Why It Matters

Japan's gender woes a tough fix

A gender discrimination row flared up in Japan last week after a sumo referee shooed several women out of the "sacred" ring when they were trying to save a man's life.

That the age-old belief - that "unclean" women cannot step into the ring - was sacrosanct in the face of an emergency epitomises the inherent bias against women that ripples through modern Japanese society.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 10, 2018, with the headline 'Japan's gender woes a tough fix'. Print Edition | Subscribe