North Korea, the controversial East Asian state, plans to install its first female supreme leader, delighting the legion of feminist critics who branded the previous regime as sexist, offensive and anachronistic. “This comes from high up, from the top,” said one source in reference to the decision. While no official statement has yet been released from the country’s current supreme leader Kim Jong-Un, the reliable source has suggested that the despotic autocrat is to name one member from the county’s all female music group, The Korean People’s Army State Merited Chorus and Ensemble, as his successor.
While much speculation circulates, many feminist groups are attributing the shock decision in part to American activist Gloria Steinem’s 2015 feminist march across the demilitarized zone as part of the Women Cross DMZ group. Some claim that Jong-Un looked to be taking notes that day. A spokeswoman for London based campaign group, Political Vulva: “This could be truly historic news and a huge step for challenging sexism in the arena of despotic totalitarianism.” Adding, “For too long, men have had a monopoly on the campaign of tyranny and brutal oppression against the Korean people. It is about time that a woman got in on a piece of the action as well. What we want is equal and fair representation in the highest cabinets of all brutal regimes.”
The decision is rumored to have arisen as a combination of the state’s attempt to modernize with a more progressive approach to government and the detail that Kim Jong-Un does not have a viable successor within his own line. The news is made more controversial by his father Kim Jong-il’s opinion that “side branches” in the Kim genealogical tree could constitute possible threats to its legitimacy.
Often described as a famine and prison state, it is estimated that around half of North Korea’s population of 24 million lives in “extreme poverty.”
(Featured image courtesy of Reuters)