by Wu Qiang, Lu Rui
PYONGYANG, March 8 (Xinhua) -- Women in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Wednesday celebrated the International Women's Day, as the country lauded its womanhood for its dedication and contributions to the revolutionary cause and nation-building for nearly a century.
Choe Ryong Hae, member of the Presidium of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Worker's Party of Korea, said at a celebration gathering in central Pyongyang that the nation owes its women for the victory in the resistance against Japanese imperialists and the War of National Liberation, as well as peacetime achievement in the socialist construction.
"Women are not only mothers of soldiers, workers and scientists, but also the caretakers of the elderly and orphans...They make the nation strong and harmonious," he said.
In Pyongyang, women are finding it hard to hide their pride as they make up half of the country's workforce.
The majority of people working at markets and shops, public transportation and tourism are women. At the Pyongyang Shop which caters for foreign diplomats and foreign residents in the city, Choe Hyang Mi, 25, said she saw many customers buying locally-made cosmetics as gifts for their female family members and friends on the International Women's Day.
Hyon Yon Ok, 42, who works at a shop at the Pyongyang Railway Station, said she is raising one 16-year-old daughter and one 13-year-old son. She would like them to become soldiers of the Korean People's Army in the future, as she herself had served in the army for eight years before.
Kwon Son Mi, 26, who works at a big department store opposite the railway station, was selling special packages of cakes and bread for the International Women's Day, as they are very popular for family gatherings on the day.
Kwon said the department store also sold many roses, because in her country, rose is the favorite flower for women.
At the rest hall of the Pyongyang Railway Station, Yang Jong Sun, a train hostess, told Xinhua that she has a 22-year-old son who is serving in the army.
In the DPRK, boys and girls enjoy equal opportunities of eduction, and there is no discrimination against women who give birth to girls, she said.