Past president of the Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association, past co-president of the Coordinating Council for Women in History, current co-president of the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians, and the Walter E. Schmidt, S.J., Professor of History at Santa Clara University, Barbara Molony has lectured extensively in North America and overseas. Her recent works include the coauthored or coedited volumes: Engendering Transnational Transgressions: From the Intimate to the Global (2020), Women's Activism and "Second Wave" Feminism: Transnational Histories (2017), Asia's New Mothers: Crafting Gender Roles and Childcare Networks in East and Southeast Asian Societies (2008), and Gendering Modern Japanese History (2005) as well as numerous articles on Japanese women's suffrage, the politics of dress, and transnational feminist movements. She is a coauthor of the textbooks Gender in Modern East Asia (2016), Civilizations Past and Present (2007), and Modern East Asia: An Integrated History (2012), and is completing a biography of Japan's leading suffragist, Ichikawa Fusae.
Japan is one of the richest countries in the world, and gender equality is stipulated in the country's constitution, yet the status of women in the workplace and in politics is one of the lowest in the developed world. What social factors contribute to that?