3 May 2013, Hiroshima, Japan - The UNITAR Hiroshima Office held a Public Session on Japan's Constitution Day, to pay tribute to the life and work of Beate Sirota Gordon. The event was held in partnership with ANT-Hiroshima [http://www.ant-hiroshima.org/], and titled "In Memory of Beate SIROTA GORDON: Women and the Constitution."

 

 

On 30 December 2012, Beate Sirota Gordon, an expert on the performing arts of Asia and for decades director of programs at the Japan and Asia Societies, passed away peacefully in New York, sparking hundreds of obituaries around the world, praising the contributions of this modest but extraordinary woman. Despite Sirota Gordon’s original and path-breaking work in bringing the traditional arts of Asia to American audiences, it is the historical role she played in drafting Article 24 of the Japanese Constitution, on women’s rights, that has made her such an icon for women in Japan and around the world.

One of the most far-reaching equal rights clauses of its time, set in the context of the unique peace constitution, Article 24 and the person who drafted it remain as relevant and important as ever. The Public Session discussed the life of this historic figure, and the legacy she has left behind. It was attended by participants comprising local citizens, academics, NGO representatives, students, and others. Nassrine Azimi, Co-founder of Green Legacy Hiroshima, and Senior Advisor and Former Director of the Hiroshima and New York Offices of UNITAR, had been working with Beate Sirota Gordon on a book over the last two years, and facilitated the Public Session. Beate Sirota Gordon's daughter, Ms. Nicole Gordon, participated from New York via Skype.