History of FEW Series: Illustrating Women in the Workplace

By Jodi Harris, Public Relations and Communications Co-Director

In celebrating 35 years of empowering women in Japan, FEW has been looking back on our unique collection of FEW historical items and information. One of our favorites is the FEW 20th Anniversary Newspaper, which highlights the early years of our organization. This newspaper is full of great mentions, interviews and historical anecdotes, all of which set the scene for what our members were thinking about in 2001.

One especially eye-catching article features political cartoons of the time. The newspaper’s creators included two cartoons on topics relevant to women in the workplace – both are included below. While the cartoons are undated in the newspaper, at least one was originally published in The New Yorker in 1991 (a whole 10 years before our FEW 20th Anniversary Newspaper).

FEW Newspaper_Political Cartoons (1)

What’s striking about these cartoons is the way in which they still ring true today. Women continue to be catcalled by men on the street and their work is often discredited on gender-based assumptions. As the cartoon above implies, it’s the same old thing, year after year.

But, is it really? Without a doubt, women still face uphill battles on their way through that ever-elusive glass ceiling, but have we not made progress? Do we not look back in shock at the challenges our mothers faced and not feel grateful that the path is indeed a bit easier for us? Many of the women leaders of the past did ‘lean in,’ but they were doing it against gale-force winds. Perhaps now, at least in many ways, we’re making these advancements for women’s equality with the wind at our backs.

And maybe it’s a little bit of both.

So, as we celebrate 35 years of FEW, we’d like to remind you of some of the highlights for women’s empowerment that have happened since this 20th Anniversary Newspaper was released. We’ve included links below to articles that present some of the major accomplishments in the march towards full equality.

We invite you to click on the links here and to use the information as a reminder that, from the boardroom to the bedroom, empowered women make all the difference every step of the way.

Featured image from:


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