Life in Seclusion

Life Away From Others
Zoya Salahuddin

North Korea: a story of nuclear weaponry and disastrous politics, of millions of voices hidden away from the media. For us, this struggle may forever be a story, words on the news we soon forget. For them, it is their reality, and it is one we cannot disregard.

After the Korean War, the North and South split into two separate entities, the North taking on a totalitarian dictatorship, a regime based on the refusal of the South’s democracy. It is evident that the political regime of North Korea has to its becoming the most isolated country in the world, infamous for its nuclear programme – an international threat so widely feared that the battle fought by millions often goes ignored.

It is known that North Korea is incredibly patriarchal – men are expected to work, while women stay at home, hidden from the outside world. While news outlets struggle to gain knowledge about gender differences within the country, it is thought that men possess a single role at home – to keep their dependent family on the path of state loyalty.

Although North Korea has enacted laws on sex equality and labour, they have never been successful. Gender equality is only considered important when women are needed, and is immediately discarded when the need has passed. What will we do when millions are forced into lives of harsh labour and starvation, and into marriages without affection and safety? What is it like to live in seclusion?