A new report commissioned by Korea Peace Now and produced by an international panel of experts, titled “The Human Costs and Gendered Impact of Sanctions on North Korea,” outlines the gendered and humanitarian cost of UN-backed and unilateral sanctions against North Korea.
According to the report, sanctions exacerbate an already troubled economy and women shoulder a large share of the economic burden of sanctions because of the industries they tend to work in. For example, the report states that “[a]lthough women make up almost half (47.8 percent) of the workforce, the sectors are often segregated by gender, with women dominating key sectors affected by the sanctions regime, such as health and welfare services, fisheries, and textiles, including the operation of markets” and causes the report to conclude that “women’s livelihoods are undermined by sanctions targeting the industries in which they work and reducing the activity of the markets in which they trade.”
The report also argues that sanctions hinder North Korea’s economic and infrastructural development, lessen food security, interfere with the work of international humanitarian organizations, jeopardize the livelihoods of workers, and generally prevent the resolution of the nation’s longstanding humanitarian crises.
The report calls on the UN to peacefully resolve the security crisis, to lift and mitigate the adverse humanitarian and gendered impact of its sanctions, and conduct a humanitarian and gender-sensitive assessment of unilaterally imposed sanctions.