International Women’s Day in the DPRK (North Korea)

The DPRK newspapers are full of stories concerning the celebration of international women’s day yesterday. KCNA has half a dozen reports, on a celebration at the People’s Palace of Culture, calls to continue displaying revolutionary mettle, the history of Juche-oriented women’s movement in a socialist country, and so on. Rodong Sinmun has an editorial on the theme, while the Pyongyang Times has a fascinating article from which I quote:

A ray of hope flickered for Korean women when President Kim Il Sung started the Korean revolution.

As he embarked on the road of revolution in his early years, he blazed a trail for a Juche-oriented women’s movement, regarding them as a powerful force that turns one of the two wheels of the revolution.

He specified the empowerment of women in the 10-point Programme of the Association for the Restoration of the Fatherland during the anti-Japanese revolutionary struggle, and made sure that a women’s union was formed prior to other social organizations and proclaimed the Law on Sex Equality after Korea’s liberation, thereby enabling women to participate in social and political life and economic and cultural life on an equal footing with men.

Thanks to the President’s benevolent affection and trust, Korean women could perform admirable feats for the Party, revolution and country at every period and stage of the revolution, including the periods of a new country building, the Fatherland Liberation War, postwar reconstruction and great Chollima upswing.

Today they lead an independent and creative life as masters and players of the country in accomplishing the revolutionary cause of Juche under the warm care of Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un.

They take a large proportion of deputies to the people’s assemblies at all levels and render distinguished services to the building of a powerful socialist nation.

As they find their happiness in the country’s prosperity they give full play to their patriotic devotion, creativity and talents in all fields including national defence and building of a socialist economic giant. Their heroic exploits are incorporated in groundbreaking scientific and technological hits, achievements in light industry, agriculture and other economic sectors, sports and art and literature as well as lots of monumental structures including the Paektusan Hero Youth Power Station and large-scale animal husbandry base in the Sepho area.

In the unprecedentedly arduous campaign to defend socialism and the present struggle to build a socialist power, Korean women have played their part in building happy families and bringing up their children to be pillars of the country with warm love and infinite devotion, smiling all hardships away, and volunteered to become spouses of disabled soldiers, adopt orphans and support childless old people.

As there are commendable women emitting fragrance all across this land, Korean socialism is firm and steady and the cause of building a powerful socialist country advances with great vitality.

To which may be added sections from other articles:

All women in the country enjoy respect and love as a powerful force pushing one of the two wheels of the revolutionary chariot and flowers of the country and the times for their important role in various sectors of social life.

Among them are servicepersons who defend the country with an ardent patriotism, officers’ wives who share the same destiny with their husbands in safeguarding the country, deputies to the state power organs, party officials, managers, scientists, actresses and innovators who dedicate their all to the prosperity of the country.

And many laws and social policies like the law on protection of women’s rights and socialist labor law have been enacted to guarantee their rights in the DPRK.

The Korean women’s movement has taken only the road of victory as a revolutionary and militant movement generation after generation and prided itself on being an example of the movement of world progressive women.

Let all women powerfully demonstrate the revolutionary mettle of the Korean women in the all-people general offensive towards the grand festival in September, single-heartedly united around the Party.

 

Advertisements

Stalin the feminist

How is that for a somewhat strange juxtaposition: Stalin and feminism. Of course, the real achievements of the Bolsheviks are usually written out of any history of feminism, since as we all know, it is really a Western phenomenon. The catch is that the likes of Kollontai, Zetkin and others did like to be known as feminists, since they saw it a distinctly bourgeois phenomenon. So perhaps Marxist or materialist feminism is a better term. But was Stalin one too? Here is his statement on International Women’s Day in 1925:

There has not been in the history of mankind a single great movement of the oppressed in which women toilers have not participated. Women toilers, the most oppressed of all the oppressed, have never kept away from the high road of the emancipation movement, and never could have done so. As is known, the movement for the emancipation of the slaves brought to the front hundreds of thousands of great women martyrs and heroines. In the ranks of the fighters for the emancipation of the serfs there were tens of thousands of women toilers. It is not surprising that the revolutionary working-class movement, the mightiest of all the emancipation movements of the oppressed masses, has rallied millions of women toilers to its banner.

International Women’s Day is a token of the invincibility of the working-class movement for emancipation and a harbinger of its great future.

If the working class pursues a correct policy, they can and must become a real working-class army, operating against the bourgeoisie. To forge from this reserve of women toilers an army of working women and peasant women, operating side by side with the great army of the proletariat—such is the second and decisive task of the working class.

International Women’s Day must become a means of transforming the working women and peasant women from a reserve of the working class into an active army of the emancipation movement of the proletariat.

Long live International Women’s Day! (Works, vol. 7, pp. 48-49).