North Korea is an incredibly patriarchal society. The impoverished country treats its women like second-class citizens. The nation’s birth rate has been falling for a while now. It was recently the subject of Kim Jong-un’s (the nation’s supreme leader) tears.
During the National Conference of Mothers on December 4, a video of Kim sobbing and using a handkerchief to dab his eyes was broadcasted by Korean Central Television. On December 3, thousands of women gathered for the organization’s fifth annual gathering.
During the event, Kim said that “[p]reventing a decline in birthrates” and being sure to take care of kids are “all of [their] housekeeping duties.” He also thanked the women in attendance for their role in strengthening the country. He said he thinks “about mothers when [he has] a hard time dealing with the party and state’s work.”
The average number of children a North Korean woman has is around 1.8, according to experts. Newsweek cites a UN research that states a country can only be economically viable with a population rate of 2.1.
The country’s economy is in a terrible state as it is. The country is now among the most economically isolated in the world as a result of years of sanctions imposed by the US and other nations. The nation was ravaged by a famine in the 1990s. More people have reportedly died from starvation in the past few years.
In August, United Nations High Commission for Human Rights Volker Türk said the isolation has created a situation where many people are “facing extreme hunger,” and there are also “acute shortages of medication.” Elizabeth Salmón, an investigator for the UN, echoed Türk’s assessment, saying people are starving and others are dying of “malnutrition, diseases and lack of access to health care.”
This country isn’t a good choice for a family because of how bad things are there. A mother may give birth one day only to witness the starvation death of her newborn a few weeks down the road. It would appear that Kim is not changing his policies despite his complaints about the falling birth rat