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North Korean women speak: New survey reveals the alarming state of women’s rights in the DPRK

The survey involved 30 North Korean women living in the country and 10 North Korean defectors

March 26, 2024  

Credits @FFHR.CZ

The women of North Korea were honored and celebrated on Mar. 8, International Women’s Day, with various events organized by the government. State media went as far as comparing Kim Jong Un to a caring “mother” figure. The real conditions faced by women in North Korea, however, are not given justice through propaganda spread by the regime via newspapers and television.

Information on women’s rights in North Korea has largely been based on defector testimonies and reports submitted by the DPRK government to international organizations.

But a recent survey conducted by Daily NK, with the support of the Embassy of Canada to the Republic of Korea, aimed to provide a deeper understanding of the situation. The survey involved 30 North Korean women living in the country and 10 North Korean defectors.

The survey findings were alarming. More than half of the respondents reported being sexually victimized by officials in state institutions like the national police agency and correctional centers. Furthermore, a shocking 73% said they had experienced situations in the workplace, military, or markets where officials pressured, manipulated, or tricked them into engaging in sexual activities in exchange for promotions or business opportunities.

These results highlight the widespread nature of workplace discrimination and sexual harassment in North Korea. This survey reveals the harsh reality that North Korean women face, which starkly contrasts with the regime’s portrayal of their lives. It underscores the urgent need for increased awareness, protection, and enforcement of women’s rights in North Korea.




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