Women's rights in Japan

Meanwhile in Japan... Shiori Ito, a key figure in the #MeToo movement, has won a lawsuit against the man accused of raping her.

Japan's #MeToo movement

Meanwhile, in Japan….After 4 years of legal battle, journalist Shiori Ito, a symbol of the #MeToo movement in Japan, has just won her civil case against the manager of a TV station with close links to the Prime Minister, accused of drugging and raping her during a work dinner. Japan amended its 1907 legislation on rape two years ago. But the fact that a victim has to prove that he or she could not resist is still enshrined in the law. Rape charges remain regularly dropped. According to the Japanese Government in Japan, 95% of rape victims do not report their attackers. The few women who speak out are exposed to strong criticism and even threats.

Secret Shame

In Japan, being a woman in a company often means being required to wear heels and tight skirts, wear makeup… but also not to wear glasses. Yumi Ishikawa is a 32-year-old Japanese actress and she is fighting against the dress codes imposed on women in Japanese companies. Last June, she was already leading the KuToo campaign against the obligation to wear heels. A request that was rejected by the Japanese Minister of Health. According to the World Economic Forum's latest Global Gender Gap Report, Japan ranks 121st out of 153 countries, between the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait. Only 66% of Japanese women work and only 15% of them are managers or senior officials, one of the lowest rates in the world.


Based on data from the Japanese Ministry of Health Sayaka Osakabe is the first Japanese woman to have filed a complaint against her employer for maternity harassment. In Japan, this has a name: "matahara", the harassment of pregnant women in the workplace. In 2015, more than one in five Japanese women reported having been pressured at work because they were pregnant. Sayaka is now fighting to change mindsets thanks to her NGO "Matahara Net". Since the organization's creation in 2014, several companies have been convicted for "matahara" cases.