Recorded in the history of the anti-Japanese armed struggle commanded by Kim Il Sung is a story about the first women’s company.
At that time, scarcely anyone believed that women could engage in manual combat for a long time shoulder to shoulder with men.
The women had no other heritage than the chain of bondage and grievances. The Korean feudal society had kept all women in the bondage of male supremacy, a state of inhuman existence.
The Japanese imperialists, who militarily occupied Korea (1905-1945), made the women even more miserable by turning them into instruments and commodities and labeled them as the women of a ruined nation.
The anti-Japanese revolution acted as a tempest, which would sweep off all these misfortunes and irrationalities, an epoch-making event to lead the Korean women along a revolutionary path.
With the anti-Japanese armed struggle commenced in real earnest under the wise leadership of Kim Il Sung, women grew more vocal about their participation in the armed struggle. They burned with a unanimous desire to take up arms and take revenge on the enemies by killing at least a few of them, as the enemies had murdered their parents and brothers.
Kim Il Sung in his reminiscences wrote about the birth of the first women’s company as follows:
“To be quite frank, at first I also considered a female presence on the field as unnatural. The thought of their tender physical constitutions, which in my prejudiced opinion, would be unable to withstand all the hardships of guerrilla warfare, stood uppermost in my mind.”
The birth of the women’s company under the direct control of the headquarters of the Korean People’s Revolutionary Army was formally announced in a forest near Manjiang in April 1936. Pak Rok Gum was appointed company commander.
Many of her comrades-in-arms characterized her by a single word “heroine”. Her photo is now on display in the Korean Revolution Museum.
During the anti-Japanese revolutionary struggle the soldiers of the women’s company dedicated their youth, homes and lives to the sacred war to drive out the Japanese invaders from Korea, without yielding to adversity on the path of revolution, despite untold physical stress and mental strain, overtaxing even the strength of the male sex.
The birth of the women’s company broke the convention of male supremacy, a social evil, which had been considered incurable for thousands of years, and put women’s mental and social positions on a par with those of men.