for the FEW Monthly Meeting on February 27, 2020!

How and Why Japanese Women Participate in Politics:

A Glimpse Beyond the Gender Gap


Date:             Thursday, February 27, 2020

Time:             6:00 pm–Drinks, 7:00 pm–Dinner, 8:00 pm–Presentation

Place:            4th Floor, Hilton Osaka

Cost:             ¥5,000—Members   ¥7,000—Nonmembers (women only)

Register: by February 20, 2020


Drawing from their chapters in the book Beyond the Gender Gap in Japan, Dr. Susan Pavloska and Dr. Kimiko Osawa will shed light on the role of Japanese women in politics and their influence on gender equality. Dr. Pavloska will discuss the life and career of Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike in the context of other Japanese women politicians. Dr. Osawa will discuss how conservative Japanese women engage in political activism outside the home while upholding conventional gender norms, which prescribe that the role of wives and mothers in Japan is in the home.

The speakers’ presentations will further our understanding of gender equality in Japan. Dr. Pavloska and Dr. Osawa will discuss why Japanese women rank so low in gender-equality indices and why Japan has so few women choosing a career in politics. And they will explain how conservative women can exercise their agency as political actors in spite of upholding conventional gender norms—and also because of doing so.


The Speakers

Dr. Susan Pavloska is an associate professor in the Faculty of Global and Regional Studies at Doshisha University. She has a PhD in American literature, with a specialization in twentieth-century literature. She teaches a class on gender and sexuality and was the only member who was not a social scientist on a team of academics for the research project “The Public and the Private: Japanese Women’s Lives.” She contributed the chapter “Tokyo’s First Female Governor Breaks the Steel Ceiling” to the book Beyond the Gender Gap in Japan, published in January 2019 by the University of Michigan Press. She served on a panel that discussed the book at the Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies, St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford, in November 2017, prior to the book’s publication. She also helps edit Kyoto Journal: Insights from Asia.

Dr. Kimiko Osawa is an associate professor in the Discovery Program for Global Learners, Okayama University. Her interest in gender equality and politics led her to pursue a PhD in political science with a focus on gender and politics. Her interest goes back to the early 2000s when she heard some conservative Japanese women criticizing feminism and feminists. She has written articles on gender norms and women in politics, and she spoke on the topic at a symposium at Doshisha University. Her research interests include gender and politics, specifically Japanese politics. Dr. Osawa contributed the chapter “The ‘Silent Majority’ Speaks Out: Conservative Women Defending Convention” in Beyond the Gender Gap in Japan.


Copies of Beyond the Gender Gap in Japan will be available for perusal at the monthly meeting.

Fliers with information on how to order the book at a discounted rate will be available as well.

The deadline for registration is February 20.

Please sign up HERE!

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