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Escaping Poverty Through Entrepreneurship: How North Korea's Women Took Command

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Event description

Entrepreneurship at even the smallest scale has emerged as a way for women in the world’s developing nations to survive and potentially thrive. In North Korea, perhaps the world’s poorest country, women-led development of unofficial markets for food and goods not only sustained many households through the famine years of the late 1990s but also led to meaningful social changes in a deeply patriarchal society.

Coinciding with this year’s International Women’s Day theme ‘Count Her In: Invest in Women’, our panel will discuss North Korea's women-led grassroots capitalism – the subject of a new book by UTS researchers Professor Bronwen Dalton and Associate Professor Kyungja Jung – and consider the opportunities and challenges for entrepreneurial women around the world.

How might we invest in women entrepreneurs inside emerging economies? What might the wider economic and social impacts be, as seen in countries like North Korea? 

Hosted by UTS Business School, join this thought-provoking conversation and hear from panellists including:

  • Associate Professor Ruth Barraclough Director of the Korea Institute at Australian National University
  • Professor Bronwen Dalton, Head of Management. UTS Business School
  • Associate Professor Kyungja Jung, Social and Political Sciences, UTS
  • Lesley Parker, photojournalist

We are excited to launch the book ‘North Korea’s Women-led Grassroots Capitalism’ by Professor Dalton and Associate Professor Jung at this event, which will also feature works from the photographic exhibition 'Women of North Korea: The Quiet Transformation' by photojournalist Lesley Parker, who visited North Korea in 2015 and 2018.

We also invite you to continue the conversation over refreshments after the panel discussion.

Please note, this in an in-person event - we are unfortunately not livestreaming this session on this occasion.

Meet the speakers

Ruth Barraclough

Ruth Barraclough is an Associate Professor in the Korea program at the Australian National University where she teaches history, language and gender studies.

Brownen Dalton

Bronwen Dalton (D.Phil. Oxon) is Professor and Head of the Department of Management and the Director of the Masters of Not-for-Profit and Social Enterprise Program at the University of Technology Sydney.

Kyungja Jung

Kyungja Jung is an Associate Professor at the University of Technology Sydney, Australia. Her recent co-authored book, 'North Korea’s Women-led Grassroots Capitalism' with Professor Bronwen Dalton, was published by Routledge. Kyungja's academic interests are experientially grounded in and inspired by her involvement in women's activism in Australia and Korea. Drawing on feminist theory(s) of intersectionality, her research has been interested in mapping the gendered nature of social processes from cross-cultural and interdisciplinary approaches. Her research areas include women's movements, women's policy, North Korean female defectors, sex workers, violence against women, and temporary migrants, particularly international students and working holidaymakers.

Lesley Parker
is a Sydney-based writer and photographer with an interest in the Korean peninsula who travelled to the DPRK with researchers in 2015 and 2018.

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