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Guys' date=' time to start packing your bags for North Korea.

[/quote']

I would rather not have tree bark as my primary food source, thank you :)

Seriously, I bet there must be some human trafficking going on. Maybe China will roll through NK to find wives for all it's soldiers?

Even if the regime falls, i don't think there's much hope for the people there. South Korea can't afford to absorb a stone age country..

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wushijiao

I think this is due to the fact that men, compared to women, need a higher caloric input to survive in times of famine. Here is an old LA Times piece:

The children were the first to start dying, then the elderly. Next to perish were men, who seemed to need more calories to survive than women.

Chongjin residents learned to recognize the stages of starvation.

First, the victims become listless and too weak to work. Their vision grows blurry. They become bone-thin, then startlingly, their torsos bloat.

Toward the end, they just lie still, sometimes hallucinating about food.

While some people seem to fade away, others die in agony, their intestines blocked when they can't digest substitute foods, such as corn powder and oak leaves. Particularly lethal to children's digestive systems are ersatz rice cakes — molded out of a paste made from the inner bark of pine trees.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-chongjin3jul03,0,1828534.story?page=1&coll=la-home-headlines

(free registration)

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Seriously, I bet there must be some human trafficking going on. Maybe China will roll through NK to find wives for all it's soldiers?

I heard North Korean women make good housewives. They are the "nuts and bolts" of the labor force in North Korea. Therefore they handle the finances and take care of the household.

Based on what I heard, many North Korean husbands live a slothful life in comparison to their wives.

Yeah it looks North Korea could become a growing supply of capable women for men in China who desperately need one. But many North Korean women who married Chinese husbands often become the target of abuse when they return to North Korea.

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heard North Korean women make good housewives. They are the "nuts and bolts" of the labor force in North Korea. Therefore they handle the finances and take care of the household.

Based on what I heard' date=' many North Korean husbands live a slothful life in comparison to their wives.

Yeah it looks North Korea could become a growing supply of capable women for men in China who desperately need one. But many North Korean women who married Chinese husbands often become the target of abuse when they return to North Korea.[/quote']

huh? there are no finances to manage and no household to take care of because there is no food, getting food is all anyone worries about over there.

north koreans aren't allowed to leave, they would face prison or execution if they tried to leave or returned after escaping, and their families would also be sent to prison.

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Ferno,

This is a relevant article that touches upon the types of moneymaking that North Korean women think of during times of famine or crisis : http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Korea/GD06Dg01.html

Believe it or not, that can also include bribing. But let's not count that one. :wink:

I should have used a different word than "finances". What I was referring to was the money earned by North Korean women when they conducted their "small" daily activities.

"...Thus when the economic crisis began, women were first to take up market activities of all kinds. This came very naturally. In some cases they began by selling those household items they could do without, or by selling homemade food. Eventually, this developed into larger businesses. While men continued to go to their plants (which by the mid-1990s had usually ceased to operate) women plunged into market activity. In North Korea such trade involved long journeys in open trucks, and nights spent on concrete floors or under the open skies; they often bribed predatory local officials. And, of course, women had the ability to move heavy material, since the vendor's back tends to be her major method of transportation...

This tendency was especially pronounced among low- and middle- income families. The elite received rations even through the famine years of 1996-99, so the women of North Korea's top 5% usually continued with their old lifestyle. Nonetheless, some of them began to use their ability to get goods cheaply. Quite often, the wives of high-level cadres were and still are involved in resale of merchandise that is first purchased from their husbands' factories at cheap official prices. It is remarkable that in the case of North Korea such activities are carried out not so much by the cadres themselves, but by their wives. Cadres had to be careful, since it was not clear what was the official approach to the new situation of nascent capitalism. Thus it was assumed that women would be safer in such undertakings since they did not, and still do not, quite belong to the official social hierarchy...

Perhaps, had the state given its formal approval to nascent capitalism (as did the still formally "communist" state of China), the men would be far more active. But Pyongyang officialdom still seems to be uncertain what to do with the crumbling system, and it is afraid to give to unconditional approval to capitalism. Thus men are left behind and capitalism is left to women..."

I have read stories of North Korean officials forcing North Korean women to have abortions when they found out the baby's father is Chinese.

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The famine in North Korea just illustrates how desperately North Korea needs a leader to embrace and implement market reforms. I don't see that happening anytime soon so long as Kim Jr is at the helm.

Someone in the North Korean military should launch a coup against Kim Jr, take over the reins of government himself, and launch economic reforms reminiscent of the Park Chung Hee era in South Korea. And who cares if the government is authoritarian. Economics first, then political liberalization. The North Koreans badly need the former.

Once North and South Korea achieve unification, I wonder how the incorporation of the North would affect the birth rate of the country as a whole.

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Once North and South Korea achieve unification

Problem is many south koreans (the younger generations) may not want it now. I have not much knowledge on this issue but I have seen a documentary on this subject and many youngsters filmed seem to have doubts on unification ... I wonder if this was also the case before the Germany reunification ...

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i don't think it's possible for the Koreas to reunify. Germany still has problems with reunifying with East Germany because the East was always poorer.... the vast majority of North Koreans have never seen a computer or made a single telephone call. They are in the stone age. It would be a disaster for the South Korean economy if all of these North Koreans were suddenly South Korean citizens.

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It's always possible. The problems is whether they (The Koreas, China, US) want it done. Reunification is certainly not an overnight process, before signing the papers, safeguarding and developmental policies will need to be worked out first.

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It's always possible.

I agree. The problem is that reunification under the current conditions will destabilize the South and reduce its hard-earned, high standard of living.

That is why the North needs a reformist leader (like what Deng Xiaoping did) who will narrow the economic gap between the two sides, and make the path to reunification one step closer.

BTW, South and North Korea has agreed to compete as one at the 2008 Olympics.

This story says that North Korean female defectors also outnumber North Korean male defectors. http://english.chosun.com/w21data/html/news/200511/200511020017.html

"...Muntarbhorn said women defectors outnumber men for a number of reasons. One is that human traffickers prefer to smuggle women out because they are more reliable in paying their fees, which can be as high as US$3,000. Women also usually get lighter punishments than men when they are caught..."

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  • 2 weeks later...

For the first time in 35 years, women outnumbered men in South Korea in 2005. http://times.hankooki.com/lpage/nation/200601/kt2006010219380310510.htm

Now both North and South Korea have a population where women are in the majority. In South Korea women outnumber men by a difference of 10,000+. This is attributed to the low birth rate and an increase in the female life expectancy in South Korea.

Due to this phenomenom, women's prestige has risen in South Korea as they are also earning money in dual-income families.

In a Confucian-dominated society like South Korea's, men previously resented women playing an active role in the family that will overshadow their own status. Now there is a growing trend in South Korea where men are appreciating the contributions women are making to the family, and are even tolerating having a lower financial status than their wives.

"During previous holidays, Shin Yong-su, a 37-year-old office worker in Seoul, visited his parents’ house first with his wife and two daughters, a one-year-old and a five-year-old.

This New Year’s Day, however, his family went to Mokpo, South Cholla Province, where his mother-in-law lives.

``I never visited my wife’s parents’ house first since I got married. But this year is different,’’ Shin told The Korea Times.

The reason is simple. His mother-in-law, who earned a lot of money through a real estate investment, helped Shin buy an apartment in Kangnam, the affluent area in southern Seoul last year. She bore 70 percent of the cost.

In addition, she promised to move in to his house to take care of her grandchildren.

``As both my wife and I are working, we need somebody to raise our children. Since my mother-in-law will do it, I should gain favor in her sight,’’ Shin said.

In strong male-dominated Confucian society such as Korea, depending on women’s economic power has been considered a ``shameful thing’’ to some men.

There is even an old Korean saying that it is a sad house where the hen crows louder than the cock.

This concept, however, has changed dramatically in the past years.

Double-income families are increasing and more women are taking part in the economy, enhancing women’s power in the family.

Experts point out several key words of this female-dominating society _ sensibility, aging society and increase of women population.

``Sensibility has become a more important factor in the world as some trends related to emotion such as `emotional management’ is gaining popularity. In a similar vein, women’s roles in leading family relationships with sensibility have become significant,’’ said Han Kyung-hye, professor at Seoul National University.

``In an aging society, the demographic shape looks like a reversed pyramid in which the elderly population sharply outnumber the younger generations. In this case, women’s roles linking the younger generation to the old ones are important,’’ she added.... "

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