The Atlantic

The American Woman Who Wrote Equal Rights Into Japan's Constitution

As a 22-year-old military aide, Beate Sirota Gordon gave Japan's new founding document its own version of the Equal Rights Amendment.
Source: Chiaki Tsukumo / Reuters

American efforts to pass an Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution have failed since the early 1920s. But, in 1946, a 22-year-old naturalized American citizen participating in a secret crash project in occupied postwar Japan succeeded in writing two strikingly simple but powerful clauses into the modern Japanese constitution that stipulate equality among the sexes as well as civil rights for women involving marriage, money, and family.

The young woman, Beate Sirota Gordon, later became a well-known, decorated figure in Japan for her pathbreaking efforts. But she was never widely known in her adopted country. Gordon died last Sunday at age 89 at her home in Manhattan. The women's rights provisions, drafted under

Anda sedang membaca pratinjau, daftarlah untuk membaca selengkapnya.

Lainnya dari The Atlantic

The Atlantic25 mnt membacaPolitics
The Forgotten Legal Tool for Fighting Hate
A 1952 Supreme Court ruling gave civil-rights groups a way to combat anti-Semitism and other prejudices—but in the years since, it’s largely gone unused.
The Atlantic5 mnt membaca
The Joy of Writing a Book With My Dad
For much of my life, he has told me we should work on a book together. When we finally did, it was more rewarding than I could have imagined.
The Atlantic4 mnt membaca
A Historic NBA Championship for the Raptors
The Golden State Warriors were hampered by injuries, but the league’s newest victors were built to seize on the opportunity.