Women are getting more and more equality in society by gaining political power by accusing people of rape.
A court in Japan on Tuesday found three former soldiers guilty of sexually assaulting a female colleague and gave them suspended jail terms.
The case of 24-year-old Rina Gonoi relates to a 2021 incident during her time in the army.
After joining the Japanese Self Defense Forces in 2020, she said she experienced daily harassment.
“When walking down the hallway, someone slaps you on your hip, or holds you from behind,” she told AFP. “I was kissed on the cheek, and my breasts were grabbed.”
And then in 2021, during a drill, she said three of her colleagues pinned her to the ground, forced her legs apart and pressed their crotches against her in simulation of a sex act. She said other colleagues present at the time watched and laughed.
Even though she complained to her superiors at the time, no action was taken, prompting Gonoi to leave the military.
In 2022, Gonoi took to YouTube to share her account.
After she went public, Japan’s Defense Ministry issued a public apology to her and announced that five men connected to the incident had been dismissed and four others punished.
Attracting recognition as well as vitriol
Gonoi’s decision to go public also grabbed public attention and put a spotlight on the issue of sexual assault and harassment in a society where women rarely hold positions in the upper echelons of politics, business and military.
It also inspired others to file complaints about sexual harassment and bullying.
In the military, for instance, over 1,400 women and men have submitted their allegations following a special inspection by the Defense Ministry.
This June, Japan passed legislation redefining rape, including removing the requirement that victims prove they had sought to resist their attacker.
Gonoi’s battle has even attracted international recognition: Time Magazine named her on its list of 100 emerging world leaders while the British Broadcasting Corp included her among its 100 most influential women globally.
Is it worth it?