Gender in Transition: The Case of North Korea
AbstractThis paper uses a survey of 300 North Korean refugees to examine the experience of women in North Korea’s fitful economic transition. Like other socialist states, North Korea has maintained a de jure commitment to women's rights. However, we find that women have been disproportionately shed from state-affiliated employment and thrust into a market environment characterized by weak institutions and corruption. As a result, the state and its affiliated institutions are increasingly populated by males, and the market, particularly in its retail aspects, is dominated by women. Among the most recent cohort of refugees to leave North Korea, more than one-third of male respondents indicate that criminality and corruption is the best way to make money, and 95 percent of female traders report paying bribes to avoid the penal system. In short, the increasingly male-dominated state preys on the increasingly female-dominated market. These results paint a picture of a vulnerable group that has been disadvantaged in North Korea's transition. Energies are directed toward survival, mass civil disobedience is reactive, and as a group, this population appears to lack the tools or social capital to act collectively to improve their status.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by East-West Center, Economics Study Area in its series Economics Study Area Working Papers with number 124.
Length: pages 43
Date of creation: Dec 2011
Date of revision:
Other versions of this item:
- F - International Economics
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2011-12-19 (All new papers)
- NEP-DEM-2011-12-19 (Demographic Economics)
- NEP-HME-2011-12-19 (Heterodox Microeconomics)
You can help add them by filling out this form.
reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Brenda Higashimoto).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.