Sirota, Beate (Gordon)
(1923- ). A member of the team that worked for Douglas MacArthur on the Constitution of Japan. She was raised in Japan, but returned to the US to attend college before the outbreak of World War II. At the end of the war she returned to Japan, where, because of her fluency in Japanese and her awareness of Japanese culture, she found a job as a secretary on General MacArthur's office staff. MacArthur's first order of business was to quickly draft a Japanese constitution, and Gordon was put on the committee to research and write the new constitution. She scoured the Japanese countryside looking for libraries that had survived the bombings and collected samples of constitutions from around the world. She drafted about a dozen articles for the Japanese constitution guaranteeing women rights in the work place, politics, health care, child custody, etc., but many of her articles were stripped out. However, two key articles she drafted remained: Article 14 abolishing many forms of discrimination and Article 24 guaranteeing equality in the family. In 1998, she was decorated by the Japanese Government for her long-term service to Japanese culture. (from Everything2.com)
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