Aileen Mioko Smith: Anti-Nuclear Feminist

This March, for Women’s History Month, the Ms. Blog is profiling Wonder Women who have made history—and those who are making history right now. Join us each day as we bring you the stories of iconic and soon-to-be-famous feminist change-makers. My mother was part of Women Strike For Peace in the early 1960s and, along with thousands […]

Feminism in China: Risky, But Rising

This summer I taught a course on American education policy at Shaanxi Normal University in Xi’an, China, with 55 undergraduates, mostly women, who were smart, inquisitive and surprisingly bold.  Despite the lack of support for women’s rights in the country, several of them identified as feminists, and many chanced government backlash by writing about wanting […]

Heckled Japanese Politician Stands Up to Sexism, Gains Worldwide Attention

When Ayaka Shiomura, member of Japan’s Your Party, approached the podium at a Tokyo assembly session last week, she probably wasn’t planning on ending her speech in tears. Unfortunately for the Tokyo assemblywoman, it seems that arguing for increased government childcare and pregnancy services was reason enough for male members of the assembly to launch […]

“Comfort Women” Won’t Let Japan’s Conservatives Rewrite History

The Asian Solidarity Conference, a meeting of international activists, recently announced that it has obtained over 500 documents that it claims directly implicate the Japanese government in the establishment of a system of sexual slavery during World War II. This revelation is the latest in a decades-long struggle to achieve authoritative historical acknowledgement of the […]

Caroline Kennedy, Ambassador of Feminism?

Who would have guessed that the newest face in Japanese feminism would be an American woman? Recently appointed U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy is busy navigating issues of Japanese dolphin hunting, Chinese territorial disputes and U.S. military bases in Okinawa—but she’s also discovering that feminism doesn’t end where diplomacy begins. First, some background about […]

Forgotten in the Fallout: Women and Fukushima

Fukushima. It was a hot day in July, and I was standing in the middle of the road adjusting my camera in view of the Daichii reactor No. 2 when my friend Sonny delivered the news. International wires were buzzing with talk of Fukushima as the Japanese government revealed knowledge of a disaster far worse […]

#GetARoomWithMe: Chinese Protest Child Sex Abuse

Across China, people are taking to the Internet to speak out against the sexual abuse of children. The creative protest is made up of photographs of people displaying the message, Principal, get a room with me. Leave the young students alone. The message is a response to a recent case of sexual assault in Beijing […]

Call “Comfort Women” What They Were: Forced Prostitutes and Rape Survivors

“Comfort women” was the colloquial and reductive term given to the nearly 200,000 women across Asia who were lured, kidnapped or coerced by the Japanese military into being prostitutes for the Imperial Army during World War II. The “comfort women” system, which was organized and supported by Empire of Japan officials, originally began with impoverished […]

Stop the Child Rape. Now.

It wasn’t bad enough that a 23-year-old woman was gang-raped on a bus in New Delhi last December and later died of her injuries. That alone, besides setting off worldwide protests, seemed to open a box of secrets about how women are too-often treated in India. But now, the news out of India is even […]

South Korea Elects Its First Woman President, But What Next?

South Korea has elected its first woman president, Park Geun-hye, in a closely fought election. Taking the presidency by a narrow 3.5 percent margin, the conservative Saenuri party’s Park will be moving back into the presidential house she called home as a young girl. Park’s father was Park Chung-hee, a polarizing figure in Korean politics […]

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