey, the employment rate of foreign wives was 37 percent. Nearly 60 percent of the families surveyed were struggling financially and earning less than US$1,700 per month.

Korea’s Dong-a Ilbo newspaper reported Sunday that the number of foreigners living in Korea exceeds 1 million, and that last year 43,121 marriages – 13.6 percent of the national total – involved foreign spouses.

Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Koy Kuong reiterated Monday that authorities would review marriage procedures between Cambodian women and South Korean men before the ban is lifted.

Officials at the South Korean embassy in Phnom Penh declined to comment Monday.


  • Kak Channthy, Cambodian Space Project frontwoman, killed in crash at 38 [Updated]

    Updated 5:05pm, Tuesday, March 20, 2018 Kak Channthy, frontwoman of popular The Cambodian Space Project, was killed Tuesday morning in a traffic accident in Phnom Penh. She was 38. Channthy, the internationally recognised singer-songwriter also known as “Srey Thy”, was reportedly travelling in a tuk-tuk on the city's

  • Australians protest Asean summit visit by PM Hun Sen

    Hundreds of protesters gathered in Sydney’s Hyde Park on Friday to protest against Cambodian strongman Hun Sen, who claimed to have been gifted millions of dollars by the Australian government ahead of a special Asean summit this weekend. An estimated 300 protesters, the majority of

  • Australian police investigating death threat against Kem Ley's widow

    Updated: 10:17am, Friday March 23, 2018 Australian authorities on Thursday confirmed they have launched an investigation into a crudely written death threat sent tothe family of slain political analyst Kem Ley and Victoria state MP Hong Lim. The typed letter, reported to Victoria police last week, is

  • Phnom Penh smothered in smelly, dangerous haze as landfill fire continues burning

    A putrid haze that has bedeviled Phnom Penh since Monday night will likely continue as a landfill in Dangkao district continued to burn on Friday, creating health risks for the capital's residents. Workers at the Dangkao landfill on site on Friday attributed the fire, which