Takako Doi

Takako Doi (土井 たか子, Doi Takako?, born November 30, 1928) was a prominent Japanese politician from 1980 until her retirement in 2005.

Doi was born in Hyōgo Prefecture and graduated from Doshisha University, where she studied law. She was elected to the House of Representatives, the lower house of the Diet, as a member of the Japan Socialist Party (JSP) in 1969, representing the 2nd district of Hyōgo. She spent her first ten years in the House on the sidelines, but came to national attention in 1980 when she was highly critical of Japan's unequal treatment of women, specifically about women-only home economics degrees and the father-dominated family registration law. She pressured the Diet to sign the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1985.

Doi became Vice Chair of the JSP in 1984 and the first female leader of a political party division in Japanese history in 1986, as chair of the JSP Central Policy Division. The JSP took a record high number of seats in 1990, when it won 136 seats in the House of Representatives, partly because of Doi's popularity, but she resigned her party post in 1991, in the wake of the Gulf War.

In 1994, no party held a majority in the House and the JSP took the lead in forming a coalition government. The JSP's president, Tomiichi Murayama, became Prime Minister. However, the coalition collapsed in 1996 and, following a disastrous electoral defeat for the JSP later that year, Doi returned to lead the party.

Read more about Takako Doi:  Party Leader, Loss of Seats