- As we all are aware, the Tokyo Olympics scheduled in 2020 had to be postponed owing to the pandemic. The Organizing Committee of the world’s marquee sporting extravaganza rescheduled the spectacle for 2021. No wonder, all elite athletes preparing since long for the once-in-a-four-year event are gearing up to showcase their supreme skillsets acquired by sacrificing a lot over the years. Apart from the sportspersons, sporting enthusiasts, followers, businesses associated with many disciplines, sponsors, and every conceivable entity as well as paraphernalia are keen to witness the event kick-starts without any further delay.
- As the scale of organising such an event is humongous, there are bound to be challenges encountered along the way and it is up to the individual entrusted with the responsibilities to ensure everything proceeds meticulously. No wonder, the entire universe will be glued to see how a country proceeds ahead with ensuring the pinnacle of a sporting event is organized flawlessly is stating the obvious. In this regard, the president of the Tokyo Olympics organising committee was in the news for all the wrong reasons in recent times.
- People closely following the event would recollect how former Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori appointed as the president of the committee landed himself in a firestorm over sexism remarks a few weeks back. Mori went on record saying that women hold up meetings, and annoyingly compete with each other by talking too much. No sooner he made such remarks, women were up in arms questioning the misogynistic viewpoints of the man truly reflecting the traditional but still patriarchal mindset seen in one of the most developed countries in the world. All hell broke loose in no time on expected lines.
- Now, Seiko Hashimoto, a former athlete, and minister who focussed on gender equality during his stint have replaced former Japanese PM as president of the organising committee. It is amusing to comprehend how most prominent leaders backed the former PM thereby unwittingly exposing the stubbornly male-dominated power structure existing in that society. Indian people used to as yet unchanged patriarchy practices were pleasantly surprised to note that even Japan is no exception in its treatment of women who continue to remain subservient and barely audible in the societal mainstream of things.
- Surprisingly, Japan is identified as one amongst the lowest in the world in terms of female political participation, and the most glaringly, the last among developed countries. Don’t be amused to read that women make up less than 12% of corporate management, as well as a small fraction of undergraduates in top universities. To what extent the malaise is deeply rooted in the society can be gauged by the fact that gender stereotypes are extreme and constricting. Any significant achievement is cast as a barrier to getting married rather than celebrating the same with equanimity. Paradoxically, Indians would be left pleased though as they have an august company in their neighborhood. And we talk about gender equality!