Connect to share and comment

Women have equal rights in North Korea

Chauvinism is rare in North Korea, some say.

Corrupt north korea 2011 12 1Enlarge
#182 — North Korea North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il, accompanied by senior officials of the Workers' Party of Korea and Korean People's Army officials, attends the 15th anniversary memorial service of the country's late President Kim Il-Sung at the Pyongyang gymnasium on July 8, 2009. (KNS/AFP/Getty Images)

In North Korea, women are gaining equal rights to men.The bad news is that the men don't have very many rights.

North Korea News has broken down the four categories of the important females in North Korean culture: there's the iconic women used in propaganda, the unknown revolutionaries portrayed as labor heroes, the politically powerful women related to the regime, and the unknown women who simply gain fame through the internet. 

"For the regime, women rights and labor policies have always been intertwined," writes author Gianluca Spezza.

More from GlobalPost: North Korea decrees martial law amid nuclear testing rumors

Korean culture used to be traditionally patriarchal, The Guardian reported. But when Korea was divided, the leaders of the North vowed to liberate women, though they still earned less than men. But that has also changed recently, as many women in North Korea have become the breadwinners for their family. In doing so, they have gained "a new assertiveness," the Guardian said. 

Well, that's one way of putting it.

NPR recently reported on a woman who became the family breadwinner because her husband was forced by the government to build roads for no pay. "In the past, our husbands would bring home rations, and we'd live off that," she told NPR. "Now there are no rations, and the women support the families. If we don't make money, they starve, so life is hard for women." 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/130131/women-have-equal-rights-north-korea