Women’s day celebrations are marked in different ways in different countries and cultures. In North Korea, lectures were held on this occasion to encourage women to “give birth to more babies”. The reason why women are urged to do so is to have more able bodies to serve the manpower-heavy North Korean People’s Army.
According to a report by Radio Free Asia, the act of women giving birth to more babies is considered that of “great patriotism” in the country.
The message is passed down to housewives through a series of ideological lectures.
“Last week, a lecture was held on active support for the People’s Army, saying that having many children and sending them to the People’s Army is the greatest patriotism,” said a source to Radio Free Asia. The source demanded to be anonymous.
The North Korean Army is a case of dichotomy. The Korean People’s army is one of the strongest forces, as far as the number of soldiers is concerned. However, it is extremely dated when it comes to the usage of modern technology. Reports suggest most of the weapons used by the army are as old as the Soviet Period.
The women who have given birth to as many as seven or eight children are held up as ‘heroes’ and are portrayed as idols to the rest of the population. Many of the women who have helped the army or the regime during times of war have found a place in government-funded movies, where the characters based on them are lionised.
Women from the smaller towns or villages are told that by following the suit of bearing more children they will stand a chance to earn a trip to the national capital Pyongyang. According to the sources of Radio Free Asia, the lecturer stated that Kim Jong Un promised to publicly invite the supporters of this cause to “important military celebrations.”