North Korea Shows Interest in Balancing Women’s Daily Duties

Troy Young, April 5, 2018, 9:47 a.m.

North Korea has indicated the importance of coming up with ways for women to balance their family duties and careers as part of its efforts to expand women's labor power in society, according to a thesis in a North Korean economic journal obtained Thursday by Yonhap News Agency.

The thesis, carried in this year's first issue of the quarterly Kyongje Yongu (Economic Research) and themed "Housewives as Labor Force and Its Characteristics," said it is a pressing issue to grasp and utilize the labor force of women, who take up half of the nation's population, and housewives so that the nation's tense labor problems can be improved.

"The widespread injection of women's labor force into the construction of a powerful socialist country constitutes an important prerequisite to resolving labor problems, heightening workers' living conditions and enhancing women's social status," it said.

It also said that helping housewives take care of their families and fulfill their social duties gives them a more favorable environment and conditions than those women who have no families.

A set of measures should be established to draw on the labor force of housewives in "inminban" neighborhood associations, or North Korea's pettiest administrative bodies to which many housewives belong, and to have them take part in social labor activities, according to the thesis.

The thesis appears to show the North is interested in the establishment of measures to facilitate women's entry into society by helping them carry out family duties and work at the same time.

But the thesis indicated taking care of family duties is what only women are supposed to do and stopped short of suggesting ways to mitigate their burden on their home business, including child care.

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