Beate Sirota Gordon (b. 1923 – d. 2012)


Gordon’s musician family emigrated to Japan in the late 1920s and she saw first-hand how few rights women had — they were merely property. She helped make sure the all-important Article 14 made it into the final document. It stated, in terms that in 1946 were nothing short of revolutionary: “All of the people are equal under the law and there shall be no discrimination in political, economic or social relations because of race, creed, sex, social status or family origin.”

For generations, Gordon stayed out of the limelight. She feared that the conservative men running post-war Japan would exploit her youth and inexperience to revise the constitution. She joined the Asia Society in New York in the 1950s, where she had an illustrious career focusing on performing arts. Thankfully, Gordon began speaking out more in recent years, recounting her experiences in Tokyo during the U.S. occupation.

source: Japanese Women Should Honor Their Gloria Steinem – Bloomberg.