gender equality

Iranian female soccer fans cross-dress to get into soccer stadium, netizens cheer

In Iran, women are forbidden from stadiums, but for fans of soccer, drastic times call for drastic measures.

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Japanese ryokan custom ignites debate after visitors label it sexist

If you’ve stayed at a traditional Japanese inn with your partner, chances are you’ve experienced this custom before.

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All Japan Judo Federation drops requirement that women’s black belts have white stripe

Policy shift aligns Japan with international standard.

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Female high school students continue to be banned on baseball field at Koshien Stadium in Japan

Baseball tournament officials defend the ban on female students as a necessary measure to help protect their safety.

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Japan: one of the few countries in the world where married couples must have the same surname

With Japan consistently appearing in the lowest ranks for gender equality in industrialised nations, the adoption of Prime Minister Abe’s recent bill to promote the role of women in the workplace has been a welcome development in what remains a traditionally patriarchal society.

What the headlines fail to mention, however, are the archaic laws entrenched in the country’s Civil Code that continue to hold women back, including same surname requirements upon marriage, and differences in the minimum marriageable age and re-marriage prohibition period for both sexes.

The UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women has again called for a revision of Japan’s current laws, slamming the country for being one of the few industrialised nations where it remains illegal for married couples to have different surnames.

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Fashion store LUMINE’s video for working women fails big time, results in boycott hashtag

First Ladies Michelle Obama and Akie Abe have finally met for the first time and have been enjoying each other’s company this past week. They are both powerful women who are continually working for women around the world to have larger, more active roles in both government and business, so it was fantastic to see them launching new programs in support of women. Each year we take steps to make the world a more equal place and 2015 doesn’t seem to show any signs of being any different.

Japanese department store chain LUMINE has claimed that they also wish to support working women and released two short videos to show that. But instead of empowering and encouraging women, people are finding the videos extremely offensive and are criticizing them harshly. How bad could they be?

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