Jamaica urged to deny Japan’s Okinoshima Island UNESCO heritage status - unless women allowed

by Rajan Zed

Hindus are urging the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, whose 41st session is meeting in Krakow (Poland) on July 2-12, not to endorse Okinoshima Island of Japan for the World Heritage Site status, unless women are also permitted on this Island.


Read more about the island on BBC News here

“Okinoshima Island and related Sites in Munakata Region”, where the women are not allowed to set foot and which is on the Tentative List under Japan in the UNESCO World Heritage Convention since 2009, would reportedly be on the agenda of this Committee session for nomination to World Heritage List.

Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, urged Committee Chairperson Jacek Purchla (Poland); Rapporteur Muhammad Juma (Tanzania); Vice-Chairpersons Angola, Kuwait, Peru, Portugal, Republic of Korea; and the rest 14 States Parties to either not include Okinoshima Island on the agenda or to reject it during the meeting; unless Japan ensured that women would be permitted in the same status as men on this Island.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, stated that women deserved equal rights and opportunities and this gender discrimination at the Island needed to end right now as it was highly inappropriate and out-of-line.

Moreover; the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), where “Gender Equality” is one of the two “Global Priorities”, should not be in business of rewarding the monuments/sites which refused to treat women with equality and respect they deserved; Rajan Zed noted.

UNESCO, which “considers gender equality as a fundamental human right, a building block for social justice and an economic necessity”, should be embarrassed of its actions of placing this Island even on its Tentative List of heritage sites. It seemed that UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova and Executive Board Chairperson Michael Worbs needed to re-read and re-grasp the priorities and goals of the organization, Zed indicated.

Rajan Zed, quoting scriptures, explained that ancient Manusmriti said: “Where women are revered, there the gods are pleased; where they are not, no rite will yield any fruit.”

Men and women were equal in the eyes of God; Zed said, and urged His Holiness Pope Francis and other world religious leaders to strongly speak on this gender equality issue. How could the “men-only” island be on the UNESCO World Heritage List? Zed wondered.

The Committee has the final say on whether a property is inscribed on the World Heritage List.

The 21 States Parties of the current World Heritage Committee are: Angola, Azerbaijan, Burkina Faso, Croatia, Cuba, Finland, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Tunisia, Turkey, United Republic of Tanzania, Viet Nam, Zimbabwe.

A description of Okinoshima Island on UNESCO website includes: “where from the fourth to the tenth centuries national religious rituals were conducted to supplicate the gods” and “where gods descended to live in this world”.

A “Nomination Dossier” was prepared by Japan’s Agency for Cultural Affairs for this site in January 2016.

Comments for Jamaica urged to deny Japan’s Okinoshima Island UNESCO heritage status - unless women allowed

Click here to add your own comments

May 29, 2017
Interesting NEW
by: Roxanne

Well, if they want an island for only men. That's their thing. It must be for gays. Well, let them continue sinning against God. He will deal with them real soon and I hope no straight men don't go there out of inquiring minds want to know or see. They might just come back with a gift, that they can't return. Sad. (:-)

May 18, 2017
Women on Okinoshima Island NEW
by:

To have a place designated as a World Heritage site, it should be available for all in the World who wish to visit. Considering 50% of the World population are Women.... it would be strange to call it " World" anything if only half the people can go. If recognition is what they are after, maybe the Island can join Atlantis and be talked about by the "World", both Women and Men!!

May 17, 2017
All male island
by: Anonymous

UNESCO must feel that there's no problem with an all male only island to be courting the idea of heritage status, maybe these men are there for male bonding without distreaction of females. Jamaica has way toooo many problems that they should be concerned with than worrying about an all male island.

May 15, 2017
Men only?
by: Justhinking

Are these men homosexuals.

May 14, 2017
No to whole island man cave
by: Anonymous

This is not the 1700,women's contributions are noticeable and valid. No to this stupidity.

Male Japanese go and find something worthwhile to do and contribute, so afraid of girl power you need an island for your man cave kmt. should let them have it and exile all men there , watch them pine away and kill their race

May 13, 2017
Ha! !!
by: Anonymous

.

May 13, 2017
May GOD intervene and help us to solve this problem.
by: Michael Deslandes

UNESCO HEADS PRESIDENT AND BOARD MEMBERS ETC. SHOULD ALL BE FIRED INSTEAD OF HIRED. WE HERE IN JAMAICA NEED HEALTHY PEOPLE TO LEAD US. WE JAMAICANS ARE NOT IN FOR YOUR SELFISH AND STUPID IMORAL BELIEVES AND PRACTICES.

`WHAT ARE YOU TELLING THE WORLD THAT YOU ARE A BUNCH OF SUBTLE MINDED PEOPLE LEADING US IN THE WRONG DIRECTION`? SEEK THE KINGDOM OF GOD I SUGGEST. `WHERE ARE YOUR MORALS AND VALUES ALONG PRINCIPLES`?

WE JAMAICANS ARE NOT GOING TO BEND AND SUPPORT UNESCO GRANTING STATUS TO JAPAN`S OKINOSHIMA ISLAND UNLESS WOMEN ARE ALLOWED TO LIVE ON THAT ISLAND. NO WAY WOMAN IS A PART OF OUR LIVES HERE ON THIS LITTLE JAMAICAN ISLAND. REMEMBER WE PRODUCE THE FASTEST MAN & WOMAN IN THE WORLD.

May 12, 2017
ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS
by: Anonymous

NO! NO! NO! NO! AND NO!....IF ANY MEN REALLY WANT TO GO THERE, THEN MAYBE THEY SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO COME BACK.

May 12, 2017
No women?
by: nkdwhtguy

Why would any man want to go somewhere that has no women? I'd rather go someplace where there are LOTS of women and fewer guys. Women make everything more beautiful. Just sayin'.

May 12, 2017
The World can not survive without women
by: Emunah Stewart

I would like to know how did these men think they came into this world? These men are arrogant and disrespectful to women. I man can not give birth to a child. Women are responsible for giving birth to both men and women. Every society needs both men and women to survive. We should take a look at nature and we will see that there is no separation there. Nature is perfect. It is man that's brought division into life and that is why there is so much problems in the world because of the divisions that have been placed upon society. Because of these divisions we have conflicts and wars between peoples. These men needs lessons in adulthood, they have not grown up as yet.

May 12, 2017
More than 50% Women in the World!
by: Anonymous

Thanks for drawing this to our attention Wellesley. There are more than 50% women in the world so it'd be interesting to learn the outcome.

I agree with comments posted in that there shouldn't be anywhere public that any different gender or origin person is forbidden. God gives us this beautiful world to enjoy and take care of and HE only can take away. Unfortunately it is the want of puny humans to want to play at being gods banning what is not in their power to ban! I

'm sure women have been on that island illicitly or even openly for one thing or another. I'd love to hear their stories.

May 12, 2017
So weird
by: Anonymous

The world seems very different for people with regards their cultures, even with nowadays information tool. This might be all the more weird for Jamaican people, taken into account that Jamaica Island has the oldest woman in the world... Long life to her, with respect!

May 12, 2017
Okinoshima Island UNESCO heritage
by: Doreen

In this day and age to endorse this; there should be a Public Outcry.Can men alone exist, was this population increased without women?.
The Creator God himself saw the need for women; men on their own could not have existed. Women are the force behind every successful man.
UNESCO ought to be ashamed at thinking of this, it shows that they too would be against the very existence of women.
This in Male Chauvinistic behavior, arrogance and downright despicable.

May 12, 2017
A man's island
by: Veronica Schippert

Wrong, wrong, just plain wrong! I have been discriminated in the field of which I work, construction. I have had to go above and beyond to prove myself in the male dominate industry. I have been in this construction industry for 32 years. It is not easy, however I am determined to help pave the way for other women. For an educated society to say women are not allowed, is against the human ethic.

May 12, 2017
An Island with men only in Japan
by: Anonymous


I support the urge to deny hertiage status.
For a supposed forward thinking country when it comes to technology butform this outing a they're backward when it comes to humane and natural things. I wonder how they think they got on this earth??..Oh well good luck to them maybe they want to drink beer and play pool all day every for the rest of their lives! lol

May 12, 2017
Power Hungry Fools
by: Eric

These 'power hungry' fools have no respect for the females of this world and it makes my blood boil. Next to GOD it is MOTHERS without who there wouldn't be any 'MEN' So force them off their high horse and join us in Respect ALL WOMEN.

May 12, 2017
A man's island
by: Delores

'Treating women with equality and respect they deserve'
This is a very interesting comment
How many of those nations listed treat their momen with equality and respect they deserve?
There is a saying 'clean out your own house first before you tell others to clean out theirs

Delores

May 12, 2017
Not in the 21st Century!
by: Barbara Ellis

We are in the 21st century. How can this happen in one of the most industrialised countries in the world? If Japan can claim to be first in technology and millions of women around the world buy Japanese products therefore this must not be allowed to continue. The world must not buy Japanese products until this humiliating situation is rectified.

May 12, 2017
Ah! An Island for Men Only - Cool!
by: Anonymous

I am a woman but it doesn't bother me. From my experience all religions are created and run by men and women are often giving subservient positions. Some churches won't allow women priest. Some religions force women to wear certain approved clothing. So, let's be real. If some men feel they can't include women on their "island" I don't want to go there.

It doesn't bother me. If some people believe in isolation and a woman only island so be it. I think the best thing is to let them do what they believe as long as it does not include sexual abuse and exploitation of women. Keep your island - give me the world! Actually, I will and do own the equality that no one can take from me - because it is within me.

I don't need approval or inclusion. I need to be able to pursue what is right for my life and I accept diversity. It includes accepting that it is okay to have a "man only island where women are not allowed".

May 11, 2017
Okinoshima Island Heritage Status
by: Jacqui

I would think that the awarding of the Okinoshima Island heritage status would be based on whether or not the Island fulfilled the predetermined criteria of a heritage site (and not on the basis of women being allowed on the Island) which is what is under consideration by the World Heritage Committee.

However, in this day and age where equality is foremost in the "mind" of the Western Societies, UNESCO should petition Japan to allow women to be on the Island.

May 11, 2017
Tania H
by: Anonymous

I agree though that UNESCO and certain countries only "choose" to put dem nose in only certain countries because in my view, of political "interest". However, NOWHERE should allow this situation in Japan or anywhere. Sad to say, we are not on a level playing field, and evil runs rampant. Thanks to my faith, there is hope on the other side of eternity.

May 11, 2017
UNESCO Heritage Status
by: Laphine

Wow! Unbelievable! Are they planning to reproduce?
I can see if they say women cannot participate in politics/business but, to deny them access to the island is just plain crazy. It's just sad!

May 11, 2017
We can't turn a blind eye on this
by: Tania H.

In this day and age, people behaving so ignorantly. There should be a public outcry, and United Nations and other countries should not endorse such backwardness and immorality. Wellesley, I'm with you on this. Some people just turn a blind eye because they say it had nothing to do with them. However, this global community is "one". What affects one, affects the other. #brothersandsisterskeeper

May 11, 2017
UNESCO Heritage Status
by: Anonymous

UNESCO should mind their own business, just like them sticking their noses in Israel's business, by telling a country what to do with their own land. shouldn't they tell the Muslims to recognize women as equals first? What gall!

May 08, 2017
Oh, oh
by: Wellesley

Really? A place where only men can visit? In this new age?

Totally unfair to me if you ask, but then again, that's just my view.

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