March 1, 2008｜Korean Peninsula
Dr. O Sung Chol
Director, Korean Social Scientists Society (DPRK)
Today in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, women, as masters of the nation and society, are enjoying valuable lives, and are actively giving their all to the development of society.
The thinking toward placing emphasis socially to bestowing exactly the same rights as men to Korean women—who had been oppressed in feudal times—and respecting their character, became clear for the first time with the “Ten-Point Program of the Association for the Restoration of the Fatherland” announced in May 1936, which was at the time of the Anti-Japanese Armed Struggle.
After liberation, the Law on Sexual Equality promulgated on 30 July 1946 systematically and legally guaranteed the position in society of the DPRK’s women. The DPRK’s women, in all areas of social life, including the exercise of sovereignty and management of the nation, have exercised their right as masters in dignified fashion, and have become able to actively give their all to the development of society.
Through the first democratic election in the history of the DPRK in November 1946, from the time when the DPRK’s women exercised their right to vote and to be elected—legally granted the same as men—down to today, they have actively participated in the enterprise of the people’s government.
At the First Session of the 11th Supreme People’s Assembly which took place in August 2003, of the 686 deputies elected, 20.1% were female deputies.
In the DPRK, there are many female cadres charged with important responsibilities in various areas of the party, state organs, military organs, administrative organs, social organizations and the economy of the people.
At the actual site of the construction of a strong country, the reality of the DPRK is that the labor heroines who are devoting their true sweat as creators are so many as to be beyond count.
With the faith to create a paradise without the envious, many women are striving to build an economically-strong country, including: Labor Heroine Pak Ok Hui, chairwoman of the managerial committee of the cooperative farm of Jangjin Township, Janggang County, Jagang Province, who has realized three crops a year in the northern mountainous region; Labor Heroine Pang Jong Sil, manageress of the Sunchon Garment Factory who supports the Party with one deed rather than a hundred words; and Labor Heroine Ri Kuk Hwa, manageress of the Sopho Chicken Farm in Pyongyang, who is a cadre of the kind who supports the fatherland with practical results.
In the DPRK, women are shouldering a major role in various cultural fields, including education, healthcare, and literature and the arts. There are also instructors who silently contribute their lifetimes to the project of educating future generations, and for the sake of the wealth, power and prosperity of the country and the raising of the people’s living standards, holding on high the Party’s scientific and technological revolutionary line, they are clearing the hurdles in present day science in rapid succession, meeting the requirements of the age of the information industry. There are also many possessors of academic degrees and posts including: the first mother-and-daughter pair to have gained doctorates, People’s Scientists and Candidate Academicians Yu Suk Gun and her daughter Kim Yong Jin; Labor Heroine and People’s Scientist Doctor (PhD) Kim Chun Gum; and Labor Heroine, People’s Scientist and Doctor (PhD) Hyon Yong Ra, who without stopping powerfully trod the path of scientific inquiry with severe trials on a daily basis, and succeeded in valuable research outcomes.
“World Marathon Queen” Jong Song Ok, who demonstrated to the world the dignity of Juche Korea and her heroic temperament in the severest of times, Kye Sun Hui, the titleholder of four judo world championships, and “Weightlifting Queen” Ri Song Hui, are also women. The protagonists of “Korean football mythology,” who made the entire world open-mouthed in astonishment—winning the tournament at the thirteenth world women’s youth football championship—were women. In the last ten-odd years, in the area of sports alone, over 150 women have flown high the flag of the DPRK on the international stage and hold the honors of Labor Heroine, People’s Sportswoman and Sportswoman of Merit.
In accordance with the Songun [Military First] era, the character of the DPRK’s women has attained a high stage, and the role of women has also become stronger. Young women are increasing daily who hold a noble life-view of making their lives shine brightly, possessing a consciousness as citizens of the Songun era, and becoming women soldiers—who defend the fatherland, wearing military uniforms soaked with the sweat of their youth and carrying guns—and the wives of soldiers.
Then there are also many mothers of military households similar to Om Pok Sun, who is admirably rearing children and works at a post defending the fatherland. A great number of women, including Labor Heroine Pak Chun Ae, who while protecting the wellbeing of the household, are prominent too in projects supporting the military.
Even when trials and tribulations mount up, there are women like So Hye Suk and Ri Hui Sun, who, with warm maternal affection, are bringing the future beautiful flowers of the fatherland into bloom, with initially 40–50 children who have lost their parents, and accepting 100-plus.
In the DPRK, women are making the appellations “flowers of life” and “flowers of the nation” reverberate, and offering up all kinds of matters of their own on the road to the wealth, power and prosperity of the fatherland. With the sun in the sky, all the flowers of nature give off their fragrance. The women who are enjoying a proper life, amid the exceptional love of the Party and the Leader, will stand shoulder to shoulder with men in the future too, and will forcefully push forward the wheel of one half of the revolution.