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8. März 2010: Internationaler Frauentag
The struggle of the Workers’ Party of Korea for solution of women’s issue

A century has passed since March 8 was set as the International Women’s Day in support to the progressive women in their struggle for independent rights and equal development of women.

Women’s issue is, in essence, an issue of social emancipation of women, half the world population, to enable them to enjoy the dignity and rights as independent human beings in all fields of society including politics, economy and culture on equal footing with men. It is an important political issue to constantly enhance the status and roles of women in the struggle to realize independence of popular masses.

Under the wise leadership of President Kim Il Sung, founding father of socialist Korea and the respected comrade Kim Jong Il brilliant successes were achieved in solving the women’s issue in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea .

During the arduous anti-Japanese armed struggle the great leader President Kim Il Sung organized “Anti-Japanese Women’s Association”, the first women’s revolutionary organization in our country with deep insight into the women’s position and role in construction and development of a new society. And this constituted a brilliant tradition of the Korean women’s movement.

President Kim Il Sung organized the Korean Democratic Women’s Union as the first mass women’s organization in the DPR of Korea on November 18, 1945 not long after the liberation of the country from the Japanese colonial rule.

Then he promulgated the Law on Gender Equality on July 30, 1946. Thus the Korean women, who had long been subjected to feudalistic oppression, subhuman discrimination and contempt without any political rights, could participate in building new Korea as full-fledged master of the country on equal footing with men.

Since then the long-continued feudalistic discrimination against women has been legally and completely eliminated.

Full rights and freedom and advancement of women in political, economic and social life starting from participation in the decision-making process, access to job, health care, education and training to reducing household and social burdens are guaranteed through the constitution and other specific laws concerning labor, public health and family.

The Korean women who used to be marginalized being harassed because of illiteracy, ignorance and no rights for many centuries are now participating in the exercise of the state power and decision-making, in administrative and economic management and in social activities as deputies to the Supreme People’s Assembly and the local People’s Assemblies at all levels.

The policies and measures of our party for gender equality and women’s advancement are oriented towards not only simple gender equality but social practice of respect and preferential treatment of women that are integrated in the state policies.

The Korean women have no problems in giving birth to and upbring their children thanks to preferential laws and policies like the Law on Upbring and Education of Children and Paid Leave Before and After Pregnancy (150days) and they have no difficulties in participating in social life on equal footing with men.

During the last 10-odd years when the country was suffering from economic difficulties owing to the economic sanctions and moves to isolate and suffocate our country on the part of outside forces the state policies and measures on women’s welfare were continuously materialized and even strengthened, far from diminishing.

Today women in our country are vigorously pushing ahead the other wheel of the vehicle of history as full-fledged members of the society. In this process numerous women heroes, PhD holders and labor innovators have been produced.

Such efforts by our party constitute a significant contribution to the international efforts to materialize women’s emancipation and settle women’s issues.

Legalizing their social rights and providing the conditions and environment for their full participation in social life irrespective of nationality, race, language and religion is the priority of importance in the issue of women.

However in the worldwide scale many challenges are still left to address for genuine gender equality.

Women remain the first victims to all forms of socio-political evils like poverty, unemployment, diseases, economic disasters, arms conflict and violence. And their political participation is still found at a low level and their involvement in economic life and human resource development is no better due to the negative effect of globalization.

Gap between men’s and women’s pay, discrimination in the opportunities to education and job and other unequal economic accesses accelerate the poverty of women and seriously violate human rights of women and their dignity.

With the onset of recent financial crisis, the ever prevalent poverty and marginalization of women, trafficking in women and children, group violence against women in the region of armed conflict, and the decreased investment in welfare sector for women and children are all attributable to the outdated stereotype on the social position and role of women and failure to present women’s empowerment as urgent.

In order that women enjoy enhanced political status and genuine political, economic and cultural rights, we consider that international efforts to eradicate poverty, unemployment, diseases and illiteracy that threaten the very human existence and hinder women’s advancement must be exerted before anything else.

We believe in particular that all the countries should pay foremost concern to providing legal conditions for liberating women from all kinds of social inequality and realizing genuine gender equality.

Furthermore, it is also an inevitable task together with ensuring peaceful development of women to build a new peaceful world without war, a century-old desire of the world women, by establishing a lasting peace on this planet against the war.

The Workers’ Party of Korea will, in future too, further strengthen international solidarity in the struggle for world independence upholding the banner of independence, peace and friendship and positively contribute to the international effort to solve the women’s issue.

International Department
Central Committee
Workers’ Party of Korea

Feb. 22, Juche 99 (2010), Pyongyang

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