Tokyo assemblywoman heckled by male colleagues during women's rights speech

Your Party member Ayaka Shiomura's speech in Tokyo's assembly on the rights of women was met by sexist remarks yelled by male colleagues.
By JC Finley   |   June 20, 2014 at 3:18 PM   |   Comments

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TOKYO, June 20 (UPI) -- In Japan, where sexism in the workplace is common, an assemblywoman was heckled by her colleagues while delivering a speech on the need for more services for women.

Your Party member Ayaka Shiomura was speaking in the assembly on Wednesday, addressing the lack of government understanding and public support for women and mothers. In one example, she cited a regulation requiring mothers to fold strollers before boarding trains.

At least two male colleagues, one identified as a member of the ruling LDP, shouted sexist remarks, telling her, "You should get married!" and asking, "Can you even bear a child?"

Shiomura finished her speech and later posted on Facebook that the sexist remarks shouted by her fellow assemblymen was like "a punch in the gut."

The incident sparked a public debate, and female lawmakers have called for the hecklers to be released.

In Japan, men are paid 30 percent more than their female counterparts, according to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has tried to address gender workplace inequality.

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