North Korean women are the main earners in the family

North Korean women are the main earners in the family 0

A woman stands in a gift stall in downtown Rason, a special economic zone northeast of the capital Pyongyang.

North Korea is a male-dominated society, but women were the main earners when the informal market economy began to form.

According to Reuters, most North Korean men work in jobs that pay only a meager salary in state agencies, or serve in the military.

Jung fled to South Korea in 2012 and regularly sent money back to his family.

North Korea’s centrally planned economy has yet to recover from the collapse of the Soviet Union, which provided military and economic support to Pyongyang during the Cold War.

More and more North Koreans are turning to the informal economy to support their families.

The so-called `gray` market economy still exists with corrupt officials among the political participants.

Incompetent husbands

A survey by the North Korean human rights organization conducted with 60 women who left this impoverished country in 2011 and 2012 showed that many earned about 50,000 – 150,000 KPW (North Korean currency, equivalent to 380

`If you want to live more leisurely here, you should sell sundries at the market; marry someone who specializes in bribery or receive protection money from market saleswomen; or work for a state-owned enterprise,` Kim

Kim said North Korean women complain that men here are like `electric lights that are unplugged all day.`

`It shows how useless men are in making money to support their families,` Kim said.

According to experts, women who are in charge of finances are increasingly inclined to want to divorce because their husbands do not make money.

Women’s dominance of North Korea’s street economy is changing patriarchal culture, which views the ideal woman as a wife who stays home to take care of the family.

`The quality of life in North Korea depends on the business abilities and skills of women, not the state. Women are replacing the role of the state through the market economy,` Kim Eun-ju,

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