Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

January-20-99

Museum Documents Japanese Military's Sexual Slavery

The Historical Museum of Japanese Military Sexual Slavery opened this past August near Seoul, South Korea.

The museum documents the Japanese military's abduction and sexual enslavement of over 200,000 women during World War II. Most of the slaves, whom the Japanese military called "comfort women," were young, poor Koreans. The young women were kidnapped or tricked into entering the military brothels by men who made false promises of legitimate employment. There, the women were raped by as many as 20 or 30 Japanese soldiers each day.

The museum includes a model of the Japanese military brothel rooms in which women were raped and abused, taped testimonies of former sex slaves, and dozens of art works that tell the story of the women's suffering.

Japan has yet to apologize for its crimes or give the former sex slaves any direct compensation. Japan did set up a private fund that offered $17,000 to each victim, but most women refused this offer and demanded that Japan take official responsibility for its crimes. Societal stigmatization and shame has prevented all but 152 South Korean women from identifying themselves as former sex slaves.

Seventy-six-year-old Shin Hyun-soon is one of the 152 who have told their stories. She found it difficult to visit the museum, but feels that it is important for others to see. Hyun-soon said, "...this museum will keep telling people what happened, even after we all die. And we hope it will help prevent a horrible thing like that from happening again in the future."

Media Resources: AP - January 20, 1999


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska. The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services. The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge. Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska. "By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read. "We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
 
8/27/2015 Los Angeles Mayor Announces Model Gender Equity Directive - On Women's Equality Day Eric Garcetti, the Mayor of Los Angeles, signed a progressive and inclusive executive directive to take a major step toward gender equity for the city and to be a model for other cities. . . .
 
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections. This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .