Mayumi Taniguchi

An associate professor at Osaka International University for international law on women’s rights and gender law, Mayumi Taniguchi is also the founder of All Japan Obachan Party, a group advocating for more women in Japanese government and other gender equality causes. Four  years ago, Taniguchi wrote a Facebook post about ‘old men’ dominating Japanese politics, and received an incredible response. Frustrated by the lack of women in major political positions in the country, and spurred by the likes, she created a Facebook group for her unofficial political party, the All Japan Obachan Party. The word ‘obachan’ is used to refer to middle-aged or elderly women in a derogatory way, and Taniguchi decided to spin a twist to it to empower women’s voices in Japanese politics. Though her campaign was not taken seriously at the start, today it has developed into a full-fledged initiative for women to share their political opinions (something Japanese women are not generally encouraged to do) with huge members. Local meetings are held to check women’s representation across districts and candidates are questioned on key women’s issues.

 

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