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Much of Asia’s progress in advancing women’s rights came immediately after Pacific War. Partly as a result of the many wartime contributions and roles that women played in the war, the international institutions that grew out of the wartime experience served to incorporate new rights for women across the region. However, this momentum has stalled in recent years and needs a new injection of momentum for further improvements.

In this report, Gwen Young analyzes the participation of women in the Pacific War and the momentum for women’s rights generated by the conflict, as well as the state of women’s rights in Asia today. Dr. Young argues that, partly as a result of the many wartime contributions and roles that women played in the war, international institutions that grew out of the wartime experience served to incorporate new rights for women across the region. Dr. Young, however, reminds us that this momentum has stalled in recent years and needs a new injection of momentum for further improvements.

This article is part of the Asia Program’s Legacy of the Pacific War series.

About the Author

Gwen K. Young

Gwen K. Young

Distinguished Fellow
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Asia Program

The Asia Program promotes policy debate and intellectual discussions on U.S. interests in the Asia-Pacific as well as political, economic, security, and social issues relating to the world’s most populous and economically dynamic region.   Read more