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Some N. Korean women delighted – and others hurt – on International Women’s Day

North Korean husbands showered their wives with affection on International Women’s Day, bringing a congenial mood to many households in the central districts of Pyongyang.

“As in previous years, husbands found various ways to show their affection, trust, and admiration for their wives on International Women’s Day, but there were some notable differences between the central and peripheral districts of Pyongyang,” a source in the North Korean capital told Daily NK on Tuesday, speaking on condition of anonymity.

In one area of the city, a criticism meeting for members of the Socialist Women’s Union of Korea was scheduled for Mar. 9, the day after International Women’s Day. The union members finished criticizing each other in a short ten minutes and then spent some time bragging about their husbands’ loving gestures the day before.

Not everyone, however, got into bragging. These women slipped out of the women’s union meeting after the criticism session ended and the conversation turned to the gifts.

“There is a serious disparity between the living conditions in the center of Pyongyang and those in the outskirts. Since economic conditions are hard in the periphery, many husbands there couldn’t do anything for their wives, and these angry wives had little to say in the conversation [about the gifts],” the source said.

The explained that it has become customary for husbands in Potanggang, Central and Moranbong districts in downtown Pyongyang to buy their wives relatively expensive accessories for International Women’s Day, such as rings, earrings, necklaces and bracelets made of pure gold or a gold alloy.

Away from the city center, however, men’s gifts are more likely to be clothes or handbags or bouquets of flowers, sometimes with money tucked inside.

“This year, husbands were bolder in their displays of affection for International Women’s Day than last year. In addition to giving nice gifts, they also prepared breakfast or dinner for their wives, invited other couples over, and put on music for singing and dancing that lasted until midnight. All in all, it was more festive than a national holiday,” she added.

The reason couples were able to have such a good time was that Workers’ Party organizations and employers postponed meetings scheduled for the end of the day and allowed husbands to leave work early, the source explained.

“Since International Women’s Day is a special day for women, organizations of all kinds made an effort to give husbands enough time to pay attention to their wives. Some party cells even gave husbands time the next day to discuss what kind of gifts they’d given their wives and mothers,” the source said.

Translated by David Carruth. Edited by Robert Lauler. 

Daily NK works with a network of sources living in North Korea, China, and elsewhere. Their identities remain anonymous for security reasons. For more information about Daily NK’s network of reporting partners and information-gathering activities, please visit our FAQ page here.

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Read in Korean

March 21, 2024 at 11:00AM

by DailyNK(North Korean Media)

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