Humanitarian And Role Model, Yeonmi Park

Women in history are often marginalized and even in modern society women are still fighting to get the recognition they deserve. Many cultures still practice the oppression of women as a whole and there are entire countries of submissive, quiet women who do not have the opportunities such as an education, a chance to speak their mind or form their own opinions and advancement in the world. It is an extreme level of bravery for women who grow up in oppression, who know nothing of personal rights, to stand up and speak out. Being a male and speaking against an entire regime is one thing, but being a female and calling the Kim regime on their atrocities is that much worse.

A young woman from North Korea is doing just that. Yeonmi Park is barely 22 and travels the world sharing her stories in hopes of changing the treatment of people in her native land of North Korea. At 15 Yeonmi Park and her family fled the borders of North Korea for freedom, no longer being able to live under the repressive Kim regime. Watching neighbors brutalized and executed while their community starves was an awful life, but when Yeonmi’s father was taken and held in a political work camp it was decided that enough was enough, they would make a break for it.

Once across the borders into China, Yeonmi and her mother learned what a woman’s worth was in two long, harrowing years as victims of human trafficking. During this time Yeonmi was sold as a child bride, and her mother offered herself up to be raped to protect her daughter. When their chance came to flee, they took the opportunity and made it to the safety of Mongolia’s borders then settled down in South Korea.

Using her new-found freedom to spread the truth of the state of affairs in her homeland Yeonmi Park is not just a humanitarian. Yeonmi Park of youngvoicesadvocates is also a young woman who is inspiring others to come forward with their stories. In being such a prominent figure and publicly calling out the Kim regime, she is showing women and girls across the world that women can speak up. Women can think for themselves. Women can live independently and make a living for themselves, and still be respectable.

Yeonmi Park speaks at conventions all over the world such as the Atlas Network Liberty Forum Conference, the United Nations 30th Human Rights Council meeting, the Young Voices conference and many more. “In Order to Live,” is a book written by Yeonmi Park that chronicles her adventures and struggles in her former life, crossing the border and how freedom was a foreign concept to her. As a humanitarian she wishes those who have not escaped the regime the ability to live in freedom, but as a woman she is also influencing women of all ages with her bravery.

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