CWAJ College Women's Association of Japan


Luncheon and Monthly Meetings

March 2016

A Discussion on Gender, Radiation and Japanese Leadership in the Nuclear Age

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In March, the members heard an inspiring and thought-provoking talk from two well-established nuclear peace activists, Ms. Mary Olson and Mr. Steve Leeper. Ms. Olson, a Senior Radioactive Waste Policy Specialist with the Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS) talked about the effects of radiation on the human body based on gender. Her own experience with radioactive contamination during her final biological research job, led her to author a paper titled “Atomic Radiation is More Harmful to Women,” which she presented at the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impacts of Nuclear Weapons in 2014. Mr. Leeper, a resident of Hiroshima and former chairman of the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation talked about the importance of nuclear disarmament and Japan’s role in creating a nuclear free world. Ms. Olson and Mr. Leeper shared with the group, stories from their recent interactions with the residents of Fukushima. They encouraged the group to spread awareness about the ill effects of nuclear radiation and to support women who have chosen to migrate from Fukushima to protect themselves and their children. The riveting talk was followed by a question and answer session and several members asked for ideas on how to contribute meaningfully to the cause. In Ms. Olson’s words, talking to CWAJ members was the “jewel in the crown” of her tour in Japan.

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