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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 February 21 - 27  > Symposium held to talk about 'Me Too' movement
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2018 February 21 - 27 TOP3 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Symposium held to talk about 'Me Too' movement

February 25, 2018
The international NGO Human Rights Now on February 23 in Tokyo held a symposium to talk about the "Me Too" movement, a hashtag campaign on social media spreading around the world to help victims raise their voices against sexual assault and harassment.

Nandini Rao, an Indian women's rights activist, said that the 2012 gang rape in Delhi triggered widespread protests and demonstrations in India and that Indian women who had been silenced began standing up for women’s human rights which eventually led to amendments to the country's penal provisions regarding acts of sexual offences. She expressed her expectation that the Me Too movement could be a chance for all the women in the world to unite.

Freelance journalist Ito Shiori who was raped in 2015 by a major television broadcast political correspondent pointed out that the Me Too movement is gaining strength in many countries, but in Japan it is only known among a handful of people. Presuming that many Japanese women hesitate in saying "Me, too", Ito proposed using "We, too" as a substitute. She also said, "Just to eliminate perpetrators won't solve the problem. We should learn more about the background factors and the structure of society which allow violence against women and girls to continue."

The Japanese Penal Code was revised last year for the first time in 110 years and now imposes stricter punishments for forcible sex.

Yamamoto Jun from Japan's first incorporated association for sex crime victims, Spring, was sexually abused by her father between the age of 13 and 20. She said, "Japan's Criminal Code regarding sex crimes lags far behind other countries," and stressed the need for further improvements in the law.

Professor at Chiba University Graduate School Goto Hiroko singled out several flaws in the revised law. For example, the new law does not recognize sex crimes that do not involve violence or threat as rape. She, however, assessed the revision as an important first step and called for the creation of a society where victims no longer feel compelled to silently accept what happened to them.

Past related articles:
> Diet approves bill to toughen penalties for sexual crimes [June 17, 2017]
> Bill to help victims of sexual violence submitted to Diet [May 13, 2016]
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