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ISDP Forum: North Korean Women as Economic Agents (and Mothers) in the Sino-North Korean Borderlands
March 2, 2020 - 16:00-17:30
Over the past decade, there has been a dramatic shift in the role of North Korean women, from traditional mothers to breadwinners. Economic collapse, famine, and the so-called “Arduous March” have had unintended consequences for North Korean women, forcing them to become more active economic agents. Many North Korean women started working in the black market (jangmadang), and became extremely mobile, seeking economic opportunities in new cities, new regions, and even across national borders. The Chinese borderland in particular has become a significant destination for North Korean women. How should we understand the migratory dynamics at play? What opportunities and challenges do North Korean women face over the border in China? What are the consequences for the families they leave behind?
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