sayaka osakabe
A Japanese woman who has been speaking up on behalf of pregnant women and young mothers who are harassed at work has been awarded the U.S. International Woman of Courage Award in Washington.

The award is given by the U.S. State Department to recognize the efforts of women who campaign for women’s rights and empowerment. Sayaka Osakabe, 37, is one of 10 recipients this year.

Osakabe was quoted by NHK as saying she is encouraged by the award and that she hopes Japanese people will rethink their way of working. “Rather than focusing on a small portion of elite women who are top managers, I’d like them to start by dealing with problems affecting women like us at the bottom.”

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