January 21, 2021

North Korea’s working women just suffered a really hard year

During labor marathons, women breadwinners must abandon the market for state projects — and still tend to the family

More than six decades ago in 1955, North Korea’s third-ever movie tried to take on an issue indicative of the time — the struggle for a woman to juggle both a model socialist job and her conservative homemaking duties, which “The Newlyweds” portrayed in detail.

Fast-forward to Oct. 2020 and the same holds true: Like in many parts of the world, North Korea’s women are burdened by what sociologists call a “second shift” — the additional work women face outside of their professional lives as gatekeepers to the family and home.