In Among Women across Worlds, Suzy Kim excavates the transnational linkages between women of North Korea and a worldwide women's movement. Women of Asia, especially those espousing communism, are often portrayed as victims or pawns of a patriarchal Confucian state. Kim undercuts this standard analysis through detailed archival work in the international women's press, and finds that North Korean women asserted themselves in unexpected places from the late 1940s--just before the official beginning of the Korean War--to 1975, the year designated by the UN as International Women's Year.
By centering North Korea and the East, Kim defies convention to offer an entirely new genealogy of the global women's movement. Women of the Korean Democratic Women's Union (KDWU), as part of the global left women's movement led by the Women's International Democratic Federation (WIDF), insisted family and domestic issues must be part of both national and international debates, highlighting how race, nationality, sex, and class connect to form systems of colonial and capitalist exploitation. Their intersectional program claimed that there is no peace without justice, that the personal is the political, and that women's rights are human rights many decades before activists of the West embraced such agendas. Among Women across Worlds is an archaeology of forgotten movements and ideas that became the foundation for those that have come to define our era.
About the Author
Suzy Kim is Associate Professor of Korean History at Rutgers University. She is the author of Everyday Life in the North Korean Revolution, 1945-1950.