Week 9: Subway Seats

The government’s approach to solving the problem in the given article is but a flimsy knee-jerk reaction that fails to address the fundamentals of the situation. Pregnancy badges and pink seats will not make a difference in helping pregnant women secure a seat in the subway. Of course, the badges could help people identify women in their early stage of pregnancy and the introduction of pink seats could encourage some people to leave the seat empty. But in the end, people who have gave up their seats for pregnant women would have done so regardless of the existence of the badges and seats.  Overall, the governments plan is ineffective in alleviating the problem that pregnant ladies are going through.

As the article has well pointed out, this situation is a problem about the elderly population in Korea masquerading as a problem about pregnant ladies not being able to sit in public transportation. The article only skims on this part, but the divide between the young and old generation is a great problem in Korea nowadays.  A large portion of the elder generation has been hardened by colonization, war, and tyranny and in the process some of them think for themselves and only themselves a little too much. That along with the fact that most of the elderly population is suffering from poverty and loneliness further aggravates the frustration they feel. The government needs to prioritize on revitalizing the older population, many of which are capable and eager to make a living, and treat them as a viable pillar of society. Giving them jobs, providing them with financial security and showing that they are cared for is the long-term remedy for this problem.


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