Tuesday, October 27, 2009

North Korea: Clampdown on Women

From AFP:
North Korea's regime has targeted women in a crackdown on private markets, depriving families of a vital source of food and income at a time of growing food shortages, a UN human rights rapporteur said Monday.

Vitit Muntarbhorn, who last week denounced human rights conditions in North Korea as "abysmal" in a scathing report to the UN General Assembly, said the plight of women "has gotten worse and worse during these years."

He said women under the age of 49 have been prohibited from engaging in trading, and the regime has gone so far as to ban them from wearing pants or riding bicycles to make it more difficult for them to engage in marketing activities.

Reports of clashes between young women and authorities have surfaced, reflecting tensions over the policy as food shortages deepen with a decline in international food aid, he said.

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