The feminist movement may have found an unlikely ally in the form of North Korea’s Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un. Not only did the dictator – for the very first time – acknowledge the existence of International Women’s Day, he also celebrated it in his own unconventional ways.
He marked the day with public events and speeches, hailing it as the 20th anniversary of his father Kim Jong-il’s “scientific theory” on the role of women in “pushing ahead with the revolution and construction,” according to KCNA. The leader also made reference to the international celebrations regarding the day.
While visiting an air-force unit to inspect a new power station, Kim Jong-un took the commemoration to the next level by gifting cosmetics and food to the pilots' wives. The local media reports that the Korean leader did not meet any of these women in person, though he asked the men to pass on the gifts and congratulate their wives.
Perhaps the distribution of makeup is not very progressive of him, but it’s the thought that counts, right?
Furthermore, his recognition of women’s rights comes a week after female defectors in Seoul opened up about the lives of women in the secretive state. They claimed that women in North Korea do not receive sex education, are subjected to abuse, demands of sexual favors and forced abortions – even in the military.
This is not the first time Kim has taken a step toward the women’s causes –four years ago he also "invented" Mother’s Day in North Korea.