Don’t be silent: How a 22-year-old woman helped bring down the Tokyo Olympics chief
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Don’t be silent: How a 22-year-old woman helped bring down the Tokyo Olympics chief

But less than two weeks later, Momoko Nojo’s #DontBeSilent campaign was organized, with other activists, collecting more than 150,000 signatures, reflecting global outrage against Tokyo 2020 president, Yoshiro Mori.

He left last week and has been replaced by Seiko Hashimoto, a woman who competed in seven Olympic Games.

The hashtag was coined in response to remarks by former Ashtadhyayi former Prime Minister Mori, that women talk too much. Nojo used it on Twitter and other social media platforms and gathered support to petition for action against him.

“Some of the petitions have received 150,000 signatures before. I thought it was really great. People also take it personally, not just looking at it as Mori’s problem,” a smiling nozzo in a Zoom interview he said.

Her activism, born over a year studying in Denmark, is the latest example of women outside of mainstream politics in Japan taking the keyboard to bring about social change in the world’s third-largest economy, where gender discrimination, pay gaps And conservatism is rife.

“I realized this is a good opportunity to advance gender equality in Japan,” said Nozo, a 4-year-old economics student at Keio University in Tokyo.

Yoshiro Mori, former chairman of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games Organizing Committee (TOGOC), talks to reporters on February 4, 2021 at the JOC headquarters in Chou Ward, Tokyo.

She said her activism was inspired by questions she often heard from male peers such as, “You’re a girl, so you have to go to a high school that has a pretty school uniform, don’t you?” Or “If you don’t have a job even after graduating from college, you can be a housewife, no?”

Nojo launched her nonprofit “NO YOUTH NO JAPAN” in 2019 while she was in Denmark, where she saw how the country chose Mate Friedrichsen, a woman in her early forties, the Prime Minister.

In Denmark, she said, she realized how much Japanese politics was dominated by older men.

Keiko Ikeda, a professor of education at Hokkaido University, said that it was important for young, worldly people to raise their voices in Japan, where decisions are made by an equal group of like-minded people. But change will come gradually, she said.

“If you are a homogeneous group, it is impossible to move the compass because people in it do not feel that their decision is far from the center,” Ikeda said.

Nojo rejected a proposal this week by Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party to allow more women in meetings, but only as silent observers, as a poorly-executed PR stunt.

“I am not sure they have the desire to fundamentally improve the gender issue,” she said, adding that the party needed more women in key positions rather than being as observers.

In fact, Nojo’s victory is only a small step in a long battle.

Japan is ranked 121 out of 153 countries in the World Economic Forum’s 2020 Global Gender Gap Index – the worst ranking among advanced countries – poor scoring on women’s economic participation and political empowerment.

Activists and many ordinary women say that much change is needed in the workplace, and in politics.

“In Japan, when there is an issue related to gender equality, many voices are not heard, and even if there are few voices to rectify the situation, they run out of steam and nothing changes , ”Said Nozzo.

“I don’t want our next generation to spend their time on this issue.”

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