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Beate Sirota Gordon 9th March 2010
Beate at around the time of drafting the Japanese constitution -- 1946
Austrian-born architect of Japanese women's rights.

Beate Sirota Gordon was born in Vienna, grew up in Japan and spent the Second World War studying in America. At the end of the war she took a job with the US military so she could travel to Japan to be reunited with her parents who had stayed in the country during the conflict. In 1946 at the age of just 22, with only a college diploma under her belt, she was given the task of drafting the women’s rights section of the new Japanese constitution. The result of her work, Article 24, established a basis for the equality of the sexes in Japan. Jane talks to Beate about her contribution to improving the social status of Japanese women and the position of Japanese women today.

The Gift of Beate at SOAS
Nissan Institute Seminar in Japanese Studies

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