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After several high-profile incidents in recent years shone the spotlight on Japan’s problems with sexism, a Japanese women’s studies pioneer has been granted special recognition from Finland, a leading country in promoting gender equality.

Chizuko Ueno, a sociologist and prominent feminist figure in Japan, last month became one of the first 16 people and groups from around the world to receive a Han Honour. Han is the inclusive Finnish pronoun that stands for equal opportunity. Ueno was acknowledged for working “tirelessly and fearlessly” toward gender equality, according to the Finland Promotion Board.

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