Chie Witt

Despite the growing number of “career women” in Japan, traditional values still hold strong. I went to one of the nation’s best single sex schools in Tokyo, and always felt that we were ready to stand up to boys in the society. But I have seen my friend become a stay-at-home mom after completing her studies at medical school because it was assumed by her family that the mother should stay home and take care of the child. (And some older and more conservative people may assume that the husband doesn’t make enough money to support his family if the wife works outside of home.) Another friend of mine had a hard time getting married to the man she chose, because of the families’ class distinctions.
We Japanese are still struggling to balance old customs, traditions and values with human rights and new responsibilities. It’s clear that Ms. Gordon’s effort and contribution became the basis for the laws for women’s equal rights that were later written. I truly appreciate her passion, and respect her as a visionary leader.

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