Choi Sang-min, the father of a nine-month-old baby living in the southwestern city of Gwangju, was surprised when his boss recently just signed off without ado on papers he had submitted requesting parental leave. “It was not what I’d expected. Because I heard that when a male colleague applied for parental leave a few years back, he was called in to the boss’ office ‘to have a word’ with him,” the 37-year-old college employee said.

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