The Chosun Ilbo: N.Korea Cracks Down on Female Defectors:
The North Korean regime has reportedly ordered border guards to stop all women from traveling on railways and roads to the North Korea-China border. The order, which targets all girls and women between 10 and 60, came recently from the powerful National Defense Commission....There are several reasons why women are leading the exodus. First, since elements of small-scale capitalism were introduced in the early 2000s, women have become more active earning money for their families in the open-air markets and as a result found themselves with more power. But after a botched currency reform in 2008 that aimed to quell small-scale capitalism, these women gave up on the regime that tried to destroy their livelihood."It was women in the markets who strongly resisted the regime after the currency reform," said a defector who used to be a senior official there. "Women no longer have any hope for the regime" despite an ongoing generational change in the leadership.